Plate Programme Details Thursday November 9th 2017
W6. Efficient product lifecycles and localized, responsive structures of production and product customization.
Alex Gnanapragasam1; Masahiro Oguchi2; Harald Wieser3; Christine Cole1; Alex Rodrigues1; Angharad McLaren1; Tim Cooper1 [1 Nottingham Trent University; 2 National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan; 3 University of Manchester]
How long do consumers around the world expect their products to last? How do researchers evaluate consumer expectations of product lifetimes across the globe? Why might it be important for academics to work together in this area in order to further efforts towards a circular economy? This seminar will bring together researchers of expected product lifetimes to review the current state of knowledge and set future priorities for international collaboration.
W7. Consumer intervention mapping across the product lifecycle
Leila Sheldrick1 , Matt Sinclair2 , Mariale Moreno3, Emma Dewberry4 and Harris Makatsoris3 [1 Imperial College London; 2 Loughborough University; 3 Cranfield University; 4 The Open University] (Studio 6)
This workshop will seek to work to envisage possible futures where people are engaged in the design of the products they use, and resource efficient product lifecycles can be incorporated within more localised and responsive structures of manufacturing and product adaptation. We will present four possible future scenarios, and together participants will use our ‘Customer Interaction Maps’ to generate new concepts of how people can be incorporated into the product whole life cycle.
W8. Generation starships: Exploring a space of material scarcity through fiction and speculative design
Sara Li-Chou Han1 and Douglas Atkinson2 [1 Manchester Metropolitan University, 2 London College of Fashion] (Studio 23/24)
This workshop will help develop your creative responses to a fictional circular economy challenge. As a passenger journeying for decades, centuries or possibly millennia to find Earth-like exoplanets, how would you efficiently utilise limited resources within a closed environment, to meet material and cultural demands for clothing and textile products? How will you maintain product quality? How will your relationships to products develop? What forms will socio-cultural displays, product aesthetics and your fashioned identity take?
Participants are encouraged to bring their own images, books, products, materials and garments, and to wear any outfits or items they feel would be pertinent as a design provocation discussion point as part of the workshop.
W9. Interdisciplinary approaches: Teaching clothing longevity strategies across educational disciplines
Angharad McLaren1, Stella Claxton1 and Helen Hill1 [1 Nottingham Trent University, UK] (Studio 13)
How do we encourage and enable interdisciplinary systems thinking approaches to sustainable fashion design and business education? In this workshop, participants will trial and contribute to the development of a toolkit–The Clothing Durability Dozen –aimedat enabling students to collaborate and learn about sustainable fashion across disciplines, with the aim of creating a better understanding of the roles that different departments can play in placingdesign strategies for clothing longevity at the heart of the clothing industry.
W10. Planned obsolescence: To what extent is this phenomenon effectively tackled by the national rules set up in Belgium, France and Germany?
Anaïs Michel [Faculty of Law, KU Leuven] (IDE Arena)
In addition to EU rules and their corresponding national implementing measures, Member States have devoted efforts to promote product durability and sustainability. Nevertheless, it is questioned whether these national rules effectively combat and prevent the phenomenon of planned obsolescence, i.e. whether they respect and conciliate in a balanced way all the interests at stake (consumers, producers and environment). Through a poll and interactive discussions, this workshop aims at providing an answer to this central question.
Session 3.1 Design for product longevity
Chair: Masahiro Oguchi
Playing for time: Seven practice-led workshop tools for making design decisions to extend the life of fashion textile materials and products
Earley R. and Goldsworthy K. [University of the Arts London]
Since 2011, the authors have been developing creative and playful sustainable design workshop tools to understand, develop and share knowledge and ideas with other designers. These tools originated through practice-led research methods, involving prototyping, to explore and consolidate research theories. By translating design strategies into both realised artefacts and tools for engaging others through design, the authors have continuously transformed practice and theory in the field. More recently the theory has become focused on the starting point of ‘circular models for design’, in particular, designing for lifecycle speeds. This paper discusses some of the tools used for exploring ‘product longevity’ and ‘circular’, resulting in further insights for future design, including the current understanding of ‘longevity’ as both a product and a material consideration, with two seemingly opposed strategies. The authors research groups’ primary methodological approach is through designing and making textile/fashion artifacts to generate new theory; in order to share this approach and support others outside of the group to use making as a key research method they often design and facilitate workshops and create tools, which are then shared via the project website. In this paper tools developed specifically to design to extend the life of a fashion textile product are discussed and the creative outcomes generated are presented. The playful tools generated playful ideas and by reflecting via field notes on these industry workshop outputs the authors here offer a set of tools to support designing sustainable and circular textiles for long life.
Risk & Race: Creation of a finance-focused circular economy serious game.
Whalen K. a,b [a) Lund University; b) In the Loop Games]
As the topic of circular economy gains increasing popularity, a growing number of serious games and tools have been developed to assist in educating about circular business models. A review of these existing games suggests a lack of emphasis on business operations and financial implications behind circular business model investment decisions. In contrast, recent academic literature suggests the economic implications of adopting circular business models should be stressed, given potential financial differences between circular business models and linear business models. This paper introduces Risk & Race, a serious game developed to assist in bridging this gap between literature and practice by illustrating the financial drivers and barriers to implementing circular business models in practice. Initial findings from testing with students suggest the game succeeds as a support tool for modeling business operations and explaining the financial side of circular business models.
