Madeleine Lucke Under Grad Thesis Industrial Design OCAD University Professor Alexander Manu Professor Bernhard Dietz
September 2018 - April 2019
Contents 02 Trend Analysis 22 - 23 24 26 27 28 - 29 32 - 35
54 - 55 56 - 57 58 - 59 61 - 63
Trends Green Washing Friction Green Market Supply Chains Technology
The Experience User Flow Platform Features
68 - 69 70 - 71 72 - 73 74 - 75
Stakeholders Business Model Market Research Tactics
Preface + Setting 10 12 - 15 17 18
Foreword Preface Project Focus Prevailing Questions
78 - 83 84 - 89
User Profile Experience Scenario
42 - 43 45 46 48 49
92 95 96 - 97
Branding Core Values Attributes Brand Identity Perception
Final Thoughts Thank You Bibliography
Preface + Setting
Foreword A research project with introspection and reflection on the current global consumerist landscape. A proposal of leading with altruistic values and total transparency in the manufacturing and supply chain systems in hopes for a more ethical and meaningful future.
Preface + Setting Consumption. What is it exactly and how does it affect our daily lives? All living beings must consume in order to survive. It is essential to the cycle of life, and has been naturally balanced by evolution since the dawn of time. But what happens when consumption shifts from a survival instinct to a psychological and cultural phenomenon? When the balance between supply and demand becomes drastically unstable and the driving force behind an entire worldâ€™s economy? These are the questions one must ask to help understand the world we live in today. How did we become a society with a culture and economy built entirely upon consumption? A society where we measure our worth and wealth on how many goods we have acquired and entangle the process of acquiring these goods with who we are as a person. Is consumerism an inherent value and behaviour in humans or is it something we fabricated for ourselves? And if it is the latter, are we too far gone to change the
system weâ€™ve created? In order to answer these questions, we have to go back in time and look at the events that lead us to where we are today. In history, signs of consumption as measured by modern standards, were almost unheard of 1. In Western Europe during the middle ages, most of the population was considered quite poor and the idea of consuming was often heavily dictated by someoneâ€™s social class1. The omnipresence of religion curbed any desires to acquire and urged individuals to focus on spiritual goals rather than worldly goods. 1 If that was the case for our ancestors, what happened to us today? One could say that a revolution had to occur before consumerism could develop into the powerful entity we now know. This revolution begun with the increase of international trade in the 16th century, where opportunities to buy and sell increased as well
as the behaviours associated with shopping 1. Interestingly, it all started with sugar. According to one anthropologist, sugar was “the world’s first, mass consumed good” 1 . Soon after sugar, came the mass consumption of coffee and tea and with that followed the desire to have nicer tea pots and finer porcelain imported from China. Then came the importation of cotton fabric from India to Europe and North America. This low cost and easy to clean fabric was a hit among people for its ability to be dyed bright colours. 1 The influx of global trade paired with the novel role of a “shop keeper” allowed consumerism to ground itself permanently in society. Advertisement philosophies and technologies increased which allowed for printed ads to be found in every magazine and newspaper that encouraged shopping behaviour. Clothing became one of the first items to be deemed as “most consumed”. In the 18th century, the clothing industry “exploded” and was described as an “epidemical madness.” 1 Consuming the latest fashion trends had an interesting emphasis on the desire to imitate and replicate the appearance of higher class designs. 1
Preface + Setting Intellectual advancements such as the Enlightenment, paired with exponential population growth, allowed Britainâ€™s population to double from 1750 to 1800 1, creating economic growth and
consumerism was the international aspect of it all. The advancement of technology and the internet meant that brands we increasingly global and reaching more customers than ever before.
expansion. Soon, white European settlers began colonizing countries like North America, expanding their reach and ideologies across the continents. The United States caught up with the European level of luxurious consumption, kicking off the second stage of consumerism that began in 1850 with the invention of the department store 1. These new stores revolutionized the way people thought about shopping and buying goods.
The increase of demand translated to an increase in production which led companies to seek alternative methods of manufacturing. It was no longer profitable for companies to produce locally and instead began to outsource almost every part of their product to other countries.
