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Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 15-16 June 2009 Anne Marchand, Assistant Professor,

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Presentation on theme: "Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 15-16 June 2009 Anne Marchand, Assistant Professor,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 15-16 June 2009 Anne Marchand, Assistant Professor, École de design industriel, Université de Montréal 1

2 Summary of the presentation | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 1.Context and research questions 2.Methodology 3.Main results 4.Advice for students 2

3 1. Context and main research questions | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 3

4 Context >>> The need for lighter patterns of consumption is widely recognized as an essential step towards a more sustainable future (UN, 2002; OECD, 2002) | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 4

5 Context >>> Environmental gains from technological improvements in products eco- efficiency have been outweighed by an overall increase in consumption (Carley, Spapens, 1998, after Cooper, 2005) | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 5

6 Context >>> Consumers are increasingly interested in the world that lies behind the product they buy. Apart from price and quality, they want to know how, where and by whom the product has been produced. (UNEP, 2005) | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 6

7 Context >>> Corporate environmental and social responsibility: A tangible trend | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | www.tetrapak.com/us/environment/pages/default.aspx 7

8 Research question >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | Making links and building the research project… 8

9 Research question >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | … design for sustainability = sustainable production + sustainable consumption 9

10 Context >>> Design for sustainability sits at the interface of sustainable production and sustainable consumption | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | Sustainable PRODUCTION > supply side > efficiency Sustainable CONSUMPTION > demand side > sufficiency Design for Sustainability SUSTAINABILITY 10

11 Research question >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | … design for sustainability = sustainable production + sustainable consumption 11

12 Research question >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | …and sustainable consumption is about: consuming less and opting for greener products or solutions 12

13 Research question >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | …What about the profession and the nature of products if we really move towards sustainable consumption? 13

14 Research question >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | …and will this wreck the economy? 14

15 Research question >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | …What if a growing number of consumers actually adopt responsible, sustainable consumption patterns? 15

16 Research question >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | …Design for sustainable consumption: what does it mean? 16

17 Research question >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | …What kind of products would be valued in such a context? 17

18 Research question >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | …What place objects would occupy in our lives? 18

19 Research question >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | …What would visual cultures be like? 19

20 Research question >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | …What are the roles and contributions of design in this changing world? 20

21 Research question >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | …What about product design if we really move towards sustainable consumption? …What about the profession if we really move towards sustainable consumption? …What if a growing number of consumers actually adopt responsible, sustainable consumption patterns? …What place objects would occupy in our lives? …What would visual cultures be like? …What are the roles and contributions of design in this changing world? What are the implications of responsible, sustainable consumption for product design? 21

22 Goals of the research were: (a)to gain insights into what might be termed a responsible, sustainable material culture by seeking to understand the choices, preferences, and perspectives of identified responsible consumers with regard to functional products, and (b)to use this information to identify key implications of responsible consumption (RC) for the design of products | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | Research question >>> 22

23 2. Methodology | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 23

24 Methodology >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 1. Participant observation among existing responsible consumers discussion groups to gain a global understanding of the attitudes and practices of RC 24

25 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | Methodology >>> 1. Participant observation * More than 40 meetings of 2 hours duration were attended * Data collection: Field notes Le Soleil, 9 November 2008 25

26 Methodology >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 2. In-depth interviews with identified responsible consumers to investigate their material cultures 26

27 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | Methodology >>> 2.Key informant interviews * 18 individual interviews (1-3 hour duration) among 11 responsible consumers 27

28 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | Methodology >>> 2.Key informant interviews * Data collection: interview audio recorded + photographs taken by participants * Analysis: software ATLAS-TI 28

29 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | Methodology >>> 2.Key informant interviews * Use of objects and images of objects to stimulates exchanges on the topic representations surrounding sustainable-unsustainable products 29

30 Methodology >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 3. Research through design where the creation of experimental artefacts allows for exploring the meaning of some of the gathered information 30

31 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | Methodology >>> 3.Research through design approach * Creation process, and the resulting artefact, as a mean of reflection 31

32 3. Main results | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 32

33 Some illustrative quotations… | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 33 Main results >>> I live a sort of detachment towards objects but, at the same time, it is like a different attachment, it is like a reverence to things. They are precious you know […]

34 Some illustrative quotations… | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 34 Main results >>> […] we now put a product between us and all the things we wish to do

35 Some illustrative quotations… | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 35 Main results >>> Wooden Grasshopper My grand-father made this for his child, its a grasshopper that moves when you pull on it […] The mechanism is simple, its like if it gave you power over the objects, take a Barbie for example, we dont know how to build a Barbie at home, whereas this, you can build it at home, youre less dependent on structures

36 Some illustrative quotations… | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 36 Main results >>> Wok […] there are electric woks, with buttons, a power cord and everything and you have a complicated opening system and I dont know why whereas this one is simple, youre not encumbered with buttons or functionalities, the object is simple and is easy to clean.

