Words from a volunteer : Hassan Zakaria

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Hassan Zakaria,

Program & Creative Team

Conscious design

TED talks have always been a source of inspiration, not only great ideas worth spreading, but also a matter of shaping our responsibility towards the only world we live in.


Our process


I will take this opportunity to spread these design guides with you, and hopefully it will be a reminder for all creators and creative people out there.

Artists, inventors and designers shape the world we live in, and in their hands, lies huge responsibility of what they create.

Design is a time and resource-consuming process, so creators often use what is available to provide convenience to make our lives more civilised and easier to live. In contrast, the creation process tends to destroy, misuse resources and create wastes. Therefore, creating a product or service can lead to a huge impact on our world, especially if it is not thought through during the whole life cycle.

Historically, design was always connected to make something ecstatically accepted that served a function, and I believe as most of young designers do, that the culture of design should change by redefining what is design. I believe that design should not only be matter of ecstatic and function but also adding the word conscious before the word design. In this way it will be a reminder for all creators to be responsible of their creations. The word conscious should be aligned with design until we create conscious design culture.

In the following we will show the design guides and heuristics that have been used in TEDx stage design.

Conscious design is environment centered design NOT user centered design

Traditionally, the user is the target of any product or service, the concentration on user and mass consumption created a lot of uncontrolled waste harming our planet, conscious design is environment friendly design and the environment is number one consideration in making any product or service.

  • Conscious design is beyond aesthetic

Not saying that the design should not be beautiful, but selecting the wrong material, finishing process, surface treatment could lead to environmental consequences in the long-term. Creators should familiar themselves with different manufacturing processes to select  the one with less environmental impact.

  • Conscious design uses recycled material

One of the most important aspects in making any product is selecting the material. Using environment friendly material is main criteria of reducing the CO2 footprint of any product. Creators should always find alternative materials than using plastics. Recycled material is the way of reducing waste. Let us have a goal of using zero plastics in our products

  • Conscious design answers all questions

Making a product or a service should be a transparent process. conscious design should answer all the questions regarding the design process, the material selection, the manufacturing and the disposal.

  • Conscious design is less design

“Good design is less design“

Dieter Rams.

Product should be simple to produce, easy to use. Complex surfaces and features will require more resources, more advance manufacturing.

  • Creating process is fun and flexible NOT standard and rigid

Having fun during the creation process is important, thinking outside the box, experimenting with different concepts. Evaluating prototypes and selecting the write one. Have fun during this stage, combine, iterate, innovate, and let the imagination reach the sky.

  • Conscious design is reasonable design NOT luxury design

Design should be reasonable by void selecting best in class material, conscious design is not what lay on the surface but can go deep in understanding the need, the user, and most important the environment.

The End Result!


As a team we stood together to follow our guidelines. No exceptions but deep thinking and finding alternatives. We questioned every step and we used the right amount of recycled material, ensuring that we had zero plastic in our design. I am so pleased to work with amazing people and looking forward to working together in the future.

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