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.


Moeitea Electric Water Kettle


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).