As technology advanced, so did the methods of advertising. Printing in colour was no longer a luxury but a necessity to entice buyers. Radio became a key element in reaching target markets as well as the presence of the TV in the average families home. Strategic business plans such as planned obsolescence were beginning to be put in place to ensure consumer interest. Perhaps the greatest innovation in modern
This outsourcing was a strategic move since labour costs were far lower in the developing countries they were hiring. However, with low labour costs came poor regulation of workerâ€™s rights, health benefits and ethical manufacturing practices. The bottom line soon became exclusively about making the most product for the least amount of money regardless of the impact.
Things like fast fashion, and the throw away culture began to rise from these practices, what used to be seasonal changes in style became an almost daily shift. The culture surrounding consumption also changed. Products were not viewed as an investment but instead made to be thrown out and replaced almost instantly. In fact, more than 99% of all goods that North Americans buy are thrown out within 6 months of purchasing. 16
“With low labour costs came poor regulation of worker’s rights, health benefits and ethical manufacturing practices.” 13
Project Focus We are entering into an age where people have more choice than ever. With capitalism being the driving force behind the current western economy and social landscape,
The growth of this culture allowed for companies to forge their own supply chain and manufacturing processes. Although generally regulated by the Council of Supply
companies and brands have an every growing platform to produce things for the public. Although having choice can be empowering to the individual, it also creates an excess of products. This excess drives the competitive market to deliver products that are faster and cheaper than their competitors regardless of the consequences that may occur with that ideology.
Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) 3, the laws on transparency, accountability and responsibility are loose and undefined. There seems to be a grey area between what is legal and what is ethical. Many companies prefer to keep their supply chain as secret as possible to prevent competition from stealing ideas, however it is in this secrecy that ethical and moral problems arise.
The process of extracting raw material to the finished product and delivered to the end consumer demands an incredibly complex and diverse system for every item produced. As mentioned earlier, the advancement of technology, global trading barriers decreasing and global low cost labor increasing, the perfect ecosystem was created for mass production and a consumerist culture to thrive.2
â€œAlthough having choice can be empowering to the individual, it also creates an excess of products...â€? 15
Prevailing Questions Before a solution can be reached, the core problems of unethical consumerism have to be defined. Instead of asking specific questions on the matter, I asked my self a series of broad, almost answerable ones. This helps give scope on the landscape and forces myself to think of what underlying behaviours, emotions and psychology must exist towards consuming.
How do you build trust with strangers? What if everyone was answerable for all their actions? What if you could make the world a better place?
What if you could promise 100% accountability? Can we put others needs before our own daily?
Can we mitigate the harmful impacts of consumerism?
Trends When mapping and analyzing the trends for retail, technology and environment, an opportunity for future design arises at the convergence of all three. In the realm of the retail landscape, we are entering a stage often referred to as an â€œapocalypseâ€?14, the downfall of brick and mortar stores. This downfall is creating a dramatic shift to online commerce. As technology becomes more advanced and abundant in everyday life, e - commerce becomes the natural successor for shopping. The increase in technology, specifically that of data collecting and machine learning, means that brands are able to communicate with their customers like never before. This results in customers having a higher expectation for what a brand can offer, and with the added strain of competition, brands are willing to do what it takes to create loyal customers. This increase of technology has also opened up a new opportunity for communication. People are beginning to share information and stories about the negative impact that capitalism and manufacturing has on the world. This new found knowledge is encouraging people to demand for better business practices from their favored brands.7
Personalized Brand Experiences Predictive Shopping
Transparent Supply Chains
Accountability Voting with dollars
Product Life Cycle
Tech Ethical impact
AR + VR
Decentralized Ledgers Blockchain
Green Washing Once people started becoming aware of some of the damage that was being caused by our relentless consumption, there was a slight change in behaviour and attitudes. The term “green” was suddenly being used, referring to the market and products that were designed with the environment in mind. However, some companies caught on to the idea that calling their products “green” was increasing sales and the term “green washing” was born. Green Washing is essentially false advertisement of a products impact on the environment as being better than it actually is to increase sales.10 As duplicit as that sounds, there are no regulations or rules on this type of behaviour or advertising and companies can continue to do this almost at will.