Sustainability cards: Design for longevity
Hasling, K.M. and Ræbild, U. [Design School Kolding]
Product longevity is considered widely as a relevant strategic approach, amongst many, within the field of sustainability. Yet, how to design for increased product lifetime may not be so obvious for practitioners. The complexity of the surrounding issues can constitute a barrier for designers and companies, in terms of adopting and implementing the approach in the design process. This paper explores whether, and possibly how, the ‘design card’ format (i.e. method card or alike), can be a way to support dissemination, application and communication of knowledge related to the notion of product longevity for designers and other stakeholders in the design process. The paper is based on a development project carried out in the Autumn 2017, within a larger research and collaboration project between raw fur manufacturer Kopenhagen Fur and Design School Kolding investigating sustainability perspectives. The paper describes the development of a deck of sustainability cards aiming for product longevity and presents the final deck. Furthermore, the paper contributes with insights on how designers may apply design cards in the design process and how this practice can further sustainable considerations and strategies in terms of product longevity. As the paper builds on a single case study and is situated within a single discipline (fashion and apparel), the outcome should be considered as tentative indications of future potential.
Session 3.2 Product lifetime optimization
Chair: Ruud Balkenende
On the meaningfulness of data in product design for lifetime optimization
Fiore E.(a) and Bourgeois J.(b) [a) Politecnico di Torino; b) Delft University of Technology]
Planned obsolescence is generally considered as a negative business strategy that induces replacement needs and affects attachment dynamics, as opposed to the goal of elongating product lifetime. At the present, however, an early replacement of long-lasting products is preferred in at least two cases which can be addressed during the design stage i.e. when the cost of maintaining is higher than product benefits and when there are environmental reasons to replace obsolete products. Furthermore, designing meaningful products that help the user in his/her daily activities, while addressing environmental issues, could help affecting attachment even in standardized and utilitarian products, such as home appliances. In this study, the holistic view and the management of the complexity of Systemic Design, combined with the use of the IoT technologies are proposed using the refrigerator as a case study. Acquiring information is considered as a tool for product innovation; the data is divided into (i) static data, related to the product and (ii) dynamic data, which derive from the context of use and interaction with users. The latter can be acquired by investigating the object’s daily use and environment, with data acquisition through quantitative tools (sensors) and qualitative ones (feedback, questionnaires, interviews). IoT and data retrieval open a variety of possibilities in monitoring, accessing more precise knowledge of products and households useful for design purposes. This paper seeks to demonstrate how IoT can support and trigger a design transition towards more durable products and components, by focusing on sustainability and simplifying people’s lives in daily actions.
Repair vs. replacement: What is the best alternative for household small electric and electronic equipment?
Bovea M.D. a, Ibáñez-Forés, V a., Pérez-Belis, V. a [a) Department of Mechanical Engineering & Construction, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain]
This study presents a methodology designed for selecting, from an environmental point of view, the best end-of-life strategy for electric and electronic equipment which breaks before the end of its life span. For that, the environmental impact of the life cycle of the equipment is evaluated considering two alternative end-of-life strategies: repair & reuse or replacement. The Life Cycle Assessment methodology is applied to evaluate the environmental performance of each scenario, taking ReCiPe as end-point impact assessment method. The methodology is applied to a representative sample of nine categories of small household electrical and electronic equipment, considering different types of repair for each category and the replacement of the equipment in different years of its lifespan. For all the analyzed categories, the repair & reuse strategy generally proved environmentally better performance than replacement. However for some types of repairs, e.g., those related to engines or printed circuit boards, if they occur in later product life cycle stages, it is better to replace equipment as the environmental impact from their repair operations is so high than it does not compensate prolonging the years of useful life obtained.
How modularity of electronic functions can lead to longer product lifetimes.
Nissen N. F. a, Schischke K. a, Proske M. a,b, Ballester M. c and Lang K.-D. a,b [a) Fraunhofer IZM; b) Technische Universität Berlin; c) Fairphone B.V.]
Although electronics are not the cause of the biggest environmental concerns in absolute terms, they receive special attention, because the impact per unit can be very high even for small devices and because electronics pervade our everyday life and our business life. Since a huge amount of resources is embedded in the products as they are delivered to the market, extending the product use time is for many product categories a primary ecodesign improvement option. Yet there are many obstacles to simply making products more robust and longer lasting – and to adapt the user behaviour and the business models to these potentially higher priced products. It is therefore worthwhile to rethink product concepts for the circular economy by using modularity to achieve better repair, better upgradability and in general a better customisation to the changing needs along a chain of ownership.
Session 3.3 Consumer and cultural perspectives
Chair: Vicky Lofthouse
The influence of information about prior use on consumers’ evaluations of refurbished electronics
Mugge R. a, de Jong W., Person O. b, and Hultink E. J. a [a) Delft University of Technology; b) Aalto University]
Refurbishment – the process of collecting used products, assessing their condition, and replacing and/or upgrading parts in order to resell them to other consumers – is increasingly seen as both economically and environmentally advantageous. The present research investigates in an experimental study and with qualitative post-hoc interviews how information about prior use – offered in either a visual (signs of wear and tear) or verbal (textual description) form – influences consumers’ evaluations of refurbished products. The findings show that providing consumers with information about the prior use of refurbished electronics does not have a univocal effect on consumers’ evaluations of such products. Visual information about prior use, in terms of signs of wear and tear, has a negative effect on consumers’ evaluations of refurbished electronics. Furthermore, presenting consumers with verbal information on prior use can negatively affect consumers’ evaluations of a refurbished if no signs of wear and tear are present because it confuses consumers. If signs of wear and tear are present, verbal information about prior use will not influence consumers’ evaluations.
Dimensions of sustainable behaviour in a circular economy context.
