12 May 2008

Design strategies for sustainable user behaviour

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sustainable use
‘User-centred Design for Sustainable Behaviour’ is a paper by Renee Wever (TU Delft), Jasper van Kuijk (TU Delft) and Casper Boks (NTNU Norway) that explores how to involve users in more sustainable product use.

The paper was published in the first issue of the new International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, published by Taylor and Francis.

Abstract
Traditional eco-design has a strong focus on the supply side. Even when focusing on the use phase of products, still impacts directly under the control of the manufacturer dominate. However, the way users interact with a product may strongly influence the environmental impact of a product. Designers can try to influence this behaviour through the products they design. Several strategies have been proposed in the literature, such as eco-feedback and scripting. Existing literature in this field has its limitations. Publications either focus on a single strategy, or do not take a design perspective, or lack empirical data. This paper will present a typology of the different strategies available to designers. This typology will be illustrated with examples and experiments related to two sustainability problems, namely littering behaviour and energy using products. Furthermore a methodology will be presented for applying these strategies. This will be demonstrated in a case study on an energy meter.

More background by Jasper van Kuijk
Download paper (preprint version)

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