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Educational poster created to communicate my thesis research findings for a scientific poster presentation at the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Conference. March 2014, California.
For my Master's thesis project I designed a new solar still concept by using Biomimicry as my primary design methodology - looking to solve challenges as Nature would. As I develop the idea further, I am working on a low-cost version of the design idea positioned for treating contaminated water in developing regions - where much of the population suffers from water-borne diseases.
By looking at various biological organisms, I could emulate nature's design principles and get closer to a solution that is locally-attuned, uses 'waste as food', and further creates conditions conducive to life.

Contact me if you'd like to read my thesis paper of how the solar still design evolved and my evaluation of using the Biomimicry design methodologies.

I will be posting status updates with new images of the prototyping soon!
November 2012, I put together a small multidisciplinary team and entered the 2012-2013 Biomimicry Student Design Challenge, addressing this years challenge of 'Water Wise' - and become a round one finalists. We are currently completing in round two, writing a business plan to bring to market - wrapping up in May 2013.
https://www.biomimicrydesignchallenge.com/gallery/round-1-finalists
This project was done for the Autodesk 2012 'Design for (Your) Product Lifetime' competition to challenge designers to create electronic products that can be easily disassembled, repaired, and upgraded; using energy and materials more responsibly. I chose to address issues around the consumption of paper towels in public restrooms. Recognizing that the 'use' phase has the greatest impact, I focused design efforts on the larger system around the dispenser. I looked at how the environment layout and visuals can lend to more desirable consumption behaviors in addition to the product design itself.
View PDF
Visual Story of a Cotton Tote Bag - increased consumer awareness about the process involved to create goods
This is a concept for communicating product life-cycles through the creation of a video game to educate folks about sustainability through fun. The game would be more lively with plants and animals as sustainable choices are made, but degrade with the use of chemicals, high transportation distances, and so on... becoming more concrete and full of pollution.
Working with Steelcase and a small multidisciplinary team, we looked at ways to make one of their popular lounge chairs more sustainable as a product and overall system.
Sample of Steelcase's Circa chair redesign - focusing on removing the 'high-impact materials' , in this case the polyurethane foam seat base
System of a Refrigerator
System of a Refrigerator
Detour Cell Phone Leasing System - This design aims to reduce consumption levels of raw materials by having a system of leasing cell phones rather than individually owning and keeping the phones. This allows manufacturers to reclaim phones and remanufacture the parts, while consumers still enjoy the ability to upgrade their phones.
Sustainable packaging redesign and positioning strategy for a local spice/herb provider in Vancouver, BC
Sustainable packaging redesign and positioning strategy for a local spice/herb provider in Vancouver, BC
Sustainable packaging redesign and positioning strategy for a local spice/herb provider in Vancouver, BC
Sustainable packaging redesign and positioning strategy for a local spice/herb provider in Vancouver, BC
Sustainable packaging redesign and positioning strategy for a local spice/herb provider in Vancouver, BC
Sustainable packaging redesign and positioning strategy for a local spice/herb provider in Vancouver, BC
Breakdown of materials and weights used to conduct a life-cycle assessment (LCA) on a highly-consumed BIC lighter to understand its environmental impact.
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Sustainable Design
Comments (2)
  • Thanks Elahe -- I also enjoy your illustrations! Create sense of dramatic lighting you have.

    7 years ago

  • A professional detailed job you did here, Like it. :)

    7 years ago

  • A professional detailed job you did here, Like it. :)

    7 years ago

  • Thanks Elahe -- I also enjoy your illustrations! Create sense of dramatic lighting you have.

    7 years ago

Stefanie Koehler
Sustainability Strategist, Product and Communications Designer Portland, OR