Daae J. a,b; Chamberlin L. c and Boks C. c [a) Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA); b) Bergfald Environmental Consultants; c) Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)]
Although Design for Sustainable Behaviour research has seen increasing attention over the last decade, limited attention has been directed towards behaviours relevant for a circular economy. To investigate this shortcoming, this paper collected empirical examples that reflect where these two research fields meet. The result of this analysis is presented as a grid consisting of nine dimensions of behaviour change (control, obtrusiveness, timing, exposure, meaning, importance, direction, encouragement and empathy) and four goals for circular economy (maintenance, reuse, refurbishment and recycling). The collection of behaviour change principles shows that examples for almost all combinations exist, with least being identified for refurbishment and most for recycling. This insight does not only give an indication on where attention has been directed previously, but also suggests areas where there may be a need for further development of behaviour principles. The overview of examples of behaviour changing principles related to circular economy may also foster inspiration among practitioners both within Design for Sustainable Behaviour and circular economy.
What’s hot what’s not: The social construction of product obsolescence and its relevance for strategies to increase functionality
Jaeger-Erben, Melanie and Proske, Marina[TU Berlin]
“Is it ethical to deny our products what we wish ourselves: A long live?” is one of the major questions the German documentary “Do mixers go to heaven?” from 2016 asks. The star of this documentary is the RG28, a mixer once produced by a former GDR electronic factory, which became famous for its robustness and longevity. The factory didn’t survive the Wende in 1989 but the mixers are still available on internet platforms and un junk-shops, some spare parts for the easy-to-repair mixer are still produced. Although it appears as a somewhat pathetic humanization of objects at a first glimpse, it makes an important point: Product lifetimes are more than a property of objects, a rationally calculated number that is inscribed in a product’s design. The lifetimes of things made, used and disposed by humans can also be seen as an important characteristic of a given material culture and is rooted in current human-object relationships. This paper discusses both aspects – material culture and human-object relationship – with relation to the highly contested term obsolescence. Starting with the observation that obsolescence received most public attention in times of crisis, we report results of an analysis of current media discourses. Subsequently we present an alternative praxeological approach to obsolescence than the usual rational choice related explanations. The closing section discusses opportunities to increase a product’s “affordance” to be kept alive longer.
Session 3.4 Business opportunities
Chair: Erik Jan Hultink
Business experiments as an approach to drive sustainable consumption: The case of HOMIE
Bocken, N.M.P. a,b, Bom, C.A. b, Lemstra, H.J. b [a) Delft University of Technology; b) HOMIE B.V.]
Sustainable business models and in particular Product Service Systems (PSS) are often linked to increased environmental performance. However, such benefits can only be achieved when the business model is intentionally set up to deliver those positive impacts, by incorporating issues around efficiency gains, through-life issues and sustainable consumption patterns into the design. Several start-ups are emerging who are pursuing new PSS business models but sustainability impacts are not always measured. Also, knowledge on how to iterate new sustainable business models through experimentation is sparse. This paper explores how companies can contribute to sustainable consumption through experimentation with new business models and in particular ‘pay per use’ business models. We apply knowledge on influencing consumer behaviour to develop business experiments. This paper includes an in-depth case study of HOMIE, a start-up pursuing a pay per use business model for home appliances (washing machines). An experimentation roadmap is presented for HOMIE. Effects of a range of experiments are included, such as providing information and social comparison. The pay per use business model was found to have the potential to help stimulate sustainable consumption patterns. For example, social comparison could be used effectively to stimulate more sustainable laundry behaviour. Future research could focus on mapping ideal sequences of experiments to achieve the greatest levels of sustainability impacts, and investigating other sustainable business models such as renting and sharing using the experimentation approach.
Will durability be a characteristic of future cars?
Nieuwenhuis P.[Cardiff University]
The car industry believes it has already done a lot to meet the sustainability agenda. While there has been considerable progress in terms of reductions in toxic emissions, as well as greenhouse gas emissions, they are still very far from being sustainable either as an industry or in terms of the products they make. This point was made by Stuart Hart in 1997 (Hart, 1997), and despite progress since then, the same still holds today. Progress so far has been along an ‘eco-efficiency’ trajectory – i.e. doing the same thing we have been doing, but more efficiently. In reality, we need to stop doing what we have been doing and work out an alternative means of achieving what we are actually trying to achieve – motorised personal mobility with optimum enjoyment, comfort and safety levels. We need to do things differently, in other words.
It is clear that we are at the start of a technological transition from IC to EV powertrain technology in cars and light commercial vehicles. This brings with it a shift in the lifetime carbon impact of the vehicle from the use to the manufacturing and recycling phase (Ricardo 2011; Hawkins et al. 2012). This would suggest a longer product lifespan would be desirable for EVs. It has also been suggested that the current or imminent transition in the personal transport system involves not only a technological transition from IC to EV, but also a transition in ownership patterns from private ownership of cars to various types of PSS, such as car clubs, leasing models, etc. (Marletto 2014). Does this mean that we will witness a further alienation of the user from the product? If so, would this result in an even lower value being placed on the product by the user than we have already seen so far? Alternatively, would such a move instead create an incentive on the part of the new owner, i.e. the provider of the PSS, to regard the vehicle as an asset that needs to be valued for its ability to enable the business to operate, the ‘P’ in the PSS.
A Double diffusion of innovations: The case of electric automobility product service system.
Catulli M., Cook, M. and Potter, S. [Open University, Milton Keynes]
This paper explores the double diffusion of an electric vehicle Product Service System (PSS). The research is based on a case study of a use orientated PSS run by UK-based e-car club.
The double diffusion involves consumers being confronted with electric vehicles (EV) – a technical innovation, accessed through a car club – a PSS sociotechnical innovation. The paper explores the intertwining of these two innovations.
Using Practice Theory, the paper concentrates on meanings that users associate, or find lacking, in performing automobility through an EV car club. For an EV mobility PSS to diffuse, it is necessary to disassociate it from meanings of poor availability, range anxiety and concern about location of charging facilities and associate it with positive meanings of freedom, thrift, altruism and environmental protection. The offer of additional service through links with mobile phone apps could facilitate diffusion. These meanings appear to have stronger resonance among certain segments of car users than others, which suggest that insights offered by Practice Theory need to be complemented by other research perspectives to explore characteristics of individual users.
