Ethan Duffey

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Waterloo Architecture
7 Melville St. South
Cambridge ON
Room 2026

ethan duffey thesis photo
Thesis Title
Counting Carbon: Evaluating the Quality and Environmental Impacts of Design Through Product Prototyping

Industrialisation has brought numerous advancements to the architecture and design fields, many of which have allowed humanity to produce more efficiently, using less energy and human labour. Simultaneously, mass production has resulted in mass overconsumption, a populous that is disconnected from the origins of their belongings, and a planet whose resources and atmosphere have been propelled out of equilibrium. The primary consistent numeric metric available for evaluating a good design is its cost, which often leaves consumers to rely on appearance and the opinions of others to make buying decisions. This project creates a system for designers to evaluate and then improve the carbon emissions of prototypes, in conjunction with a universal graphic that clearly communicates this evaluation to consumers in a consistent way. The system uses carbon as a base value to convey the energy expended in the production of a product. It uses a scoring system to rate the design’s adaptability, maintainability, and reliability—three indicators of overall longevity. This evaluation system combined with experimental prototypes demonstrates the possibility of standardised sustainable design by assessing products under a unified set of parameters. It seeks to remind people to revere objects as things to be repaired, not replaced, and advocates for a better balance between the environment we inherit and the commodities we manufacture.

Examining Committee Members

Committee Member
Internal Reader
External Examiner
Christopher Romano