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2016-2017

Baecker, Jana
The overall purpose of the thesis work was to find a sustainable solution to the environmental issues that arise with the traditional diapering of children at home. Diaper services were researched to determine in what way they work and what way they can be improved upon. After determining the main sustainability issues with diaper services, the focus was directed toward the cleaning process in a diaper service in order to reduce fresh water depletion and to resolve fresh water eutrophication and ecotoxicity. As a result, washing machine options, wastewater treatment, grey water recycling systems and laundry detergent options are explored in detail. One of the research findings was that the “green” laundry detergent options on the market are not as green as they appear, as they have ingredients that are considered hazardous to humans and/or nature. All in all, the study shows that it is possible to create a more sustainable solution for diapering children at home, through a sustainable diaper service model, which implements strategies that support nature and human health.
Beierle, Megan
Despite a multitude of available packaging materials, the marijuana industry has largely resorted to high-density polyethylene (HDPE)#2 medicine bottles for their edible products. This study researches alternative packaging options for marijuana edibles to determine a more sustainably focused solution for the products.
Ledesma, Richard
Explored environmental impacts of materials inoculated with mycelium in contrast with petroleum-based thermoplastic filaments to drive sustainability of 3D printing. Petroleum-based thermoplastics designed for cradle-to-grave processes presented an opportunity for a local, bio-based, renewable, compostable feedstock alternative to be developed and provide a more sustainable solution to bypass petroleum-based feedstock problems in Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process technology. Results showed the research, development, and test of a native fungus-based paste recipe for paste extrusion was feasible using a Micro 3D printer. Native fungi spores were inoculated on the host paste material to demonstrate metabolic processes of the mycelium root structure and results showed fungus spores can derive from a liquid bacterial culture. Finally, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) results showed a mycelium-based feedstock improves the total life cycle impact per category versus the commonly used acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) feedstock. The life cycle scenario was scored using ReCiPe Endpoint H methodology to combine multiple impact categories.
Lukens, Claire
Considering the collective goal of creating a more sustainable society, one obstacle we must overcome is the heavy use of motor vehicles that are dependent on fossil fuels. Too many Americans use automobiles as their primary means of transportation, while many of these trips could be accomplished using a bicycle. To encourage and facilitate the use of bicycle ridership, a sustainable design solution is needed that can fill in the transportation gaps, make biking a more appealing option for covering short distances and/or getting to work, and remain versatile for changing communities and needs. The goal of this thesis project was to explore the gaps in the current system of biking as transportation in low-density urban or suburban areas, design an initiative that such a city could implement to increase ridership, and assess the effectiveness of this design against a sustainability framework. The resulting sustainable design, the Bike Commuter Program, aims to encourage bike ridership by alleviating some of the concerns often overlooked by larger biking initiatives and includes a physical aid, a mobile assistance application, and a communications campaign to increase awareness and education of biking, local initiatives, and bike safety.
Marquardt, Benjamin
PRINTCYCLE: A SUSTAINABLE BICYCLE BUSINESS Benjamin Marquardt MCAD Master of Arts in Sustainable Design In support of M.A. Thesis Review 12-01-2017 Abstract printCYCLE is a design for a sustainable small business that provides transportation solutions. It is important, in a rapidly changing world faced with the prospect of major climate change, to make sustainability a priority. printCYCLE takes the advantages of 21st century 3D printing, additive manufacturing technologies to build bicycles for local communities that can be built to order, using sustainable methods and materials. The goal of printCYCLE is to create a system that can be herded toward a total closed-loop small business that is entirely sustainable and with only net-positive impact on the environment, community, culture and economy.
