Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Industrial Design


Industrial Design

First Advisor

Benjamin Jurgensen

Second Advisor

Bonnie Epstein Silverman

Third Advisor

Alexia Mosby


The book is based on two paleolithic design concepts that I have arrived at: ‘Use & Dispose’ and ‘Find & Assemble.’ The first concept is based on our innate paleolithic instinct to throw away objects after the need for it has been extinguished. This theory is based on the understanding of the ‘value-effort’ relationship in relation to stone tools. The second concept is based on the circular model of ‘designing under duress,’ and how the objects around us can be recontextualised and assembled to serve a purpose to meet emergent needs under constraints.

These two concepts then go on to explain that the difference between us and the hominids lay in the fact that, even if they threw away a rock they could still access that pile of resource. It was never dead waste. Socially a landfill is too far away from us and dangerously controlled. Hence as a society we do use and dispose but we don’t find and assemble. The only way we can have access to a resource pool like that is to capture it before it hits the landfill — through the objects around us.

Including conversations with Thomas Thwaites, Anthony Dunne and Mark Miodownik, this book attempts at explaining the worlds critical issues such as water scarcity, overproduction and waste through this paleolithic lens. The theory is then put into practice by assembling everyday things into water filtration systems, that extract potable water from sea water, cola and more.



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