ATG Talk by Christiaan Maats on How Product Design can benefit a more sustainable World
SOur final ATG Talk before the Summer Break stars took place on the 23rd of June 2022 with a very anticipated presentation on How Design and the genuine process we put into our products, can benefit a more Sustainable future; with TEDx speaker and Industrial Design Engineer – Christiaan Maats.
After a few words from our CEO – Gian Carlo COLETTA, Christiaan kicked off the ATG Talk by giving us a brief overview of his interest in the psychological side of product design: how do products communicate, how do they influence our behaviour? An interest that led him abroad to expand his vision, and to conduct extensive research on the concept of storytelling through product design.
Co-Founder at OATs, TEDx speaker and Industrial Design Engineer
Using Kennedy’s famous Moon-speech at Rice University in 1962, Christiaan illustrated the hallmarks of innovation: how it always means ‘doing the impossible’, to a degree; how product innovation equals supply chain innovation which means that this “process of continuous learning” requires interdisciplinary collaboration. Collaboration needs common goals, and common goals need good storytelling based on shared beliefs.
Ultimately, Christiaan’s story was about the importance of understanding how our beliefs determine our actions, so if we want to create a sustainable world, we need to shift our worldview from a competition-oriented, win/lose perspective, towards a collaboration-oriented, win-win perspective.
Good products should be accompanied by authentic, transparent communication, with equally transparent supply chains. Good products last longer, are repairable and recyclable, promote consumer well-being and social cohesion, the antithesis of the work-hard-play-harder hustle of this millennium. Good products are also made by companies that make their socio-ecological goals at least as important as their financial bottom line, so that the businesses themselves are designed and organized with the same intentions as their products.
For Maats, sustainability means not only finding ways to sustain humankind on this planet, but also recognising the interconnectivity of all our experiences. Finding a way “to live lives in which we feel connected, to ourselves, our friends, family, society and the natural environment” is what matters most. In the end, as both a designer and a human being, Maats knows that the only system that will work going forwards is one that puts human and environmental well-being at the centre.
This doesn’t come by the touch of magic – Christiaan also shared his philosophy, his vision and what OAT’s worldview is. As a human being, your actions are based on assumptions, which are based on your beliefs and previous experience. Our brains process truckloads of information on a daily basis, so we sometimes need to take shortcuts —and that’s totally normal.