Thesis Advisor: Thom Hines
For my Honors Thesis, I wanted to explore a design thinking exercise where I could use design to help solve a real world problem.
Introducing the Bowerbird Project, a recycling campaign working to promote better recycling and waste habits within hotels. The goal is to provide a system that is easy and intuitive for both hotel employees and the guests who are staying at the hotel.
What's with the bird?
The bowerbird collects and reuses materials in the woods—not just twigs and leaves, but also beautiful pieces of glass and plastic—to make a more aesthetically-pleasing and desirable nest to attract other bowerbirds.
Like the bowerbird, we’re making a place to stay that both reuses materials and is also aesthetically pleasing and welcoming to our audience.
A mark with a function.
This mark is simple and clean, so that it's easily adaptable. It also has many uses. It isn’t just a logo—it’s more like a stamp (in some cases, that can be literal if you'd like). When you see this mark, you can associate that whatever this is on, it’s made from recycled materials and it can also be recycled again.
The application of the Bowerbird mark to amenities is meant to be non-obtrusive to the overall design of the stationary and materials, while still being easily identifiable. The inclusion of the mark is not to distract attention, but still be noticeable, informing the user that this material can be recycled.
While stationary and paper are the most frequent waste found in hotels, the Bowerbird mark can also be applied to other disposable amenities like paper cups and plastic and glass bottles.
Getting the message across.
The signage of the Bowerbird Project informs the intended audiences about the project, provides tips and insight to what is or isn’t recyclable, and promotes the opportunity to shred paper that could be too sensitive to recycle as a whole (a common hotel problem).
To help make the recycling experience more efficient, we include recycling bins both in hallway and entrance areas as well as smaller ones for hotel rooms. The use of black and white bins helps to quickly differentiate the trash from the also easily identifiable recycling bins. All hallway bins will also be near a “Before you recycle” sign to help make the recycling process as easy as possible.
Much like the bins they will inhabit, the recycling and garbage bags will be easily identifiable for when they are taken out of the bins by both staff and custodial. The goal of this is to make the system very intuitive and easy to use.