Keynote James Pierce
Speculation, Durability, and Design
James Pierce is lecturer in the Jacobs Institute for Design innovation at UC Berkeley and research affiliate at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. He has longstanding research interests in sustainable design, speculative design, design theory, and everyday social practices. His most recent research interests include the Internet of Things, network anxieties, and ghosts. James has published over 50 articles in top conferences and journals spanning the fields of design research, human-computer interaction, and ubiquitous computing. James work frequently overlaps with art practice and the humanities. His worked has been awarded numerous best paper awards. Previously James worked as Research Scientist and Visiting Scholar at the UC Berkeley Center for New Media. James has a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in Human-Computer Interaction, and a Master’s Degree in Interaction Design from Indiana University Bloomington.nability.
Session 4.1 Design for product longevity
Chair: Kirsi Niinimaki
Sustainable fashion tailoring: An approach for creating a heightened emotional attachment to garment apparel at undergraduate level, through pedagogy, storytelling, digital technologies and traditional craftsmanship. Morrish D. [Sheffield Hallam University]
Higher Education undergraduate programmes of study have a responsibility to educate learners within their discipline, bridging the gap between education and the real world. Never before has it been so important to equip learners who can adapt and accommodate change within their practice responding to external socio-economic, cultural, political and environmental concerns. With sustainability a key global concern, it is imperative that educational institutions educate its learners to help change the direction of a throwaway and environmentally unsustainable industry. “Fast Fashion Is the Second Dirtiest Industry in the World, Next to Big Oil” Sweeny (2015)
This paper is a case study of second-year undergraduate learners on a UK fashion design degree programme who were challenged by the luxury brand Ted Baker to design a collection of men’s formal wear suits, combing sports detailing with traditional tailoring for the brands DNA and customer demographic. The primary argument of this paper arises from the need to further develop the theoretical aspect of the design process to improve learners understanding of the key principles of design, consumer behavior and basic human phycology. The inquiry adopted a practice based approach gathering data from workshop/seminar observations, client feedback and assessment of student 2D and 3D outcomes. Learners were exposed to the technical challenges of tailoring and encouraged to embrace and experiment with CADCAM technologies and unorthodox design and pattern cutting methodologies as well as traditional methodologies in order to affectively communicate a considered narrative. While assessment of outcomes indicate an improvement to the depth of thinking and creative application of story telling by the majority of learners, surface learning was still evidenced as a concern, encouraging further analysis of future pedagogy approaches.
Conditional garment design for longevity Gwilt A.(a) and Pal R.(b) [a) Art & Design Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK; b) Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås, Borås, Sweden]
In the clothing sector, approaches to design for longevity can provide the “…single largest opportunity to reduce the carbon, water and waste footprints of the clothing in the UK” (WRAP, 2013a). Although an emphasis lies on slowing consumption, the types of design-led approaches that can be used to achieve this goal are considerably varied yet sparingly used by the mainstream fashion industry. In light of the growth of a circular economy, the challenge facing the fashion industry is to adapt the existing product design and development model and explore a fashion system where other, more diverse design approaches can prosper. Thus, this paper attempts to contribute to this debate and further highlight factors that need to be considered by fashion companies when developing garments designed for longevity.
Through a range of novel design principles/methods, underpinning modularity and incremental garment design/construction in this paper we demonstrate how designers may begin to envisage garments as items designed for longevity. The experimental work carried out here is part of a larger initiative, Re:Textile in Sweden (Retextile, 2017). In the experiments conducted we demonstrate the power of various garment design conditions intended to synthesize a change towards garment longevity. Together with highlights of the key processes and basic design principles underpinning these design-led approaches, the experimental work also specifies how and where they contribute in achieving the aims of designing in a circular economy. The findings also highlight the opportunities for improving the redesignability of the garment in its active use life as set by the original design conditions laid in light of design for longevity.
Improvement design in portuguese wool lifecycle: Ecological yarn collection
Morais, C. a and Barragão, V. b [a) CIAUD, Faculty of Architecture, University of Lisbon, Portugal; b) Faculty of Architecture, University of Lisbon, Portugal]
Wool is a light, comfortable, and durable fibre that forms a protective covering against both heat and cold. In Portugal, raising sheep, wool collection and production of yarn has been a domestic craft work for centuries, concentrated mainly in the East and South of the country, particularly in Serra da Estrela and Alentejo. The sorting and storage of wool is done by companies associated to “Merino” wool producers, however, this type of wool is only a small percentage of the country’s total production. The country has many other varieties of wool but these may end up burned, which generating toxic waste, if they do not make it to the market to be sold. This paper presents a general approach, discussing the possibility to recover these remaining wool fibres that did not sell, through the manufacturing of artisanal and ecological yarn. This aims to promote animal welfare and ancestral spinning techniques and processes, practices from a long-nurtured Portuguese textile heritage. The practical experiment and study express concern over fast fashion, presenting points of interest for a slow product system, which may provide for a circular life cycle for products. The creator of eco-friendly yarns also represents an important role as a mediator and an interventionist in the garments design, thus creating value for the products and increasing material lifespan.
