Do-It-Yourself Murder: The Social and Moral Responsibility of the Designer, from Design for the Real World

adidas x Parley for the Oceans
3D-printed Ocean Plastic shoe midsole

“We all need transportation, communication, products, tools, shelter, and clothing. We must have water and air that is clean. (Papanek, 1971, p. 234)

The pollution and damage has already been done to our oceans. In more recent days innovative designers have been addressing the issue of ocean waste through considered product designs and developments. Designs by adidas, Studio Swine, G-Star Raw, and Interface have shown examples of how they can create awareness, as well as implement cleanup operations and recycling plans in order to transform the wasted plastic found in the world’s oceans. (Greenwood, 2016)

With the concern for our oceans in mind, these steps towards designing for social good will, “help alleviate immediate threats to marine wildlife and reduce the use of virgin plastics in product design, manufacturing and distribution.” (Parley for the Oceans, 2016)

This essay will consider Victor Papanek’s views on the responsibilities of designers to design for social good in relation to the environment. It will then go on to describe the 3D-printed Ocean Plastic shoe midsole designed by adidas in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans. The third section of the essay will analyse the shape and colour of the shoe, the material make up, the function of the design, the audience it reaches, as well as its recycling processes. In the conclusion of the essay, it will be judged whether the 3D-printed Ocean Plastic shoe midsole by adidas and Parley for the Oceans, is in fact a design example for social good.”