Friction is Good As our technology advances at unprecedented rates, human behaviour and their expectations expand and grow with it. A solution that is often employed when consistently introducing new technology into peoples lives, is to make these new experiences as frictionless or seamless as possible. However, there is a point where hiding the reality, even for the benefit of the experience, becomes detrimental. This may be the case that has happened with consumerism across the world. Companies realized there was a desire for this frictionless mode of consumption. Things like virtual Dash Buttons and any item being a click away became ubiquitous, while we granted access for companies to make buying decisions for us. The industry took away all the thinking that normally was present during these decisions. But what if the friction, a moment that interrupts your shopping and makes you think, is actually a necessity? A balance must be struck between what is considered an enjoyable experience and giving people the freedom and tools, to decide what they want for themselves.
Green Market The Green Market, also known as the Green Economy, refers to the market space of companies and corporations that have the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit15. These companies have made a conscious commitment to do better with their manufacturing practices. The green market currently represents 6% of the Global Stock Market, roughly $4 trillion USD, and is projected to grow to 10% of the Global Stock Market by 2030, which by then will be worth $90 trillion USD.5 Itâ€™s clear that this market is substantial, growing and multifaceted and worth investing in for future endeavors.
Customers Founder Petroleum
Government Agencies Advertising Minerals
In house Manufacturing
Coal Subcontractor Manufacturers
Raw Material Extractors Animals Farmers
Transparent Supply Chains To understand why transparent supply chains are important, we first must understand what a supply chain is. A supply chain is a network between a business and its suppliers to create and distribute a product for the end buyer.12 Every product has its own complex and unique supply chain that can include hundreds of steps and thousands of people. A supply chain often consists of farmers, mills, tool and dye factories, component manufacturers, shipping, distributors, receivers, and retail stores. How a product is produced and who supplies the components has often been a secretive practice. Withholding information on how something is made helps protect companies product, prevents counterfeit and can give them the upper hand in sales, however, this secrecy also allows for poor and unethical business practices. Since there are few end-to end regulations for supply chains, corners can be cut with few financial or legal repercussions. These opaque supply chains are how child labour, slavery, and under paid employment exists. Opaque supply chains are also a key components to the decline in environmental health. Companies are incorrectly disposing of toxic waste, over using finite resources and damaging ecosystems with little consequence. 12 If there was a shift in both law and culture regarding fully transparent and accountable supply chains, we could begin eradicating these ill practices from manufacturing. If every corporation had to publicly show where they were producing their products and at what standard, there would be a clear divide between what would be acceptable and what was not.
69% of brands can trace final stages of production,
18% can trace input stage and only 7% of brands can trace back their use of raw material. 2018 Ethical Fashion Report2
Technology Technology is a set of tools society uses to shape and understand our world. Every facet of modern life is touched and altered by our applications and algorithms, our smart fridges and smart watches, how we communicate, who we know, what we think, where we go and what we buy. Technology is increasingly being integrated into industries and systems that before relied strictly on paperwork. Digitizing these processes allows for opportunity to cut down costs, speed up work flow and create more personalized experiences for customers. The manufacturing industry, specifically that of the garment and textile industry, can benefit greatly to the digitization of the supply chain in both managing the complex network as well as adding the necessary transparency.
A type of technology called blockchain that is often used for trading crypto currencies is the perfect system to implement for supply chain transparency. 4 Blockchain is a type of digital technology that uses cryptography to secure online transactions of anything of value. The key to blockchain is that it is a decentralized ledger, anyone, anywhere with an internet connection can access it, and most importantly, it cannot be corrupted or tampered with in anyway.4 If implemented, blockchain could transform supply chains by creating 100% accountability, traceability and trust between manufacturers and consumers.
How Does it Work? 1. 3.
1. The data of the thing being traded 2. The hash: a string of numbers or letters that is unique to that one single transaction. It is similar to a fingerprint. It identifies that block and all of its data and can never be reused for another block. 3. The hash of the previous block.
In the example above, you can see that money is being traded from point A to point B. The first block gets the hash 123, the second block has the previous block’s hash of 123 and is assigned a new hash of 124, the pattern continues for every new block added. In order for each block to be chained together, it must contain the correct hash from the previous block.
In the example above, you can see that someone tampered with the third block. They changed the hash from 124 to 555, therefore, the block before it doesn’t match the new hash of 555 which would alert people the chain was broken. In reality, the hash of a block is not three numbers that go in consecutive order. Blockchain uses something called “Cryptographic Hash Function” which is an algorithm that will assign an output of 64 digits for that specific input. Every time you put the same input in you will get the exact same 64 digit output. It’s not as easy as changing one digit in the previous hash’s code, you would need to generate a new 64 digit code for every single block.
