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Design for sustainable behaviour: using products to change consumer behaviour
Sustainable design takes into account environmental, economic and social impacts enacted throughout the product lifecycle. Design for Sustainable Behaviour (DfSB) is an emerging activity under the banner of sustainable design which aims to reduce products' environmental and social impact by moderating how users interact with them. This paper presents the results of research investigating the application of Design for Sustainable Behaviour in two product case studies, one examining social impacts of mobile phones and the other environmental impacts of household refrigerators. It analyses selected behaviour models from social-psychological theories and highlights the barriers to sustainable consumption. A model is developed to illustrate the factors stimulating changes in behaviour, and design intervention strategies are highlighted and their application within Design for Sustainable Behaviour discussed. The two case studies are used to illustrate how Design for Sustainable Behaviour could be applied to enable users to adopt more sustainable patterns of use. Conclusions are drawn as to the potential for designers to change use behaviour; the appropriateness and acceptability of the strategies presented; and the ethical considerations related to their selection. © BERG 2011.