Session 4.2 Circular economy and policy
Chair: Sharon Prendeville
“Crafting the waste” as a stimulus to collaborative learning and collective production: An example from Turkey
Atalay, D. [Beykent University]
Craft, playing a significant role in the story of sustainable fashion design, is a deep-rooted tradition in Turkish society. Besides the symbolic meaning of the hand-made, by generating emotional bounds it hinders consumers from throwing their products away (Clark, 2008). Therefore it is used as a design strategy to eliminate waste. Moreover, many of the Turkish craft techniques are based primarily on the reuse of the old and wasted materials. Over the last few years, many women-centred initiatives and cooperatives started to value craft and labour-intensive production outside of a home. However, many traditional craft techniques are on the verge of extinction since the Turkish youth is not willing to learn them. It is an uneasy fact that in design education, craft-based practices, and collaborative work are generally ostracized. However, craft based practices promise to be valuable methods for the development of sustainable design in developing countries. Regarding the current situation of craft and design education, the aim of this research is to explore how design education can be re-contextualized in order to generate social change, stimulate collective production and question the hierarchies in the existing system. The main objective of the study is to generate alternative ways of learning and designing through craft and upcycling. Therefore; in addition to the literature review, a case study has been conducted. As part of the case study, a small group of volunteer Textile and Fashion Design students were asked to collaborate with a women’s cooperative and create a collection of accessories collaboratively.
Towards a typology of waste in fashion practice: An Australian perspective
Payne A. a and Binotto C. ba) Queensland University of Technology; b) Independent scholar]
Waste in fashion is a material problem as well as a cultural condition. In this paper we offer a cultural perspective on waste transformation in fashion practices: what happens to waste, rather than where it goes. We propose states of transformation of waste: disguise, elevation and enchantment. These states are not a hierarchy but rather a typology to consider the kinds of material and cultural transformations that waste undergoes when revalorised through fashion practice. The study centres on the Australian context, and seeks to examine the ways in which Australian fashion retailers, designers, and community groups are engaging with clothing and textile waste. We identified forty-seven initiatives and explored their approaches to waste transformation. Through selected vignettes, this paper examines both the material processes and symbolic meaning behind the approach and its messaging, and offers reflections on the ideas of waste that emerge. Selected examples include large fashion retailers, independent and experimental fashion practitioners, and grassroots campaigns by local charities. Looking beyond the practical approaches to waste management, such ‘reduce, reuse, recycle,’ or the waste hierarchy, we explore ways in which these practices may ‘disguise’ waste, ‘elevate’ waste, or ‘enchant’ waste. Through this analysis, we argue for a perception of waste beyond that of inevitable by-product of the industry, towards waste recast as a potent force of loss and renewal.
Impact on resource intensity from consumer disposition: Relationship with product lifetime and disposal.
Yamamoto H. and Murakami S.[The University of Tokyo]
Session 4.3 Consumer and cultural perspectives
Chair: Michael Luchs
Object Therapy: Critical design and methodologies of human research in transformative repair.
Keulemans G. a, Rubenis N. b, Marks A. c [a) University of New South Wales; b) Australian National University; c) Independent Social Entrepreneur]
This paper outlines the framework, development, methodologies and objectives of ‘Object Therapy’, a collaborative human research project and participatory exhibition concerning the public perception of broken objects and their transformative repair, which we define as repair that changes an object’s appearance, function or perception. The process by which owners of broken objects were interviewed and their possessions collected for distribution to Australian and international, emerging and established artists, designers and other specialists, for response, is described. This methodology is framed as an approach of critical design that connects a community with another, mediated and traced by the researchers, for the purposes of ‘constructing publics’, a concept developed from John Dewey by Carl DiSalvo and new materialism theorist Jane Bennet. The critical design aspect in this regard corresponds to making public the problems and perception of broken objects – problems of ownership, obsolescence, and lack of options for conventional repair – within a public exhibition presenting alternative, experimental approaches to repair and reuse. The paper argues that the process of commissioning transformative repair processes thereby constructs a public and, via a new materialist approach, reframes human/non-human relations in ways that acknowledge the agency of materiality in social ecologies.
Preserving objects, preserving memories: Repair professionals and object owners on the relation between memories and traces on personal possessions
Zijlema, A. a,b, Van den Hoven, E. a,b,c,d; and Eggen, B. a,b [a) University of Technology Sydney; b) Eindhoven University of Technology; c) University of Dundee; d) Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders]
Traces of aging and use on the material of products, and memories associated with products, have been found to contribute to product attachment and can stimulate product longevity. We present findings of a qualitative study that focused on the relation between traces of ageing and use on personal possessions and memories and the effects of repair on objects. With this research, we intended to increase our understanding of the role of traces on personal possessions and memories. We interviewed five professionals at their workplace who worked as a restorer or did repairs of personal possessions, and five owners of a repaired or restored possession. The motivations for bringing an object for repair were not only related to the deteriorating condition of the object but were also triggered by situational events or circumstances, such as passing on ownership or knowing someone who could repair the object. We found five different categories of traces among the possessions of the interviewed object owners: Traces of use, traces of aging, traces of repair, traces of accidents and alterations. We found that objects gained meaning after the repair. When object owners or repair professionals decided not to repair traces, it was often for aesthetical and reminding reasons, but also because it may be how the owner remembered the object. Traces can cue associations to their use in the past, and also to the (imagined) history of the objects. These findings indicate that repair can enhance the cueing of memories and that preservation of meaningful traces may contribute to attachment.
Do-Fix workshops: understanding users’ product repair experience
Nazlı Terzioğlu [Royal College of Art, London, UK]
The characteristics of the current production and consumption system such as high consumption rates, overuse of natural resources and growing waste have engendered various environmental, social and economic problems. Despite the rise of product-service systems and the importance of user experience in design, most consumer goods are nevertheless still considered as throwaway items. It is crucial to understand our behaviour to overcome these problems and offer promising solutions. This paper presents the results of a research that explores users’ repair experience and the factors affecting their repair process aiming to encourage people to repair products more. Four repair workshops were conducted with 52 participants. Participants brought their damaged products to the workshops and chose a suitable method to repair their products. Consequently, their repair experience was explored and three phases including discovery, idea generation and implementation were identified. Additionally, the motivations and barriers around the product repair were discussed. The findings can be of value for designers and design researchers as they can facilitate future attempts to “design for repair”.
