designing a sustainable fan

‘This is a fan – well designed, functional and good looking. But is it sustainable?’

I tried everything to create the perfect solution for a fan. I changed material painting techniques and improved the efficiency grade. I tried alternative technologies and turned the fan into a modular system, where every component is accessible to the user and can be replaced if needed. That was already quite an improvement. Yet, I thought the fan still wasn’t a sustainable product. I removed unnecessary parts like the pole and the main electronics. That solution allowed me to install the fan with a regular E27 light bulb socket, but that was not enough. I turned the fan into a collapsible object. During the cold winter months, when any fan becomes an obsolete object, this one can be reduced in size. Textile is placed on top. Once blown up it turns into a light emitting surface. Wow! I got it. I finally turned a seasonal everyday object into one that can be used the entire year. However, the fan still wasn’t really a sustainable product. So, I suffered the summer temperatures without a fan. I ended up sleepless and sweating away for an entire season. No, that wasn’t the best idea. So, what is the perfect sustainable fan? I think it doesn’t exist. There is always a hitch. When you buy your next electronic device, think twice, buy it smart.”

Attempt no. 1: aFAN
aFAN differs not only visually from a commercially available fan, but also in its construction and the choice of material. The use of materials can be reduced by simple surfaces and diameters. The base and rotation-support are combined in one cylinder. The rotor protection is plugged in and a smooth leather handle allows the fan to be carried. Power is supplied via an inductive charging pad. Anodised aluminium is possible as a surface.

Attempt no. 2: E27
The fan can be installed in any E27 socket, as required. In addition, a dimmer can be switched between the plug and the power source for sockets with a safety plug.
By relocating the control units to the existing infrastructure essential materials can be saved.

Attempt no. 3: BLOW
Used as a fan during the summer months, the fan is folded by ninety degrees during the winter months and covered with a hood. By switching on the LED, the rotor rotates at low speed and blows up the polyamide balloon slightly. The balloon is illuminated by the LED and begins to glow.

student: Lukas Unertl