Proposition I am proposing to create a new system for global manufacturing and supply chain management. The bottom line values will be trust, transparency, accountability and altruistic decision making. In doing so I hope to bridge the gap between production and perceived end value for the customer. This can be done by creating a two part system for both brands and customers to follow and participate in. First, a decentralized ledger system for companies to use while manufacturing, backed by blockchain technology. This will ensure full transparency of the companies actions. Secondly, a platform for customers to use that will help navigate the now accessible data of companies manufacturing history to help them make the right decision when purchasing. What is the right decision? To me, the right choice when buying is investing in a product that does as little damage to the environment and social rights of people, while replacing the resources it took to make. I believe that when presented the facts of the manufacturing process, people may be inclined to think twice about how their purchases and dollars, affect others down the line. There is often very little information about the provenance of an object given to the customer during the purchasing process, it simply isnâ€™t a natural part of the decision making of buying. I believe there is possibility to effect change if we integrate the history of the product into the purchasing process.
How do we create a more ethical mode for future consumption?
Branding The definition of lucent is glowing with or giving off light. I thought that this was an appropriate term to use since the basis of the project is to help educate and bring light to social issues. lĂźcent was designed to illuminate and guide people to make better decisions in regards to consumption. The umlauts on the u, one being filled while the other just an outline, represent choice. It is to remind people that they always have a choice to make and the chance to make the better one every time.
The turquoise to dark blue gradient was chosen to act as a reminder of the world, an ode to the flora, fauna and great oceans and skies that surround us.
Type Face There were two typefaces used throughout the report and the initial app prototype which were DIN Alternate and Open Sans. The intention for the appâ€™s aesthetic was a clean and modern interface. Two sans serif fonts were chosen specifically for their ability to be clearly read on digital and mobile devices. DIN Alternate was used for the logo itself as well as any titles or headers. Open Sans was used for the body of the text. Together, they provide the perfect balance of heavy and light and ease of reading.
DIN Alternate ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890
Open Sans ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890
App store Widget
Essence Leading with altruism. Quality
Our Promise To make the world a better place by connecting you to the objects and experiences you can trust. Innovative
Brand Identity Prism
Picture of Sender Physique
Helpful, kind, patient, Informative, trustworthy.
Brings change, empowers through education.
Connected, Heartfelt, accountable,
Self Improvement, â€œdoing betterâ€?
Modern, wise, unique,
Picture of Receiver
Clean, simple, approachable
Perceptual Map EXTROVERTED
Inclusive Proactive Modern
The Experience The final experience will be a values-based shopping platform unique to each users morals and ethics that can connect them to businesses and products with similar values. Upon downloading lĂźcent, users are presented with a series of values categorized by self, humans, animals, water and land, each with its own subcategories with questions concerning the production methods. Once all of the questions have been answered, the individual now has a unique and customized profile specific to their wants and needs. lĂźcent is then able to suggest compatible companies and products.
User Flow 1
Overview of the lĂźcent prototype version one. 1. Home page 2. Opening Experience 3. Values 4. Sub Categories of Values 5. Ethical Scales 6. lĂźcent user book 7. Profile 8. Favorite brands 9. Barcode Scanner 10. Search Engine 11. Product Profiles 54
Platform The values page is a key element to the success of l端cent. Every person who wishes to use l端cent must go through this process in order to use the app. It begins with five main categories of ethics and morals. These are: Self, Humans, Animals, Land and Water. Each category then leads to another page with more specific subcategories. Each of those consist of questions with a slider scale underneath. The scale is rated from unimportant to very important, and the user is asked to rate each question to their specific desire. From there, l端cent is able to calculate their unique values algorithm and begin finding companies with similar algorithms. These questions are often updated and the user will receive a notification that new values are available to fill in. The idea behind this is to have one extensive research and critical thinking moment, and then trusting that l端cent knows you and your preferences. This takes the guess work and stress out of having to decide every purchase.
Features lĂźcent has been designed with the features and tools to help make the shopping and learning experience as seamless as possible. Once their personal profile has been completed, users are encouraged to search for products through the internal search engine or by scanning a products barcode in the store. From there, lĂźcent will pull a number of products that match their search in order of most compatible to least. The user can then click on each product to find out a wealth of information on the provenance of the object. They are able to immediately scan how compatible the product is with each of their values, as well as see the exact history of the products location and materials used.