Session 4.4 Policy
Chair: Ella Jamsin
Consumer complaint deadlines and product durability: The role of law and regulation
Pål Strandbakken [Consumption Research Norway (SIFO), Oslo and Akershus University College]
Under Norwegian law, the consumer has a right to complain about a product up to five years after purchase, if the product has an average life expectancy of more than two years. This means that producers’ liability in Norway is valid for a longer period than in most of the EU, where the consumers’ right to redress expires after two years. SIFO is doing a project for the Norwegian Ministry of Consumer Affairs (BLD), in order to assess if this difference in consumer protection influences product durability in the Norwegian market. Is there a correlation between liability period and product life span, and if so, to what degree? One hypothesis might be that the size of the market is too small (with only 5 million inhabitants) for importers and producers to take national regulation of this sort into account. In order to address these questions, we intend to perform three empirical work packages: (1) A check on how many cases handled by the Norwegian Consumer Council that the complaining consumer could not have raised if the country had had a two-year liability; (2) A survey on consumers’ knowledge of their rights; and (3) Informant or stakeholder interviews with a number of importers and producers to figure out if they put extra emphasis on durability in the Norwegian market as a result of the five year liability. We will also build on previous research into product durability, performed at the institute since the late seventies.
Do ecolabels extend product service times? An analysis of the product group specific criteria of the European union and Nordic ecolabels
Suikkanen J. and Nissinen A. [Finnish Environment Institute]
Ecolabels are an established means of guiding consumer choices towards product and service options with better environmental performance. The life cycle approach based award criteria of ISO Type I product-specific ecolabels aim to steer the product into the market in an environmentally less harmful direction. In this paper we present an analysis of Product Group Specific Criteria Documents of two ISO Type I Ecolabelling Schemes: the Nordic Ecolabel and the EU Ecolabel. The examination of the product group specific criteria documents indicates that requirements on durability, upgradability and reparability can well be set, and are already included in ecolabel requirements. While durability is already present the criteria for a variety of different product groups, upgradability and reparability are currently required for fewer products, such as computers and televisions mentioned above. Future revisions of product-specific criteria sets present an opportunity to apply circular economy relevant requirements on upgradability and reparability in a broader suite of product groups. Further research on product life spans of ecolabelled products is needed.
Product policy and material scarcity challenges: The essential role of government in the past and lessons for today.
David Peck a, Conny Bakker a, Prabhu Kandachar a, Timo de Rijk b [(a) Delft University of Technology; (b) Stedelijk Museum, ‘s-Hertogenbosch]
Materials are important in economies, business, innovation activity and products, and they have quickly become essential to maintain and improve our quality of life. The world faces problems concerning material supply, but these concerns are not translated into product design activity, even though history shows that product design policy can play an important role in finding solutions to materials problems. This paper has a focus on the role of governmental policy in ensuring material availability to the state.
The case of the British WWII Utility Furniture scheme is one where consumer products were designed and developed as a response to severe material shortages. This action is set in the context of wartime conditions where the products were designed, manufactured, used and often reused over a long lifetime, under very stringent governmental control.
The control came from the government ministries but was designed and manufactured by the private sector. The furniture scheme was brought in to allow workers to have a furnished home to live in, eat and rest to allow them to work to help win the war.
Drawing on policy lessons from the wartime cases this paper makes a comparison of the WWII British approach with a European 21st century action plan for the circular economy, which raises important questions for policy development.
Session 5.1 Product lifetime optimization
Chair: Rebecca Earley
Use phase of wool apparel: A literature review for improving LCA
Laitala K. a, Klepp I. G. a and Henry B. b [a) Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences; b) Queensland University of Technology (QUT)]
This paper presents results from a literature review on use phase of clothing with focus on wool. The aim of the review is to study if there is empirical grounding for assuming that the use phase is different for clothes made of different fibers, and if this information could be used in modelling the use phase. We will answer this question based on studies on wool, and see if use of woolen garments gives different environmental impact than use of garments made of other fibres.
The results show significant differences in how garments of different materials are maintained and used. Woolen garments are more likely to be either dry-cleaned or washed by hand than other textiles, and if washed in machine, the temperature is commonly about ten degrees lower than average washing temperature in Europe. Woollen garments are less likely to be dried in a clothes drier. Even the washing frequency differs, as woollen products are used about twice as many days between the washes than similar cotton products. The studies indicated that woollen garments had longer than average lifespans.
We conclude that fibre content contributes to the way consumers take care of and use their clothing, and should be taken into consideration in tools developed for comparing the sustainability of garments of various textile materials.
Intelligent disassembly of components from printed circuit boards to enable re-use and more efficient recovery of critical metals Kopacek B.[Austrian Society for Systems Engineering and Automation]
Based on previous experiences in intelligent disassembly of components from printed circuit boards our goal was to develop an economic solution for reducing the amount of material for the later hydrometallurgical recovery process and to recognize reusable parts on printed circuit boards. Usually the hydrometallurgical recovery process is very time consuming and therefore the recovery rate still relatively low. Therefore, it is beneficial to enrich the content of critical metals in the input fraction by extracting only those components from printed circuit boards that are rich in the target metals (e.g. tantalum, rare earth, platinum group metals).
In addition, there are reusable parts on printed circuit boards which have a high enough resell value on the market. These components must be dismantled, but in a more careful way in order not to destroy the function of the component by thermal or mechanical influences.
