As a society, we produce waste. Paper, food, trash, biological, and so forth. As I began thinking of topics, I decided to follow Clark’s suggestions and revisited those that strongly interested me. I came back to my lancet (sharps) waste project and how package design can reduce the amount thrown in the trash and improve the safety of others. I remember at the time there was hardly anything information on medical package design and waste COMBINED. Sure, there have been projects on redesign of packages for retail and prescription bottles, but what about those that produce biological waste? A lot of this gets thrown in the trash, is harmful to others, and even gives an opportunity to those who use certain products for illegal use.
What inspired this class project was my family, and a childhood pet. Both my grandmother and mother are diabetics, one of them having to use lancets every day. My mother struggles with safely disposing of sharps due to her being in a small town. Oddly enough, my childhood cat became diabetic while I was in high school, and he had to be given shots once a day, and then twice a day in his later years. I decided to focus specifically on lancets/sharps because of this notion, and also finding out family friends who are also throwing them in the trash.
After this revisit, I want to expand this idea to other products that produce biological waste, and how people dispose of them. The problem is that as a society, specifically in medicinal use, produce biological waste and do no properly dispose of them. The question is how can graphic design become involved in improving the design of packaging to reduce this waste, keep consumers from throwing it in the trash, therefore improving sustainability and safety in this field? The purpose is to show that graphic design can improve and find solutions to this issue, while working with other fields and professions to met standards across the board.
This combines the fields of medicinal packaging, pharmacies, graphic design, printers and packaging assemblies, and the waste industry. As for the audience, the list prior plus self-conscious consumers will be included. While I just moved to work at the University of Cincinnati, I realized that I could connect with medical faculty at the medical school here and receive their input (may be even strong enough to work on my committee). I could receive valuable insight and resources from these professionals as they have worked in the field of medicine, and properly have a closer look at this issue more so than graphic designers. Having faculty who specialize in design sustainability, packaging, and the medical field will prove to be a well-rounded committee. Therefore, I also feel that through medical faculty here, I could possibly test my solutions on people who use biological products. A survey could be conducted to see what waste is being produced, how they dispose of it, and what they would like to have access to when it comes to proper disposal (through the packaging, drop off centers, etc). I could also contact local waste collectors to inquire about their experiences.
As for other resources, I will attempt to find research in the medical field as well, especially those who reviewed biological waste and the products that produce them. But, I do have a feeling this will be difficult. I have found writings on sustainability, and Deborah Adler’s prescription bottle redesign for Target, but not much beyond. As stated above, I will have to conduct research myself to get the proper answers to my questions, which in turn will assist me in producing solutions.
With texts, I plan to find the “a-ha” moments in writings. These tell me what information provided the author these discoverable times to which they found their solutions, or set them on the right path. The goals and solutions they find while processing their searches is also important. Did they achieve them? What went wrong? Were they successful? And I’ll also question my reasons for reading a certain text, especially if I come across one arguing my point. Researching those against your proposal also provides insights and makes you consider the arguing side’s points.
What was the motive behind these texts? What resources did they use to support their ideas? How can it be applied to graphic design, medical/pharmacy, and waste industry?