Art Center Summit 2010: Projects & Partnerships in Sustainable Design

Sharon Isadora Levy

Product Design 2009

Sharon Levy has a B.S. in Product Design from Art Center and a B.A. from UCLA in Spanish and linguistics. Sharon practices across disciplines and works on projects spanning the spectrum of design process, from front-end strategy in the creation of new products and service concepts, to the execution of finite product design. Her background has helped influence and inspire her human-centered designs.

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Moeitea Electric Water Kettle

Recognition/Awards

L.A. County Fair, “Recycled,” 2009
Art Center Student Gallery
Featured in Product Design in the Sustainable Era, Taschen 2010

Product Description

Changing how the user interacts with a product—a behavioral design intervention—is an effective strategy of sustainable design. Moietea targets a subconscious, unthinking consumption of a daily activity: drinking tea. Research shows that people habitually overfill their kettles, collectively wasting water and energy. A small change in behavior could yield a massive result.

Moietea eliminates the wasteful use of water and energy by boiling water directly inside the mug, using only what is needed to prepare a cup. The separate heating element/lid facilitates recycling with its ease of disassembly. The ceramic and recycled stainless steel vessel can re-enter the manufacturing process or be employed in another system. The protective filler for shipping is loose-leaf tea.

Sustainable Goals & Strategies

In addition to energy reduction, the main goal is to change user behavior. By eliminating the possibility to overfill the kettle, the single-serve tea inherently permits the user to use only what will be consumed. Creating a separate heating element apart from the vessel, combined with ceramic, expedites and facilitates the separating process for recycling. The hope is to design additional opportunities to create a holistic experience for sustainable product interactions, such as the packaging becoming a useful part of the experience (i.e. tea leave as protective packaging).