Putting consumers first in design for sustainable behaviour: A case study of reducing environmental impacts of cold appliance use

2014-06-12T09:10:10Z (GMT) by Tang Tang Tracy Bhamra
To slow down the increasing environmental degradation, design for sustainable behaviour (DfSB) has emerged in sustainable design aiming to promote behavioural change through design innovations to reduce environmental and social impacts from the demand side or consumer side. This paper presents a practice-based journey to investigate the process and results of the application of social-psychological theories into sustainable design. Focusing on the behaviour-related impacts of products and services during the use stage, a Design Behaviour Intervention Model (DBIM) is developed through the analysis and synthesis of the social-psychological theories and behaviour-changing strategies. The DBIM indicates that an in-depth study of consumer behaviour is the preliminary step in DfSB, which determines the application of design strategies and potentially the effectiveness of design interventions. A case study is presented to demonstrate the application of the model. The results show that consumer behaviour insights offer rich resources to assist designers in sustainable design innovation. Product-based design suggestions and a proposed solution highlight that the application of DBIM coupled with consumer involvement throughout the design process could produce desirable and sustainable patterns of household fridge use. Finally, the structured consideration of behavioural change and their possible application in DfSB are discussed. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.