One advanced possibility for solving both problems is the adaptation of our semi-automated, flexible disassembly cell for printed circuit boards. This modular cell was developed some years ago for removing re-useable electronic components from old as well as new printed circuit boards. Main modules are a transportation system, a vision system and heating-unsoldering stations.
In this contribution, this new approach will be described from the technological as well as from the economic point of view.
Strategies for food longevity
van Genuchten, E.J.S. a; Mulder, I.J. a and Schaaf, N. b [a) Delft University of Technology; b) ConComCow]
Although food has been circular by nature, the current food supply chain has turned into an unfortunate linear system. The challenges of transitioning towards a sustainable food eco-system requires radical changes and new perspectives, where things are done differently. Starting with related work in the field of design for product longevity, the current work explores the role of design in developing food systems on eco-systemic level that work as efficient as possible, and create a world without waste. Eight local initiatives in Rotterdam have been studied. From the lessons learned, nine strategies were formulated. Although these strategies seem to work well and are promising starting points for innovation, it remains difficult to build sustainable business models around these strategies that can be scaled and sustained. Initiatives oftentimes keep struggling with the current system and finding the proper scale for their business. It can be concluded that design promises to play an important role in accelerating this transition towards a circular and future-proof food system.
Session 5.2 Circular economy and policy
Chair: David Peck
Planned obsolescence: The Government’s Choice?
Ober E. a, Dell’Anno B. b, Drèze J.-R. c, Herrmann L. a, Luciano A. d, Maltry R. e, Oehme I. f, Schmon B. a and Ventère J.-P. g [a) Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Austria; b) Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, Italy; c) Federal Public Service for Health, Food chain safety & Environment, Belgium; d) Italian National Agency for new technologies and sustainable economic development, Italy; e) Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany; f) Federal Environment Agency, Germany; g) Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, France]
Representatives of five Environmental Ministries and attached Agencies examined political instruments to ban products with built-in defects designed to end the product’s life-cycle. The focus primarily laid on better consumer information. A lack of information concerning the durability and repairability of products creates an asymmetry in the market balance between producers and consumers. The need for common actions on EU-level was highlighted. Among these political instruments are voluntary measures and innovative economic models. The European legal framework for consumer protection has to be further evaluated, more specifically the concept of warranty law. With political feasibility being considered, conclusions were drawn unanimously. However, the authors take into consideration the findings of different national studies that could not validate the accusation of planned obsolescence.
Product lifetimes through the various legal approaches within the EU context: recent initiatives against planned obsolescence Michel A. [KU Leuven]
Our today‘s society is often called a ‘throwaway society’, based on a linear ‘take-make-use-dispose’ economy. Many studies point out that median lifespans of certain consumer products are in decline. One of the main sources of this problem is the phenomenon of ‘planned obsolescence’, covering all types of techniques used to artificially limit the durability of a manufactured good in order to stimulate repetitive consumption. Various types of planned obsolescence are omnipresent in our daily life. Planned obsolescence has huge drawbacks, for consumers as well for the environment, and, arguably, its potential positive side effects do not outweigh these drawbacks. The willingness to shift towards more durable and sustainable products has led to major legal developments and proposals over the past years. The purpose of this paper is to outline some of the various approaches followed in Europe to tackle planned obsolescence. After providing a glimpse into the EU policy actions, the paper will describe the recent purely national initiatives undertaken in France, Belgium and Germany.
Implementing “preparation for re-use” in WEEE management: An analysis of the European experience & recommendations for Ireland.
McMahon K. a, Fitzpatrick C. a and Johnson M. a [University of Limerick]
Proper treatment of waste plays an important role in global concerns regarding resource efficiency and climate change. Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is of particular importance due to high use of critical resources and production/recycling energy as well as the potential for toxic pollution when improperly disposed of. Preparation for re-use plays an important role in alleviating these issues.
Within Ireland the regulated preparation for re-use sector exists in an embryonic stage. This paper identifies supports, through analysis of EU systems, to encourage the growth of the Irish system in the form of recommendations for policy makers, providing a baseline for other systems to do the same.
EU member states reporting the highest re-use rates of LHA and IT equipment were identified through Eurostat data; analysis of the barriers/facilitators to this success within each country was conducted through interviews with reportedly successful organizations. Subsequently, Irish stakeholders were interviewed in order to record input on the current system, contrast it with successful models and identify what action might be needed to move forward.
Several themes were identified through these analyses as related to success in preparation for re-use activities including involvement of social enterprises, access to equipment, segregation of waste with potential for re-use at the earliest point possible, adherence to quality national/ international standards, a positive relationship with the Producer Representative Organizations responsible for enabling access to the materials, and implementation of targets when necessary.
Recommendations are presented in regards to policy supporting preparation for re-use in the Irish system.
Session 5.3 Consumer and cultural perspectives
Chair: Ben Bridgens
Taking good care: Investigating consumer attitudes to product maintenance.
Young G.[Sheffield Hallam University]
Building on the work undertaken in the ‘Caring Project’ (Gwilt, Leaver, Fisher, Young. 2015), this secondary inquiry seeks to ascertain specific aspects of maintenance practices that are employed by users and to understand the drivers behind some of the key decisions taken when maintaining products. Through an empirical study that involved gathering data using methods including a survey, observations and cultural probes, the findings reveal some of the motivations behind the choices of those who self-maintain and those who choose to have that work carried out by a service provider. Moreover some insight into the prompts that trigger why users instigate product maintenance, and the equipment selected and used in the maintenance of common objects are also discussed. These initial insights support the potential for a larger study with the ultimate aim of influencing designers and manufacturers in the development of longer-lasting products.