Features In order to minimize impact, ethical consumerism needs to lead to a paradigm shift in behaviour. lücent believes that when people are equipped with adequate and credible information about the affect these industries have on humans and the environment, they are more likely to make a better choice. The amount of information collected on one single supply chain can be immense and difficult to understand. It was a priority of lücent’s to be able to synthesize this data in a clear and meaningful way, so that the message is communicated and never lost. In order to do this, interactive maps are featured on every product’s information page. These maps are specific to that items supply chain and use a combination of colours and arrows to help tell the story of that items history. One can easily see what steps were involved in the production and even the exact location of the factories. The map was designed to be scalable so at a glance someone can get a brief understanding of what is happening. If interested, lücent can also offer them far more in depth information. It is entirely up to the user how much data they want to see at any given time.
Tool + Dye
Food + Beverage
Stakeholders The stakeholders represent any entity that affects or is affected by the platform. In lücent’s case, there are three main sections of stakeholders. The first, and perhaps most vital, are the customers. These are the people who are buying the end product and essentially decide where they want to spend their money. Next, there are the industries affected by lücent. Notable industries would be technology, financial, food and drink, medical and textile. The third group would be the companies that exist within those industries. As mentioned before, each company has its own unique supply chain that could consist of thousands of people, who all would be greatly affected by a disruption in the usual supply chain method.
Business Model There are four distinct methods that lücent will put in place to generate a profit for the company. The first is to offer a freemium membership to the users of lücent. Freemium refers to allowing access to some of the features of the app, but locking many other premium features for paying subscribers. Next, lücent will have advertising space available for purchase on the app. Companies that have been approved by lücent’s standards have an opportunity to buy this space and run promotions. There will be a tiered subscription model for the companies as well. Companies can be featured and sell their products for free on the app, however they will have restrictions on amount of products available for display. Finally, lücent will take a commission fee on every product purchased through the app.
Early Adopters Super Culture
Behaviour and Cultural Types
Extensive Decision making Limited Decision Making
Good on You
Buycott Seafood Watch
apps, websites, reports
Cosmethics Think Dirty
Detox Me Alibaba
Market Research The market and competition can be clearly divided into two categories. First there is the Ethical Guide companies. These are usually apps, plug-ins or annual reports that are made to help shoppers buy more consciously. These tend to be UX heavy but often lack the quantity of updated information. Next is the Blockchain side of the market. Many of the fortune 500 companies have or are planning to invest a large sums of time and money into researching Blockchain uses for their company. Currently, major corporations like IBM and Walmart, are pairing up to use Blockchain to track the supply chain and sources of Walmarts produce. These companies are heavy with factual, trusted data, but have yet to make a consumer friendly interface to use the data. lĂźcent intends to sit in between these two markets and play both fields of large quantities of trusted data while being displayed in a user friendly and accessible manner.
â€œ50 - 60% of all companies will be using blockchain technology in the next few years.â€? Frank Xiang, VP of Oracle Forbes Summit, 2019
Equip people with
People are more
moved with positive
Use people who are
need to know why an
messages than scare
respected to help
action is important
5 Make it easy. Practical support needs to always be there
Sustainability Motivation Tactics
Make it fun and enjoyable to use. The process can be seen as a nuisance to the person
Nudge donâ€™t shove.
and foster a
Allow people to get
comfortable with one
sharing and support
Reward positive behaviour. Extrinsic motivation
For Ethical Consumption
User Profile Emily Age: 25 Occupation: writer Values: Sustainability, Honesty, Altruistic Behavior Emily has always been interested in sustainability in her life. She tries to make educated and ethical decisions when shopping or going out to eat but it can often be hard with the lack of information available to her to feel confident in her purchases. Before buying something, Emily often looks up the item she wants online and tries to find out as much information as she can on the company. Emily understands that her ability to choose where she spends her money is powerful and she uses that knowledge responsibly. Although she is quite aware of the negative impact that most products have on the environment, she sometimes doesnâ€™t have the time or resources to find out if what she wants to buy aligns with her values. Emily wishes she had something that could help her streamline her research, something that was quick, easy to use and informative and most importantly trustworthy. After being introduced to the lĂźcent, the values based shopping platform, Emily is excited to be able to buy things again, guilt free. Emily knows that the information provided by lĂźcent is accurate and trustworthy and is more in depth than anything she could find on her own. Emily can finally feel confident knowing she is making the right decision every time.