37 Some illustrative quotations… | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 37 Main results >>> Dishes This is pottery, a dish set I bought in a yard sale […] I like the fact that colors are blended, and there are yellow ones as well in the set, none of them is identical, and there are square ones […] finally, I think I like things I know I could build myself, things that you know how they are made.

38 Some illustrative quotations… | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 38 Main results >>> SB: To have useless things, or semi-useless things around, it clutters my thoughts […] In thinking about my relationship with things, I want to be in charge, I dont want them to run my life, it is there for me to use, thats all

39 Preferences for products: * Presenting a limited number of features and options >>> Perceived as longer lasting 39 Main results >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University |

40 Preferences for products: *Allowing users to be involved in the activity of doing >>> In relation to a search for greater autonomy with regard to the world of objects 40 Main results >>> | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University |

41 Preferences for products: *That can easily be understood in terms of constitution and functioning >>> Feeling of control over their objects (can repair them if broken, or at least understand what is wrong) 41 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | Main results >>>

42 Preferences for: * Products or systems allowing users to invest less time, money, and care in replacement, maintenance and repair >>> Perceived increase in quality of life 42 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 3. Main results >>>

43 Preferences for products: *Presenting prototypal characteristics (in the case of mass- produced objects) >>> Reaction against aesthetic obsolescence 43 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | Main results >>>

44 * Identification of the issue of visual culture as being of interest in relation to sustainability >>>Exploratory designs looking at the notion of alternative visual cultures have been developed based on gathered data 44 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | Main results >>>

45 45 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | Main results >>> Research through design work realised points at the unsustainability of dominant western visual cultures

46 46 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | Visual diversity: rather innappropriate Main results >>> Aesthetics conventions

47 47 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | Visual uniformity: rather appropriate Main results >>> Aesthetics conventions

48 PhD examination, Anne Marchand, Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary | 20/10/08 Design explorations Continuity in Diversity 48 Main results >>>

49 Red Dot on Drinking Glasses 49 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University |

50 Cutlery Pieces with Red Handles 50 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University |

51 Chairs with Slip Covers 51 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University |

52 Chairs with Slip Covers 52 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University |

53 Key design implications of sustainable consumption 1. Products Transparency: products should be designed in a way that users experience a certain amount of control with respect to the products they own and use 53 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University |

54 Key design implications of sustainable consumption 1. Products Transparency: products should be designed in a way that users experience a certain amount of control with respect to the products they own and use 2. Users Autonomy: product should be designed in a way that users can look after and maintain their own products either through their own efforts or via local services 54 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University |

55 Key design implications of sustainable consumption 1. Products Transparency: products should be designed in a way that users experience a certain amount of control with respect to the products they own and use 2. Users Autonomy: product should be designed in a way that users can look after and maintain their own products either through their own efforts or via local services 3. Inclusive Methodologies: design should allow users to be involved in the generation of (their) design solutions 55 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University |

56 Key design implications of sustainable consumption 1. Products Transparency: products should be designed in a way that users experience a certain amount of control with respect to the products they own and use 2. Users Autonomy: product should be designed in a way that users can look after and maintain their own products either through their own efforts or via local services 3. Inclusive Methodologies: design should allow users to be involved in the generation of (their) design solutions 4. Design Responsibilities: product design should critically rethink its role and its responsibilities in the production of aesthetic conventions or norms 56 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University |

57 4. Advice for students starting, or in the early stages of, their Ph.D. | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 57

58 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 58 Advice for students >>> * Focus on ONE main research question >> Dont try to find an answer to all the questions you have when starting * PLANNING >> Fix some precise objectives and plan an schedule (ex. 3 months to gather data; 2 months to transcribe data; 1 month to analyze, etc…) >> feeling of advancing * Consult your supervisor REGULARLY >> Especially in the early stages in order to develop a reasonable research project (scope)

59 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 59 Advice for students >>> * PRESENT AT CONFERENCES >> Brings you to produce material and get used to academic writing * DISCIPLINED >> Iterative process DOES NOT MEAN unorganized research plan! >> Build a good research plan and follow it * UNDISCIPLINED >> If you reach your objectives in advance, you may want to take a few days off

60 | Responsible Consumption and Design for Sustainability, Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 60 Advice for students >>> *** Exercise*** Describe in LESS THAN 1 PAGE the followings: 1)Context 2)Research question 3)Objectives 4)Methodology 5)Relevance

61 Thank you 61 Design PhD Conference, Lancaster University | 15-16 June 2009 Anne Marchand, Assistant Professor, École de design industriel, Université de Montréal


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