20 Jul 2010

Sustainability with a smile

A new animated film addresses issues of sustainability in design with humour in its heart, writes Dan Rule.

ERIC SUN is not a happy little mobile phone. In fact, he's up to his aerial in the gloom of an existential crisis. After little more than 12 months, his owner has abandoned him for a sleek, sexy new model.

Perched uneasily on the edge of the couch in his psychologist's office, he pauses, gathers his thoughts, bottom lip quivering. 'I just feel really worthless,' he stutters eventually. 'My career has only lasted for one year. I need a new life, doc, a new direction! There has to be more to life than being stuck in a drawer.'

Eric Sun is the chief protagonist of Life Psycle-ology, a short animated film to be launched on Thursday as part of the State of Design Festival broaching issues surrounding eco-design and the life cycle of consumer products. The difference being that the film, which is the first in the series The Secret Life of Things, does so with a smile.

'Eco-design has a PR problem and it's not being communicated very well,'' says Leyla Acaroglu, who developed and directed the film through her eco-design consultancy Eco Innovators. ''We're trying to use humour to engage people on another level.'
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