Critical appliance - Extending product lifespan through critical design

YOUNG, Gordon (2018). Critical appliance - Extending product lifespan through critical design. In: Design Principles and Practices Conference, Elisava School of Design and Engineering, Barcelona, Spain, 5th March - 7th March 2018. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

It is clear that there are there are many facets of contemporary society that need to take some responsibility for the changes necessary to mitigate the accumulative and on-going damage suffered by the environment. From individual consumers, through to government and global organisations, there are actions that can be taken to promote positive alternatives to our current model of a throwaway society. This presentation describes a critical product design for a common domestic appliance that embodies design strategies to promote product lifetime extension as a way to reduce the environmental impact of mainstream consumerism. With a focus on maintenance, repair and upgradability, these products sit outside of the constraints of commercial viability and instead aim to offer genuine solutions that can contribute to the future design of more sustainable products. Drawing on a body of work and a range of research methods that include consumer interviews, surveys that aim to understand public attitudes to maintenance/repair and interviews with manufactures this project demonstrates ways in which designers and manufacturers can develop products which encourage longer term ownership. Extending the lifespan of products implies that the very physical presence of the object will need to endure over a longer period, transgressing fashion and trends. This work examines consumers motivations to keep products for longer employing materials and manufacturing processes with inherent qualities known to build greater attachment between the user and objects. These critical design proposals demonstrate that common consumer products can be designed to last a lifetime and beyond, promoting new modes of ownership and more sustainable consumption.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Departments: Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences > Art and Design
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Gordon Young
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2018 09:07
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2018 08:11
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18866

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