[ 彩材拆拆 x UNWRAP CMF ]
Ch.41 Unwrapping CMF design on design thinking for sustainability
Ch.41 拆招CMF設計談永續設計思考

CMF is a specific discipline within industrial design that focuses on the development of a product’s color, material, and finish. Unwrap CMF writes about little stories of CMF Design for those who are interested in learning more about this niche field. Comments and inspirations are welcome!

As a CMF Designer, do you ever feel the guilt over trashing mountains of rejected CMF samples and creating an environmental nightmare? While upholding CMF principals is our duty, rest assured that sustainable CMF solutions are still within reach. If this resonates with you, then join me on a journey with Gavin McGlynn and learn from his expertise in Design for Sustainability!

Back in the days, my initial understanding of sustainable design, green design, eco design – or however it may be called, was grounded in the very basic concept of using eco materials like wood or bamboo, followed by the awareness of recycling as a good civilian.

My limited knowledge in sustainable design used to make me feel powerless at the workplace, because the choice of materials and manufacturing processes are not individually decided by the design team. There are cost, technical feasibility, and supply chain considerations involving collaborative decisions with other teams within the organizations. Fortunately, during my time at Logitech, I had the honor to work with Gavin from the Design for Sustainability department, and learned that sustainable design goes beyond material choices and recycling – and there are design solutions that we, as designers, can take control of!

For example, by developing modular assembly or granting access to reassembly (e.g. screws instead of glues), we will enable product reusability and extend its lifecycle. Conversely, adding a topcoat to plastic products would immediately make them unrecyclable. That means, sustainable design also involves assessing the lifecycle of materials for repeatability. We want to avoid using additives or processes that block a material from transitioning to the next lifecycle.

Here is another example from Gavin: while polished details can enhance a product’s perceived quality, we want to be cautious about where we put them. Adding an in-mold polished finish to edges or large flat surfaces often necessitates the use of protective films to prevent scratching during production, assembly, and shipping. Just imagine the immense amount of production waste generated by millions of these tiny little films!! ?

Sustainable design is so many things! I am amazed by the broad range of opportunities it can embrace. To summarize, below are some actions we can take to achieve a balance between aesthetic and sustainability:

1⃣️ Choose materials wisely: We are not just talking about eco-friendly materials! By using single material or designing for easy disassembly, we can take materials apart effortlessly and maintain high material purity. This means higher efficiency and lower cost for recycling.

2⃣️ Choose colors wisely too: Did you know colors can also make a difference?! Generally speaking, darker plastic colors can contain a higher percentage of recycled pellets than pastel colors.

3⃣️ Minimize unnecessary processes: By minimizing the manufacturing process, we often could reduce carbon dioxide footprint and/or production waste.

4⃣️ Consider low-energy processes or renewable energy: Simply put, any process that heats up requires high energy and should be avoided if possible, or consider using renewable energy.

5⃣️ Plan for a strategic CMF limit range: A lower yield rate often results in increased production waste. While upholding CMF standards, let’s also plan strategically. For example, should we opt for a material with color-matching stability? Or, if a part is not designed to color-match with the rest of the product, could it be tolerated with a more “generous” but reasonable limit range? (Read: What is CMF limit range?)

And most importantly, NEVER use sustainability as a marketing tool. Celebrate it but don’t fake it.

Luckily, we are not alone on this journey. Global brands are increasingly investing in sustainable design, which originated from the Compliance & ESG departments that used to set the bar for environmental testing standards to comply with government regulations and prevent product risks. Driven by today’s highlighted eco objectives, many of them have evolved into dedicated Sustainability departments. Together with this joined force, we as CMF Designers are empowered with countless opportunities for sustainable CMF solutions in the future.

And remember, while there is often no perfect solution, but because one tiny change in a design can generate x 1,000,000’s of impact in production, and that means, one simple action with sustainability in mind will make a great difference ?



Special thanks to our guru, Gavin McGlynn, for his invaluable contributions and for sharing the knowledge in this article.
Notes: Content created by ?????? ??? and published in collaboration with Sustainable Design Platform.

Continue reading:
Ch20. Unwrapping CMF Design on Sustainable Material Library
Ch23. Unwrapping CMF Design on From Eco-Friendliness to Sustainability
Ch36. Unwrapping CMF Design on the Long Journey of Material Development – PETSPUN®
Ch39. Unwrapping CMF Design on Rebirth with Recycled Plastic


CMF為Color Material and Finishing,譯為色彩、材質、及表面處理工藝,屬於 工業設計 旗下重要的一環。Unwrap CMF( 彩材拆拆 )將圍繞著這個主題,以淺而易懂的小故事拆解 CMF設計師 的日常。

身為CMF設計師,每當面對被我NG、堆積如山的不合格CMF樣品,心中總是會內疚升級:又成為環境污染的罪魁禍首了? 雖然堅持CMF品質是身為CMF設計師的職責,但永續的CMF設計方案也並非不可能的任務。因此,在這篇文章中,我有幸採訪了前同事 Gavin McGlynn ,讓我們一起學習他的永續設計方面的專業知識吧!

