Design for Sustainable Behaviour: a conceptual model and intervention selection model for changing behaviour through design.
2015-11-19T16:58:24Z (GMT) by
This thesis is based in the research area of Design for Sustainable Behaviour (DfSB), a field which seeks to reduce the social and environmental impact of products in the use phase of their life cycle. There has been significant theoretical development in this area in recent years, leading to a proliferation of intervention strategies and design methodologies. However, there has been a recognised lack of a reliable means of selecting which intervention strategy to use in a given situation, and a lack of real world intervention case studies generating measurable medium-to-long term reductions in energy consumption. Addressing these gaps was a central focus of this research. This thesis documents four distinct research phases; an extensive literature review, an in-depth user study of existing energy consuming behaviours and motivations, the development and trialling of design interventions, and the evaluation of the generated theories as a tool for designers. Literature on domestic energy consumption, human behaviour, and approaches to changing behaviour was reviewed to establish the current level of thinking and to identify opportunities for further research. This guided the undertaking of the user study with a number of families in the East Midlands of the UK, which illuminated the relevant motivational goals, and highly routinized nature, displayed in many energy consuming behaviours. Over the course of this phase of the research journey a new conceptual model of behaviour in context was developed, and refined to create the Behavioural Intervention Selection Axis (BISA). These theoretical developments were then applied to the generation of DfSB intervention concepts, one of which was selected and developed to a functional prototype stage. These prototypes were trialled in situ in family homes for an extended period, and achieved a significant change in behaviour and related energy consumption. Further evaluation of the BISA as a tool to guide designers was performed through a series of workshops with design students, which ascertained its usefulness in this respect. Both the intervention development and trialling and the design workshops showed the conceptual model and BISA to be successful in providing designers with a reliable and useful means of selecting appropriate intervention strategies to change behaviour. In addition the intervention trial provided a wealth of qualitative insight into the way in which DfSB can effect behaviour, and the range of new motivational goals it can engender.