Vert Design is an innovative industrial design studio based in Sydney, Australia. In this blog post, Founder and Director of Vert Design, Andrew Simpson, gives an overview of the company’s creative approach to its award-winning HuskeeCup, a reusable coffee cup made from recycled coffee husks, designed and developed with the help of Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS.
Achieving inspired and efficient sustainable design powered by creativity.
Using Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS’ applications improved surface modelling and flexibility in control to take more technical risks.
- Increased ability to design creatively and accurately
- Increased productivity and efficiency from having end-to-end design process on a single platform
- Savings in production time and costs
- Added value for customers
Sustainability is at the core of all Vert Design’s practices – it’s all in the name of the Sydney-based studio and design house; vert is French for green.
Founder and Director of Vert Design, Andrew Simpson, says the team is always up for the challenge of designing for sustainability.
“The process is often difficult, complicated, and requires a lot of trial and error. But it’s something we care about passionately, so we believe it’s worth doing and worth doing well,” he said.
Andrew is a firm believer in experimentation, and the team has time and again come up with innovative approaches to tackling sustainable design.
A key approach for Vert Design is taking a holistic view in analysing a product’s entire lifecycle. By doing this, the team identifies opportunities to set new foundations for an economy that helps address the core of any environmental impacts a product may have.
“The reality is that there are no sustainable materials, so we should always find the ones that have the lowest impact. All materials consume energy in their production and they generate waste. We look at the whole lifecycle – the transportation, the production, usage and end-of-life then recycling and then that loop goes back to the beginning,” said Andrew.
Allowing creative approaches to lowering environmental impact and generating demand for waste
Vert Design’s award-winning HuskeeCup, a reusable coffee cup made from recycled coffee husks, embodies the studio’s core sustainability values. The team was able to design and develop a range of coffee cups made from waste coffee husks mixed with eco-polymers with the help of Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS.
“Our initial approach was inspired by a unique thought. If we could find adaptive reuse for waste products and we have the innate ability of design to generate demand, why not use that ability to generate a demand for waste?” Andrew explains.
According to Andrew, the HuskeeCup’s striking and memorable design would not have been possible a few decades ago as limitations in technology meant an industrial designer had to self-edit to create a more controllable form.
The team was able to take more technical risks with Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS applications, which allowed them to manipulate the cup’s form while still ensuring it was manufacturable. The improved surface modelling and flexibility in control within the system also allowed the team to create and explore surface decoration in a way that wouldn’t have been possible or achievable only a few years ago.
“Our studio is really based on experimentation in the prototyping process,” shared Mitchell Brown, a senior designer within the team. “We wanted to test that this organic material could actually be molded into the cup form, so we used the tools within Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS to build prototype molds and we tested it in our studio.”
This process helped the team calculate and test the product’s risks before it reached the production level.
“There’s a whole bunch of thinking in design that’s not based in language and using the act of drawing informs better ideas to visually and technically solve problems, or to capture and explore different opportunities that exist within something,” said Andrew. “We use Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS in that particular way. We might have a technical problem and we use that CAD to explore how to resolve it and how to inform what are visual opportunities.”
Improvement in general productivity, efficiency and product revenue
Mitchell also explains that Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS has helped streamline the team’s end-to-end design processes, where they previously had to work across multiple types of software. For Mitchell, having the feature history in one place was the biggest winner.
“This builds into how we structure our design practice. We present concepts and then if we get feedback, the ability to directly edit original concepts through that feature tree is a real time saver. That’s been the biggest improvement we’ve seen over the years,” Mitchell said.
As a consultancy, any tool which helps the team save time and work more efficiently brings value to their work and ultimately to their customers.
“We want to produce the best design outcomes, but we also want to produce the most efficient design outcomes because that affects the cost and value we can offer,” said Andrew.
Vert Design didn’t use Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS exclusively until a few years ago, prior to which they relied on working across multiple platforms thinking this would allow for more flexibility in surface control and freedom of expression. However, the team found that SOLIDWORKS applications offered flexibility to create complex surfacing whilst also producing results that were quickly tangible.
“Since the time we’ve rolled it out across the entire studio, our general efficiency and productivity has improved a lot. We’re also experiencing record amounts of revenue at the moment, and that’s a flow on effect since the implementation of Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS,” said Andrew.
For more information on the HuskeeCup, you can go to https://huskee.co/
Find out more about Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS for Entrepreneurs and Startups at https://www.solidworks.com/solution/company-type/entrepreneurs-startups