Altruistic Behaviour Honesty
Emily Emotions Trust
User Profile Derek Age: 32 Occupation: bartender Values: Charity, Simplicity, Ease Derek likes to think of himself as a decent guy who tries to make the right choices in life. If asked if he is environmentally conscious, he would say yes, however he doesn’t go out of his way to make changes in his lifestyle to accommodate these feelings. Derek finds that a lot of the information he reads about sustainability can be conflicting and he isn’t sure what to do or who to trust. He sometimes tries to research further into issues but often is led to a dead end or more conflicting information. Derek wants to make impactful and thoughtful choices in regards to his consumption and avoid supporting unethical causes but he doesn’t know where to start. Derek has often thought about including a service into his life that would help him make these choices. He would want the experience to be quick, clear and concise and overall help guide him to make choices he feels comfortable with. Once Derek was introduced to lücent and began using it for his shopping, he was surprised at some of the practices the brands he loved had in place. Derek had liked to believe his intentions were good before, but he now had the facts of what his money was supporting and he knew he had to make a change. The most surprising part was that Derek had believed his values aligned with the brands image and advertising, but in reality they couldn’t be any further apart. Although a new step added in Derek’s shopping routine, he is grateful to have the option to be able to look further into a company’s platform and plans to make more thoughtful purchases in the future.
Derek Emotions Shock
User Profile Jess Age: 28 Occupation: Artist/ Mom Values : Family, Future, Accountability Jess is a stay at home, single mother of two young children, both under the age of five. As a single parent, Jess finds she always has a full day of tasks and responsibilities ahead of her which can be overwhelming. At the grocery store, Jess tries her best to buy products and food that are going to be healthy for her and her children, however she often doesn’t have the time or energy to read all the labels at the store. She is concerned about the harmful impact that her consumption might have on the world, and as a parent, wants to leave a healthy and bountiful environment for her children to grow up in. Jess wishes there was a better way for such a busy woman like herself to make quick and accurate decisions. Jess wants to be able to trust that what she’s buying is going to make a good impact on her children’s future. When Jess learned about lücent she was ecstatic. This was exactly the service a mom like herself needed. She could easily search the items she wanted to buy and quickly compare different models and brands to ensure that her family was getting the best possible experience. Jess felt so relieved that she would have the extra time she often spent researching or worrying about her purchases, having fun with her family.
Jess Emotions Concern
Experience Scenario One Emily looked down and sighed, the sole on her left running shoe had completely ripped off and the right one had worn through the rubber completely. She could see her toes in her pink socks stick out the
percentage beside it as well as the brand and the price. Emily knew that the percent dictated how good of a match that shoe was to her values that she had uploaded a couple months ago when trying
edge of the shoe. She knew it was finally time to get a new pair.
the app for the first time.
Shopping for new things normally stressed Emily out a fair bit. She had a hard time deciding on products that met all her requirements of being both affordable and looking cool, while also not completely destroying the environment by existing. That was before Emily used lücent. Emily pulled out her phone and opened the lücent app. She was greeted by the familiar blue and teal hue of the background and the soft glow emitting from the word lücent. She headed to the search bar and typed in “white running shoes”. Within seconds, she was presented with a list of 10 different pairs of shoes. Each shoe had a
She scrolled through and saw several pairs in the 70 – 90% match. She clicked on one pair that was in her price range and was an 88% match. She was taken to another page where she was given information on how this shoe matched her values and details on the fabric and manufacturing of it. Emily loved that she could find out everything about the shoe, from where the cotton for the laces was grown, down to the type of rubber used for the sole. Satisfied with her results, Emily chose the size and colour she wanted and clicked purchase. She felt relief wash over her as she had found exactly what she was looking for so quickly and that she was benefiting the environment with her purchase.