在菜鳥時期,我對永續設計、綠色設計、環保設計(暫且不探討各種不同的稱呼)最初的理解非常基礎,僅停留在使用像竹木等自然環保材料的概念,再來就是身為乖小孩對垃圾分類和回收的粗淺理解。

如此粗淺的認知曾使我在工作中感到無力,因為一件產品的材料和製程工藝的選擇往往不是由設計團隊單方面決定。成本、技術可行性及材料供應鏈等方面的考量都需要和公司內部的各個團隊合作和共同決策。幸運的是,在羅技工作的期間,我有機會與Design for Sustainability團隊的 Gavin 共事,也因此學到永續設計不僅限於選材和回收,它還有更多面向。作為設計師,我們其實也掌握了許多能為永續發展作出貢獻的設計方案喔~

舉例來說,通過模組化設計或使用螺絲代替膠水,就能允許產品在本次生命週期結束後還可以被拆解,這不僅體現了產品的可重用性,還能高效回收和再利用被拆解後的部件。舉一個相反的例子,塑膠製品一旦被噴上表面塗層就無法被回收。也就意味著,永續設計需要評估材料的生命週期之可重複性,所以我們應避免會讓材料限於單次使用的添加劑或非必要的製程工藝。

這裡還有另一個Gavin的舉例:雖然模內拋光可以提高產品呈現的質感和精緻度,但如果拋光的細節位於產品邊緣或大面積平整表面上,就反而要在表面添加保護膜,以防止在生產、組裝和運輸過程中出現刮花。 雖然保護膜小小一片,但想像一下,當產品以百萬計的數量生產時,這些小小的膜片也會累積成大量的生產廢料!?

原來永續設計有這麼多小眉角!它所涵蓋的範疇真是讓我對永續CMF產生了更大的期望~ 以下整理一些可幫助設計師在審美和永續性之間達到平衡的小小建議:

1⃣️ 慎選材料:這邊說的不僅僅是環保材料唷~透過單一材料或易於拆卸的設計,產品在結束生命週期後也可以被輕鬆拆解。高純度的材料也就意味著更高的回收效率和更低的回收成本。

2⃣️ 慎選顏色:ㄟ~顏色也有差嗎?以回收塑膠再製品為例,較深的顏色相對於較淺的顏色可以含有更高比例的回收塑膠顆粒。

3⃣️ 減少非必要的製程:盡可能減少非必要的製程可以降低二氧化碳排放和製程中產生的廢料。

4⃣️ 選擇低耗能製程或再生能源:簡單來說,需要高溫的製程往往需要高能源,因此應試著避免或使用再生能源作為替代。

5⃣️ 策略性規劃CMF限度範圍:低良率意味著更多廢料,所以在堅持CMF品質的同時,也應綜合考量不同要素對永續性的影響。比如從源頭思考:這個選材是否會調色不穩定,進而降低良率並增加廢料?或者在試產階段思考:如果此部件和其他部件不需要匹配顏色,是否可合理地放寬限度範圍呢? (延伸閱讀:CMF限度範圍是什麼?)


最最最最最重要的是,切勿將永續設計用作行銷工具。
????????? ?? ??? ???’? ???? ??!

好在永續之路並不孤單,越來越多全球知名品牌都在積極投入永續設計。原本負責設定環境測試標準、以遵循法規和規避產品風險為目的的Compliance & ESG部門,如今在環保意識的驅動下,逐漸轉型為專門的永續發展部門。在多方協力之下,身為CMF設計師的我們將在未來有更多機會創造永續CMF價值。

最後別忘了,雖然世上很難找到百分百完美的解決方案,但設計中做出的 1 個小小調整就可以在量產中帶來 1,000,000 倍的影響。這意味著即使再微小的永續行動,也能帶來極具意義的改變喔?



特別鳴謝永續專家Gavin McGlynn對本文內容所貢獻的寶貴知識。
註:本文由彩材拆拆?????? ???製作,並與永續設計平台聯名發布。

延伸閱讀:
Ch20. 拆招CMF設計談永續材質圖書館
Ch23. 拆招CMF設計談從環境友善到永續
Ch36. 拆招CMF設計談材料研發非一日千里 —— 保特紗®
Ch39. 拆招CMF設計談回收塑膠的涅槃重生


To promote environmental awareness, global brands like Korres upcycle plastic packages to give the material a second life.
為了提倡環保,Korres等全球品牌皆對塑料廢棄物進行升級再造,賦予材料第二次生命。
Sustainable design assesses material lifecycles for repeatability. Such that adding a glossy finish to card stocks makes them unrecyclable.
永續設計考驗材料是否僅限於單次利用,比如名片和卡紙添加高光膜之後就無法被回收。
Driven by eco objectives, biodegradable materials gain popularity, such as water-dissolvable packing peanuts made of cornstarch.
在環保意識驅使下,可分解材料逐獲認可,比如以玉米澱粉製作、遇水可溶解的包裝材料。
Sustainable design goes beyond recycling. Modular design enables product reusability and reduces emissions from oversized shipping.
永續設計不止於材料回收。模組化設計使產品可被重複組裝運用,並減少大件運輸造成的排放。
(註:圖為Waste & Hope回收塑膠模組化傢俱 / Modular furniture by Waste & Hope using recycled plastic)
Polished details can enhance perceived quality, but easily-scratched areas needing a protective film cause production waste.
拋光細節可提高呈現質感,然而需要被膜片保護的易刮花處反而會產生非必要的廢料。




CMF學無止境,歡迎留言補充。
Comments and inspirations are welcome!
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Problem-solving ??? ?????. Former head of CMF at Motorola. A New York-based and world-traveling Design Consultant with over 13 years of specialty in CMF Design. 高雄囡仔,前摩托羅拉CMF設計團隊負責人,目前定居於紐約並遊牧世界,任自由撰稿人兼CMF設計顧問,持續投入在CMF設計的科普推廣,並為WGSN及羅技等公司提供CMF專案支持或諮詢服務。

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