On the occasion of the exhibition It’s our F***ing Backyard. Designing Material Futures the Stedelijk commissioned emeritus professor Ab Stevels of TU Delft to write a set of Research Logs about the use of sustainable materials and the history of its design and application. Drawing from decades of experience in both design, industry, and academic fields, in this set of logs he addresses what designers and companies can do to become more sustainable. but also how as consumers, we can all become more vigilant of companies that might be greenwashing their activities.
Part of the group of 17 scientists who published their findings in the book The Limits to Growth, 1972. From left to right: Jørgen Randers, Jay Forrester, Donella Meadows, Dennis Meadows, William Behrens. Photo from The Club of Rome official website.
About the Author
Albert (“Ab”) Stevels studied Chemical Engineering at the Technical University of Eindhoven and took a PhD degree in Physics and Chemistry at Groningen University. He has worked for Royal Philips Electronics in manifold capacities in materials research, glass production technology, as a business manager in electro-optics, and as a project manager for joint ventures and licensing in Asia. These experiences helped him develop the concept of Applied EcoDesign and integrate it into day-to-day business operations. He has also conducted a great deal of in-depth research on the treatment of discarded electronics, the findings of which helped lay the groundwork for setting up take-back and recycling systems at Philips NL. In 1995 Ab was appointed professor in Environmental Design at Delft University of Technology. He has had visiting professorships at several universities including Stanford University, TU Berlin, Georgia Institute of Technology, NTN University in Trondheim, and Tsinghua University in Beijing. He also worked with the University of Sao Paulo to develop an MBA program and Sustainability course.
Stevels is the author of some 200 journal articles and conference contributions. For more on his experiences with green design and in-house management of ‘eco’ and e-waste, see his book Adventures in EcoDesign of Electronic Products.