• Thesis Review.


    The general outcome of the review for my project was that I needed to find a way to work with an organization and what type of organizations I should be trying to target. The majority of the time that I was looking for an organization, I targeted ones that were dealing with the e-waste issue in developing countries, however, none of them really focused on the same aspect of the issue that I was focusing on which was the health of people involved in the industry. I've also looked at organizations that target environment and health of populations in developing areas but they were not specifically looking at the effects of e-waste either.

    At this point, I need to start branching out and looking for organizations that don't really look at e-waste specifically, but possibly look more at ones that focus on pollution and health of people. Jessie suggested I look for organizations that target similar issues in the States and find a parallel that can hopefully link me to organizations that deal with similar problems internationally. There were also other critics that suggested I look to the actual companies that are responsible for the waste such as IBM or Dell since they have a stake in the industry as well as money. This would also help in figuring out my distribution method, which is the next problem.

    The distribution method is also at a block for me right now. I think that it's mostly because I still haven't been able to find an organization and they are the ones that can actually figure out how the products would get to the end user or if they would be willing to be a part of the distribution were it to go into production.

    Another issue related to the distribution method was the idea of cost of the product. No matter how cheap or expensive it will be, the people in Guiyu still will not have access to purchase the gear so it would really in the end have to be a donation type of situation. Matthew Hoey suggested I look up Hussein Chalayan and his fashion pieces that transform into different types of fashions because of the type of material that he uses. This brought to mind the idea of cost and if I were to use smart materials that were capable of transforming under certain circumstances it would probably bring cost up a lot. He said that there are some cheaper smart materials and also the fact that usually when new materials first come out they tend to be more pricey, but once something is developed using that specific material and becomes successful, it opens up a whole new market for the material which will then become more readily available price-wise. So taking that into consideration, cost will still be a part of my criteria, but not something that I will specifically let hold me back completely.

    I also need to go deeper into researching the materials that would be used for my product. I received many suggestions on different exhibits that have happened in the past that relate in a way to what I am proposing. Such as the Safe Exhibit that went on in the MoMa as well as the Extreme Textiles that was at Cooper Hewitt. I've also been looking through some fashion textiles books that discuss innovative textiles as well as what types of fabrics can achieve the particular criteria that I need in order for my gear to function well.

    Overall, the main things that I really need to dive into is finding my NFP organization to work with as well as figuring out the exact material that my proposed product will be made of. I actually accidentally came across a possible manufacturer while searching for material samples. I received an email response for them and this company (Shanley International) mentioning that they have produced particular gear for a company in China that had similar functions. So keeping them in mind, I will have to continue looking for the right materials and possibly have it manufactured with their company.

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