>> A search for the definition of industrial design turns up myriad results, ranging from the practical definition of Industrial design’s concern with the appearance and usefulness of manufactured goods to the lyrical idea of how design brings a story to life to the philosophical musing of how design is the signal of human’s first intention. However, my best cobbled together definition would go as follows: industrial design determines the materials, features, and appearance of most of the products we use on a daily basis. When a product works well, looks great, and even elicits an emotional response from the user, there’s a talented industrial designer behind it. For instance, I’ve got a counter-top mixer that I love and it works like a champ, but it also looks so sturdy and capable that I almost feel I could turn to it for assistance in times of crisis. Its weighty presence makes me feel a little better equipped to face the world.
While industrial design is an art within itself, sustainable industrial design takes the process we’ve already defined a step further. It seeks to create new, better products while reducing negative impacts on the environment. Sustainable design makes use of non-toxic, sustainably produced, renewable or recycled materials. Due to their use of sustainable materials, these products can often be repurposed or composted when their usefulness is exhausted.
24-year-old Rochester Institute of Technology graduate Kramer Campisano founded Makoto Design House in 2017. Its stated purpose is the creation of “thoughtful and conscientious” sustainable products. His choice of the name “Makoto” is a nod to Campisano’s personal connection with the traditional Japanese religion of Shinto. The Shinto worldview places focus on aesthetic sensitivity, harmony, and Makoto, which translates loosely to sincerity. The follower of Shinto believes that from sincerity flows all other virtues. A truly sincere person, it is said, will tend to live in harmony with the natural world, never seeking to undermine its fabric: “I wanted my brand and product to reflect my mission,” he says, “of responsible product design with a focus on sustainable materials and processes.”