Experience Scenario Two On his daily commute home from work, Derek had overheard people talking about a new app that had come out that was supposed to help people shop in a more ethical manner. Derek was intrigued by this idea, he was becoming increasingly aware of the impact consumerism and capitalism had on the environment and was looking for ways to change his regular buying habits. Derek searched “ethical shopping” and downloaded the lücent app. He clicked on the widget and was greeted by a soft blue glow and a welcoming message. He was then prompted to begin the lücent experience by creating a profile and filling in his values. He was informed that the more questions he answered about his ethics and morals the more accurate lücent could match him to companies. He began by filling out his basic information: name, user name, e-mail to create an account and then was directed to a page labeled
VALUES. Beneath were five categories: Self, Human, Animal, Land and Water. Each title led him to a more extensive list of categories with questions on ethical practices. He clicked on Humans and chose the first category: Women In Industry. “How important is it to you that brands are owned or operated by a woman?” He slid the toggle from the center slightly more towards the right, indicating it was important. A new question appeared: “How important is it that the brand supports women’s rights?” Once again he took the toggle and pushed it almost to the right end of the scale. He continued through each of the categories, answering all of the questions that were provided. When he was finished answering everything, lücent informed him that he was ready to start shopping. To give it a test and see its accuracy, Derek looked up a brand
he had read was recently accused of animal testing. Immediately lücent provided him an overview of the company with a 5% in red next to it, indicating Derek’s compatibility with the brand. He was able to scroll down and see a list of the certifications the brand had met, and ones it had failed to meet. To no surprise, animal cruelty was listed. Derek closed the app, feeling confident in its information and vowed to use it for his future purchases.
“Derek closed the app feeling confident”
Experience Scenario Three Jess pushed her cart down the aisles of the grocery store. She had one of her kids sitting in the cart and the other one on her hip, insisting on being held. In her
particular bunch had been grown in a different state and was cleared for safe consumption.
other hand she had her phone and was trying to Google the name of the company that the romaine lettuce she wanted to buy was from.
quickly she was able to find that information and decided to continue to use lücent for her future purchases.
There had been a recall a few weeks ago from lettuce in the Arizona region, but she was having a hard time finding out where the lettuce in front of her had been grown. She was becoming increasingly frustrated as her children were growing impatient and she still didn’t know if it was the safest choice for her to buy that lettuce or not. Jess recalled that she had the lücent app. She closed out of her many Google searches and launched the app. Within seconds, Jess had scanned the barcode on the lettuce bag and knew that this
Jess was delighted at how
When Jess got home and began putting the groceries away, she became curious about the bag of coffee she had just bought. It claimed to be a “green friendly” company. She scanned the barcode and saw that the coffee brand was a 92% match with her. Jess could trace exactly where the coffee beans had been grown and was pleasantly surprised to find she could even see the name of the farm in Costa Rica the beans had been harvested from. Satisfied with her answer, she closed the app and brewed a pot of coffee.
“Jess could trace exactly where the coffee beans had been grown” 87
Final Thoughts Upon completion of my eight month meta project, it’s become quite clear that this concept is far from over. I feel as if I have just barely scratched the surface of the possible changes and designs necessary to tackle such a large scaled issue like ethical consumption. Many times throughout my research, I would tell people about my plan to design a new system for ethical consumption based on supply chain transparency. The general reaction was “that’s so cool! But how could you possibly do that?” To me, lücent is the metaphorical David, while the consumerist industry is the great Goliath. It sometimes seemed like an impossible task to accomplish, however I truly believe that every thought, idea or design put forth in this world is one step closer to the future of design and consumption I want to live in. I do plan on trying to take lücent further into fruition. I believe that if there is even a slight possibility to change one persons life affected by the negative impact of consumerism, it’s worth trying.
Thank You I would like to thank my mother and sister for all of the guidance, proof reading, editing and unsolicited (but very much appreciated) advice I received not only these past eight months, but for my entirety of my life. To my family who has supported all of my endeavors, no matter the size. To my friends (Toby) who took the time to listen to me rant about school and continuously showed interest and offered encouraging words. To my classmates, who stuck it out with me till the bitter end, And to my professors, Bernhard Dietz and Alexander Manu, for helping me bring lĂźcent to life. It truly takes a village.
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A research project with introspection and reflection on the current global consumerist landscape. A proposal of leading with altruistic valu...
Published on Nov 27, 2019
A research project with introspection and reflection on the current global consumerist landscape. A proposal of leading with altruistic valu...