Reece, Shannon
Inside this report the reader will follow the process of exploration and design for a marketing and educational exhibit. The intent for the exhibit is to showcase and explain the Integrated Living Home in such a way that target users (25-40 year-old IKEA shopping home owners and builders in the Midwest) become convinced that this kind of home should be the new standard for the housing industry in the Midwest. To begin, the Integrated Living Home was defined for the reader. Five areas of concern followed that explained the urgency for this kind of home. Then, as it was necessary to become familiar with existing projects that already included many of the features of Integrated Living Homes, eight examples were rated in several categories according to how close each came to a theoretical ideal. Moving deeper into the research phase, one of the eight examples was chosen and served as a brief case study. Next, an evaluation against Life’s Principles determined its viability and informed the design of the exhibit. Next, an explanation was given for why The Adherence Loop Model was incorporated into the design as a catalyst for positive behavioral change. Three diagrams followed that gave insight into how all of the sub-systems within the home related to each other and how the house related to larger super-systems outside. An emphasis on human-centered design led to identifying stakeholders and creating a user profile based on a group of thirteen participants representing the target demographic. Several relevant design principles were explored that would assist in making the information relevant and accessible to the user. Other strategies from the field of education were also considered that would increase the chances for more meaningful experiences and deeper retention. Finally, several cutting-edge technologies that would promote active engagement with the exhibit were examined and tested. Two rapid prototypes gave insight as to how some of the featured technologies might be used. After deciding on a space plan oriented around both a sequence of time and an indoor garden oasis, a more comprehensive and robust exhibit was created. Finally, the conclusion explained what insights were gained during the design process and what areas presented numerous opportunities for future expansion.
Schultz, Jillian
As technology advances and sedentary jobs rise, the need to be physically active to perform work tasks becomes less and less. While movement may not be necessary to perform these tasks, steady movement throughout the day dictates how well tasks are performed. Since people spend a significant amount of time working, staying active in the workplace is crucial, as it improves not only physical health, but mental health as well. Moreover, patterns and behaviors in the office have a major lifestyle affect outside the office as well, therefore, it is imperative that employees are not just encouraged to move more, but subjected to more physical activity. Traditionally, the primary focus on the sustainability of built environments has been on environmental sustainability. Nonetheless, it is also important that the design of these environments emphasizes the sustainability of the people inhabiting them by enhancing human health and well-being. Though social sustainability is sometimes addressed through simple strategies, such as the use of non-toxic materials or improving indoor air quality, these strategies only look at very specific, primitive solutions. However, the goals of designing a sustainable built environment are being revisited and shifting towards a whole-systems approach by realizing the underlying issues and expanding the strategies used, by exploring frameworks such as biophilia, design that reconnects us with nature, and active design, which addresses physical, mental and social well-being of communities. This project aims to further explore these innovative design solutions in order to combat the problems caused by the sedentary workforce by developing a design that promotes physical and mental health through subconscious, inherent and routine exercise. As the result of preliminary exploration, the design focuses on the concept of elevation, derived from biophlic patterns and active design. Furthermore, by approaching the problem with a broader perspective and implementing strategies that support human health, solutions can also impact environmental and economic sustainability, thus addressing The Triple Bottom Line.
Wilcox, Kelly
The issue of microbead pollution from makeup and hygiene products has become well-known for its destruction and negative impact on various waterways and marine life, despite its small size. However, more recent discoveries have brought to light that there is an even more widespread and impactful problem polluting our waterways that we cannot see. A study commissioned by Patagonia and executed by graduate students at the University of California, Santa Barbara suggests that as a result from home laundering anywhere between 64,000 and 750,000 lbs of microfibers are ending up in natural waterways in the United States alone (3). In an effort to help solve the microfiber pollution problem, a lifecycle systems thinking approach was taken to identify the most optimal point of intervention. Through this analysis, municipal wastewater treatment plants were identified as the most favorable point of intervention within the post-consumer use phase of a garment's lifecycle. Within the system of a wastewater treatment plant, the area of ideal implementation was established: post-disinfection and pre-effluent discharge to the receiving body of water. A biomimetic design approach was applied to ideate a design recommendation in the pursuit of mitigating the spread of microfiber pollution, specifically around the filtering out of microfibers and small waste particles. Of all of the organisms explored, the giant oceanic manta ray proved to be the most interesting and feasible organism for which to create an initial design solution due to its unique combination of form, function and scale. This thesis work develops a rough design idea for microfiber filtration at the wastewater treatment level inspired by the manta ray and also discusses potential next steps including proposals for how next to evaluate, test and validate the design idea.