Carative factors to guide design development process for object-owner detachment in enabling an object’s longevity
Choi Y., Stevens J, and Brass C. [Royal College of Art]
During the 20th century the cultural and economic value of products dramatically changed as the availability and affordability of mass-produced, low cost goods increased in the marketplace (Walker, 2006). We buy things that end up never used, we store objects that are never needed, find the extra storage space for the object that doesn’t fit in our house. Most of the things we own just sit there gathering dust, eventually to be thrown away although they are still perfectly functional. The exploration of ways to let go of objects has important implications beyond the conventional interpretation of object-user detachment. To care for one’s possessions is as much about maintaining and repairing objects to keep as it is about letting objects go to a good home. In this sense, carative factors are a useful way to address ways of object-user detachment and help to promote re-use and repair to sustain and extend product lifespan.
This paper explores how the carative factors can be used to inspire and stimulate designers to explore ideas, and enable new ways to approach problems of attachment and consumption, and drive creative solutions that encourage letting go. A set of characteristic factors are presented in card format, serving as a stimulus toolkit and tested through a workshop and live design projects. The findings, potential benefits of the toolkit and effects on products lifespan will be further discussed.
Consumers’ attitudes towards product care: An exploratory study of motivators, ability factors and triggers.
Ackermann L. a,b, Mugge R. b and Schoormans J. b [a) Salzburg University of Applied Sciences; b) Delft University of Technology]
To contribute to a more sustainable way of consumption, products should stay usable as long as possible. Therefore, it is necessary to take care of products. Product care should be understood as any action that helps prolonging the lifetime of a product, such as maintenance, repair etc. These product care activities can be conducted by the consumer or by a service. Our interview study helps to understand consumers’ current product care behaviour towards products of different categories. Our study is based on Fogg’s behaviour model, which states that motivation, ability and triggers have to be present at the same time to lead to certain behaviour. We were able to identify different motivators (e.g. pleasure, price, functionality), ability factors (e.g. tools, time and effort) and triggers (e.g. appearance triggers, social triggers) for product care. Based upon the findings of this study, strategies that enhance product care are suggested and relevant aspects for future research are proposed.
Session 5.4 Business opportunities
Chair: Erik Jan Hultink
Sustainable product management by integrating physical and digital lifecycles
Baumgartner R. [University of Graz]
The concept of circular economy has received an increased interest of public, societal and corporate actors in the last years. To realize a circular economy, products have to be designed and managed in a way that material flows are closed and energy use is minimized along the physical lifecycle of a product, thus a lifecycle-wide sustainable product management is needed. The digital revolution can be an immense enabler for a transition towards a circular economy and for sustainable product management. The physical lifecycle is represented in data systems of companies and institutions involved in a value chain. Products themselves collect and report more and more data during their usage. But until now, all these data sources are disconnected and not used for a sustainable product management. If it is possible to map the digital product lifecycle by connecting different data sources, a digital twin of the physical product lifecycle can be created. This digital lifecycle enables a dynamic management of the physical lifecycle by using actual, up to date and correct data for sustainable product management. The goal of this contribution is to describe sustainable product management as a combination of the physical and the digital product lifecycle, the research is based on a literature analysis and conceptual modelling.
Smart-circular systems: A service business model perspective
Alcayaga A. and Hansen E. G. [Johannes Kepler University Linz]
The Internet of Things and the amplified capabilities of smart products can be increasingly utilised for the development of feedback-rich systems and loops throughout the entire product life cycle. By adopting the IoT and collecting data during product utilisation, companies can replace the end-of-life concept with product life extension and circular loops. In this sense, service business models hold the greatest potential to optimise the utilisation of goods over time. These models allow a reduction of the overall life cycle costs and contribute to resource-efficiency and the transition towards a circular economy. This paper introduces the concept of smart-circular systems that reflects the interplay between the Internet of Things, the circular economy and service business models and presents a conceptual framework for further empirical analysis of this phenomenon. The framework focuses on product-service systems and more broadly on services business models that optimise the utilisation of goods over time through the amplification of circular activities by the introduction of smart enablers. It also considers three main business models types and tactics for successful implementation of service business models.
Additive manufacturing for circular product design: A literature review from a design perspective.
Sauerwein, M., Bakker, C.A. and Balkenende, A.R. [Delft University of Technology]
Circular product design is a relatively new approach to design suitable strategies to realize circular products. Additive manufacturing (AM) is seen as a promising enabling production process. It has digital and additive characteristics, which makes AM different from conventional production techniques. However, it is yet unclear how this technique can contribute to circular product design in practice. In this paper, a literature review is placed in context, i.e. the results of a literature review on sustainability opportunities in AM are compared to five typical design cases in a design review.
The outcomes of the literature study reveal the aspects of the digital and additive characteristics of AM, that lead to potential sustainability opportunities. We compared these aspects to the circular design strategies as described by Bakker et al. (2014) and Bocken et al. (2016) in the context of the five selected design projects. Each project is described in terms of circular design strategies and how these were achieved through additive manufacturing.
Using design practice to reflect on the outcomes of the literature review resulted in a better understanding of the potential of additive manufacturing for circular product design. The relation between the sustainability aspects of AM and the circular design strategies were made explicit. AM seems to be especially suitable to customize parts to fit existing products and to contribute to new opportunities regarding material recycling. These findings deserve further exploration in order to understand the motives for implementation in circular product design.
Keynote Deepali Sinha-Khetriwal
Product longevity: Insights from the Indian Context and Experience
Deepali is an Associate Programme Officer at the United Nations University and also heads the Indian office of sustainability consultancy Sofies. Deepali has over 12 years of research and implementation experience in waste management, specializing in e-waste and has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals on the topic. She has worked as an expert consultant in Europe, Asia and Africa for international organisations as well as private sector companies. She was instrumental in setting up the capacity development activities of the StEP Initiative, a UN supported forum on the e-waste problem. She holds a Ph.D. in International Management from the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland.