Najmeh Mirzaie Prof. Scott Boylston Fall 2012
Abstract Today, human needs and their societies have become complicated and continuous growth of human population, urban patterns, new technologies, and natural resources consumption reveal the important role of designers as pioneering creators of human societies. The importance of users’ behaviors in environmental protection has created the concept of “sustainable behaviors”. We as designers are now responsible to shape users behaviors as key in achieving sustainability. The expansion model of business and our global economy have created a culture of consumption. Users around the world are being encouraged to adapt new technologies and their related products. Our complicated systems caused huge traps in our societies from abuse of shared resource, beating the rules, and seeking the wrong goals. These current forms of global capitalism are ecologically and socially unsustainable. All these deprivations are causing in resentments and many unsustainable behaviors against the collective concerns of the societies. Therefore, these critical areas are necessary domain for designer’s active participation. This journal explores how sustainable behavior context could harmonize the individual concerns of the citizens with collective concerns of the society, so in the long term prevent the mentioned traps in our systems. Through studying our natural capital, frameworks, and system thinking the journal investigates the requirement for enabling people to live as they like, but in a sustainable pattern. There are different groups of frameworks that can help designers that all share the nature as model and mentor. Everything in nature is about optimization; there is no waste or discrimination. So, these models are our blueprint to reach to a sustainable future. Sustainable behavior has a strong emphasis on promoting product service systems. It stresses a shift from economy of good and purchases to economy of service and flow where manufacturers deliver upgradable and durables services. The results are financial benefits for companies, strong relationship between consumers and manufactures, decreasing the consumption culture, and protecting the natural resources. Eventually, the importance of fostering sustainable behavior to create social innovation and empower communities will be explored. By self-organizing designs, we could create resilient systems and promote diversification and self-evolving abilities in our communities.
Table of Contents Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………….. Sustainability and Sustainable behavior ………………………………………………….. History and Theories ………………………………………………………………………. The Expansion Model ……………………………………………………………. The Sustainability Model ………………………………………………………… Wicked Problems ………………………………………………………………… Prescriptive and Predictive Theories ……………………………………………. Influential leaders …………………………………………………………………………. Victor J. Papanek ………………………………………………………………… Victor Margolin …………………………………………………………………. William McDonough …………………………………………………………….. Richard Buchanan ……………………………………………………………….. Ezio Manzini ………………………………………………………………….….. Natural Capitalism ………………………………………………………………………… Frameworks ……………………………………………………………………………….. Biomimicry and Industrial ecology ……………………………………………… Cradle to Cradle and Lean thinking ……………………………………………... Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) ………………………………………………………… Total Beauty ……………………………………………………………………… Social Return on Investment (SROI) ……………………………………………. Thinking in systems ……………………………..………………………………………… Sustainable Behaviors in practice ………………………………………………………… Sustainable living in organizations ……………………………………………… The social Impact of new global capitalism …………………………………….. Community-based social marketing …………………………………………….. User experiences and designers influence ……………………………………... Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………. Resources ……………………………………………………………………......................
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Introduction Throughout history, designers’ endeavors in understanding human needs have extended their responsibilities. Today, challenging the current functional objects, reconsidering the product aesthetics and creating more enduring products are among responsibilities of designers. These responsibilities that are in some ways the reliable foundations for developed or developing countries are grounded in a sustainability context. Sustainability as a dynamic goal suggests longevity and endurance in design (Walker, 2006). My passion about sustainability started during my education as an Industrial designer. Designers’ perspectives like Victor Papanek and Ezo Manzini informed me about situations of neglected people and environments that were affected by inappropriate designs. I became really fascinated by Manzini’s ideas such as promoting social-cultural diversity and empowering people participations. I learnt about power of designers in creating harmony with growth patterns of urban environments, consumption of natural resources, and human well-being in a sustainable manner. My most pressing stimulus for selecting the sustainability field and SCAD is my passion in studying promotion of social well-being and environmental sustainability in large cities with emphasis on sustainable behavior. Nowadays the conventional goal of sustainable design as designing energy efficient and recyclable products has altered and a sustainable designer must be capable of changing users’ behaviors. Sustainable behavior emphasizes user’s behavior in terms of environmental implications. It empowers designers to directly modify users’ experiences and behaviors and convert their individual interests to the collective interests of the society. Through this journal I would like to share my knowledge about this context. The following information is a combination of my previous studies and the content that I had learned in “Applied Theories in Sustainability”. The journal commences with introducing sustainability and sustainable behavior context. Then related history, theories, and influential leaders are described. Based on sustainable behavior goals, concept of Natural Capitalism, related frameworks, and system thinking will be presented. Finally, crucial elements in practicing sustainable behavior and related case studies will be discussed. Seven case studies are presented in relation to the content. My most pressing stimulus for selecting the sustainability field and SCAD is my passion in studying promotion of social well-being and environmental sustainability in large cities with emphasis on sustainable behavior. Nowadays the conventional goal of sustainable design as designing energy efficient and recyclable products has altered and a sustainable designer must be capable of changing users’ behaviors. Sustainable behavior emphasizes user’s behavior in terms of environmental implications. It empowers designers to directly modify users’ experiences and behaviors and convert their individual interests to the collective interests of the society. Through this journal I would like to share my knowledge about this context. The following information is a combination of my previous studies and the content that I had learned in “Applied Theories in Sustainability”. The journal commences with introducing sustainability and sustainable behavior context. Then related history, theories, and influential leaders are described. Based on sustainable behavior goals, concept of Natural Capitalism, related frameworks, and system thinking will be presented. Finally, crucial elements in practicing sustainable behavior and related case studies will be discussed. Seven case studies are presented in relation to the content.
Sustainability and Sustainable behavior
Sustainability and Sustainable behavior “Sustainability is our current attempt to come to terms with the economic, environmental and social concerns that we are facing in contemporary society. Sustainability is ways of living in which these concerns are responsibly embraced and infuse our various endeavors.” Stuart Walker, 2006 The World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in 1987 known by its Chairman name as the Brundtland Commission, for the first time united countries to pursue sustainable development. The resulted report, “Our Common Future” created a sustainability model that considered the world as an ecological system with finite resources.
“Sustainable development is a type of a development that would enable us to meet our needs in ways that would not jeopardize the potential of future generations to meet their needs.” Our common future, 1987
Sustainable development concentrates on environmental supervision, social equity and justice, and economic matters (Walker, 2006). These three aspects of sustainable development have been interpreted differently and prioritized regarding dissimilar perspectives. (Figure 1)
Figure 1- Sustainable development
We as designers could promote our knowledge about recycling, utilizing renewable energies, safety, profitability, and supporting human rights with help of sustainable product design education (Datschefski, 2001). In other words, designers’ understanding of functional objects has been challenged by sustainable design toward reevaluating our views of product aesthetics and considering more significance for enduring products. Following objectives could guide designers in regulating people behaviors in urban evolutions and creating healthy environments for current and future generations (Klemes & Pierucci, 2007): •Reduction and avoidance in impacts on natural resources •Maintenance of ecosystems •Consumption of recyclable resources •Avoidance of waste via reuse, recycle, and recover •Provision of humans happiness and potential strengths
“Behavior change is the corner-stone of sustainability.” Dough McKenzie-Mohr, 2011
The importance of user behavior in terms of environmental implications has created the concept of “sustainable behavior”. Changes in user’s behaviors and habits could create unbelievable and impressive results in protecting our natural resources. Thomas Dietz, a professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and his colleagues have estimated that, it is possible to reduce total US Carbon dioxide emissions by 7.4% over the next ten years through programs that target residential energy use and nonbusiness travel. (Dietz & et. al, 2009)
Due to fast and sporadic evolution of our urban environments, we as designers are responsible to concentrate on shaping the behavior of users to a sustainable way that benefits the society and the user simultaneously. We can consider ourselves as shapers of the society. We are now society centered designers instead of user-centered designers whose objective is to create a harmonization between individual and collective concerns with key element of behaviors. Collective concerns like safety or responsibility are concerns we have for society, organization, family, or any other social group that are most of the time in conflict with our individual concern like efficiency or comfort.
The two concerns have different perspectives about userâ€™s behavior as a goal or mean. In collective concerns, social implications are influencing the userâ€™s behaviors, so user uses her behaviors as means to reach to social implications as a goal. But, in individual concerns, user uses her interaction with products as means to reach to her behaviors as her goals (Figure 2). Therefore, in this scenario user/product interactions are ways of influencing userâ€™s behaviors (Tromp & et al, 2011). Standing for a red traffic light as collective concern and urge to pass for getting to class sooner as an individual concern are two simple examples for above conflicted situations.
Figure 2- Collective and individual concerns (Tromp & et al, 2011).
In the following chapters the origin, necessity, importance, and applications of sustainable behaviors in details will be discussed.
History and Theories
History and theories Ecological problems have been rooted in industrialism. The Industrial Revolution, a period from 1750 to 1850 as the start point brought artistic sensibilities, making money, and giving form to materials and forms for mass production as major these responsibilities for designers that still is strong and continuing! This perspective embeds all designersâ€™ endeavors in customer culture. Seeking these wrong goals has been contributed to uncontrollable growth of human population, pollution, consumption and waste, and transformations. These four criteria have been considered as the main changes of our human society that impact the ecology. Deep ecology is a contemporary ecological philosophy of the inherent worth of living beings regardless of their instrumental utility to human needs. Deep ecologists reject the usual approaches to preserving the environment and believe that our society must undergo a revolutionary change in the way we think. Not only about the environment, but about how we lead our lives as well. We must change the very foundations of our society and our minds. (Sessions, 1995) The expansion model has been shaped during these past years after industrial revolution. In this model, the world consists of markets in which products as economic exchanges pursue just one specific goal, attracting capital. The expansion model is still powerful because of strong interest of the world political powers. Their serious defense against all the global sustainability models is necessity of human betterments that have being achieved constantly with technological innovations of the expansion model. (Figure 3)
Political power & control
Continuing & powerful
Because of Human Betterment
are serious defense
products capita foremost as token of economic exchange
become a part of the accumulation of private or corporate wealth
technological innovation policy of global sustainability
Figure 3- The expansion model
This model has been resulted in the “conspicuous consumption” and “human well-being” concepts. (Figure 4) • Conspicuous consumption- The market is full of an extraordinary range of products that are consistently increasing users’ expectations. These products are being purchased just for the sake of symbolic statement, not for a special need. So, in results there is no demand and no end! In other situations like smart and new technological products, people actually are being forced (radical monopoly) or encouraged (built-in obsolescence) to buy a new model. • Human Well-being- believes in democracy of consumption. Everybody in the world should be able to access effective and beautiful products. Currently, just 20% of the world population has access to 80% of the resources, our current social disaster, expanding this accessibility to the neglected 80% population will definitely result in an ecological disaster. Ecologists predict if all the Third World countries were to reach the consumption level of the US by the year 2060, the annual resulting environmental damage would be 220 times of what it is today, which is not even remotely conceivable. (Goldsmith, 1996 and Capra, 2002)
1. extraordinary range of products
Concept of Well-being
different level of quality
no restraints on product refinement
2. purchase as a representation instead of need (symbolic statement)
3. Growing Objects and User Expectations -Creation of markets for new products leads to demand with no end (such as smart objects)
increase individual freedom and democracy of consumption designing effective, accessible, beautiful products
product based democratization of access to products
4. Radical Monopoly -people with no choice but to use the system
ecological disasterdepletion of all natural resources social disaster- 20% of population & 80% of resources
Figure 4- Results of the expansion model
This competitiveness in the global economy to acquire benefit is so extreme that environmental regulations are eliminated rather than strengthen, in order to lower the costs of industrial production. This pattern has started in North America, Europe, and Japan and then enlarged to China and the newly industrialized countries of Southeast Asia. An example would be approximately every major river of Taiwan has been contaminated severely by agricultural and industrial poisons or the level of air pollution is twice the considered harmful level in the US! Unfortunately, Taiwan is one example among numerous other similar situations all over the world where economic globalization is demolishing the environment. During years a sustainability model has been shaped too that considers the world as a system of ecological balances with finite resources (Figure 5). Unfortunately, as described above the model has not been able to accommodate with growth of the expansion model and global economy.
Sustainability Model The world disable a system finite resources
dynamic growth of production & trade
development of an emerging global economy
Figure 5- The sustainability model
Consequently, all these conflicts resulted in a class of ill-formulated social systems that was called â€œwicked problemâ€? by Horst Rittel in 1960s (Figure 6).
information is confusing
Thoroughly confusing ramifications in the whole system
many clients and decision makers with confusing values
A class of ill-formulated social system
Figure 6- Wicked problems Horst Rittel (1960s)
Wicked problems clearly prove the necessity of sustainable behaviors in our ill-formulated and complex urban and social systems. Considering this necessities:
What is the primary question for design profession? How we as designers can alter the culture of design to a culture of sustainability?
Prescriptive and predictive theories are two different types of theories and scenarios that have been explored during past years for answering these questions. Predictive theories â€“ This scenario is pragmatic and plausible and considers the possible answers to the current problems; what could happen?
William Moris could be considered one of the pioneers of these groups; however his Utopian for design and his novel News from Nowhere in 1891 was about the past instead of future and recreation of the past. R. Buckminster Fuller in 1920s was also in favor of predictive scenario. He created a comprehensive anticipatory design about systematic rethinking and connection to scientific theories and high level of technology. Figure 7 shows different scientific, technological and political theories that have been evolved during years.
Figure 7- Predictive theories
Prescriptive theories- This idealistic scenario is about finding the required answers; what should happen? Environmental activities that have been started by “Club of Rome” in 1968 are in this group. Club of Rome was a group that for the first time studied the world as a system and argued that “consumption of resources at the current rate is unsustainable.” It was for the first time that a problem statement was created that could be changed over time to incorporate new ideas. Tomas Maldonado in 1970s suggested the autonomy and a more active role for designers. He believed that human environment is one of the many subsystems that compose the vast ecological system of nature. Limits of Growth, published in 1972 was commissioned by Club of Rome declared that the global equilibrium should be achieved by: • Limits to population growth • Economic development of less developed countries • New attentiveness to environmental problems World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), Brundtland Commission, in 1987 and Earth Summit in 1992 that have been shown in Figure 8 are among other Prescriptive environmental activities.
Figure 8- Prescriptive theories
Influential Leaders "Act so that the effects of your action are compatible with the permanence of genuine human life". Hans Jonas This chapter explores leaders and influential designers in the culture of social responsibility for designers.
Victor J. Papanek “Industrial design has put murder on a mass production basis; they have become a dangerous breed.” Victor J. Papanek Austrian designer, teacher and author Victor J. Papanek (1923-1998) was one of the pioneers in advocating the responsibilities of designers for their societies. He was educated at MIT and became a follower of Buckminster Fuller who wrote the preface to the first English language edition of Papanek’s book Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change (1971). The book is about revolutionary ideas and uncompromising critique of contemporary design culture. In the course of his career, Papanek applied the principles of socially responsible design in collaborative projects with UNESCO and the World Health Organization. According to Papanek the design practices should focus on low technology products, designing for the disabled, creating new goods to counter growing environmental problems, and wisdom of indigenous people. Figure9-Victor Papanek http://baskools.com/pr actical-policy-makingeurope/
“Designers as producers are among those whose positive contributions are essential to building of a more humane world.” “There is not any social change between designers; they have failed to promote the argument of what they want to see.” “Designers occupy a dialectical space between the world that is and the world that could be. They are oriented towards the future, and informed by the past and present.”
Margolin is a Professor of Design History at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is the pioneer of social approach in design and a co-editor of the academic design journal, Design Issues which first published in 1984. He is the author and editor of a number of books including Discovering Design, The Idea of Design, and The Politics of the Artificial. According to Margolin, the scope of social design research includes: Public perceptions of designers The economics of social interventions The value of design in improving the lives of underserved populations A taxonomy of new products and typologies The economics of manufacturing socially responsible products A way that such products and services are received by populations in need. Figure10-Victor Margolin http://www.design.cmu.edu/d esignthefuture/victormargolin/
William McDonough “Less bad is not good, is less bad!” “We should learn from nature synthesis to eliminate our waste, respect diversity, and create a building system like a tree” “It is a time for responsible designing for 7.044 billion population of the world.” William McDonough
McDonough is a one of the leaders in sustainable development. Time magazine recognized him in 1999 as a "Hero for the Planet”. In 1996, McDonough received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the nation's highest environmental honor. He is the architect of many of the recognized flagships of sustainable design, including the Ford Rouge truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan. He was commissioned in 1991 to write The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability as guidelines for the City of Hannover's EXPO 2000. In 2002, McDonough and the German chemist Michael Braungart co-authored Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, as a framework for changing the responsibility of designers in the industry. Figure11-William McDonough http://tsf.njit.edu/2005/fal l/mcdonough.php
Richard Buchanan “The implication of the idea that design is grounded in human dignity and human rights is enormous and we should think carefully about the nature of human rights and how these rights are directly affected by our work.” “Expand the role of design in sustaining, developing, and integrating human beings into broader ecological and cultural environments, shaping these environments when desirable and possible or adapting to them when necessary.” Richard Buchanan
Figure12- Richard Buchanan Photo by Najmeh Mirzaie
Buchanan is a Professor of Design Management, and Information Systems at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University from 2008. Before that, he served as the Head of School of Design in Carnegie Mellon University. Buchanan is a widely published author and speaker. He is also co-editor of the journal of Design Issues, published by the M.I.T. Press. He served for two terms as President of the Design Research Society, the learned society of the design research community. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and an honorary doctorate from the University of Montreal. Buchnan believes in design capacity to connect and integrate useful knowledge from the arts and sciences alike, but in ways that are suited to the problems and purposes of the present. He proposed four domains of design for solving wicked problems: 1. Design of symbolic and visual communication 2. Design of material objects 3. Design of activities and organized services 4. Design of complex systems of environments for living, working, playing and learning
1.Design of Symbolic and Visual Communication
3.Design of Activities and Organized Services
2.Design of Material Objects
4.Design of complex systems of Environments for living, working, playing and learning.
Figure13- Four Domains of Design to solve Wicked Problems
Ezio Manzini “Design is a creative activity whose aim is to establish the multi-faceted qualities of objects, processes, services and their systems in whole life-cycles.” “When there is no room for choice, because the solution is dictated by strong social conventions and/or technology constraints, there is no design.” Ezio Manzini
Manzini is an Italian design strategist, one of the world’s leading experts on sustainable design and author of numerous design books such as Design for Environmental Sustainability. He is a professor of Industrial Design at Milan Polytechnic, and founder of the DESIS network of university-based design labs. His work over the past 30 years in sustainability and social innovation has united around four ideas: small, local, open, and connected.
Figure14Ezio Manzini http://aniversario35u pb.wordpress.com/f oro/conferencistas/
He believes design should move towards socialization and change the role of users from passive to active, as a co-producer of the results. He thinks designers should perform based on ethic of responsibility (Figure 15) and create a system of powerful communities that enable people to fulfill their potentials by using their own skills in the best possible way. His guidelines for a transition phase are: • “Promote a sustainable wellbeing • Enable people to live as they like and in a sustainable way” • Enhance social innovation and steer it towards more sustainable ways of living
According to Manzini, ethic of responsibility requires radical changes in social expectations and systems that will result in creative and powerful communities as the main medium of sustainable behavior. All these radical changes are rooted in our consumption habits. He and McDonough believe in a new radicalism that is all about no waste! (Figure 15)
Figure 15- Ethic of responsibility
Chatsworth House, UK Photo by Najmeh Mirzaie
“Humankind has inherited a 3.8 billion year store of natural capital. At present rates of use and degradation, there will be little left by the end of the next century.” (Hawken & et. al, 1999)
Natural capitalism is among four types of capital that an economy needs to function properly: 1. Human capital: labor, intelligence, culture, and organization 2. Financial capital: cash, investments, and monetary instruments 3. Manufactured capital: infrastructure, machines, tools, and factories 4. Natural capital: are all the resources that we are using from water to mineral and oil and living systems which includes grasslands, wetlands, oceans and etc.
Natural capitalism advocates the serious connections between the production and use of human-made capital and the maintenance and supply of natural capital. This context proposes four central strategies as enabling means of countries, companies, and communities, to operate in a way that all forms of capital were valued. 1.
Radical resource productivity- is the cornerstone of natural capitalism because it could stop the ruin of biosphere, make it more profitable to employ people, and therefore, protect the living systems and social consistency.
Biomimcry- is a new science about creative adoption of nature.
Service and flow economy- a shift from economy of good and purchases to one of service and flow where manufacturers deliver long-lasting, upgradable, and durables services. Their goal is selling results rather than equipment, performance and satisfaction rather than product itself. Because products would be returned to manufacturer for continuous repair, reuse, and remanufacturing, this concept of the service and flow economy will result in “cradle to cradle” framework that was mentioned as a proposed framework by William McDonough to reach to zero waste. If a company knows that nothing that came into factory could be thrown away and everything that is produced eventually would be returned, it will definitely change its approach. So, in a service economy, product is a means, not an end. (Figure 17)
Investing in natural capital- This strategy refers to reinvestment in sustaining, restoring, and expanding stocks of natural capital. (Hawken & et. al, 1999) (Figure 16)
Figure 16- Natural capitalism (Hawken & et. al, 1999, )
Figure 17- Strategy of service and flow (Hawken & et. al, 1999, )
Frameworks There are many different frameworks that could assist designers in promoting sustainable behaviors in societies. The most effective frameworks are: Biomimcry, Cradle to Cradle, Life Cycle Analysis, Total Beauty, and Social Return on Investment (SROI).
Biomimicry-is a new science about creative adoption of nature. Biomimicry teaches us to evaluate design solutions by comparing them with natures' principles and processes. It considers nature as a model, a measure, and a mentor. We have to try to work only with substances that nature recognizes and is able to assimilate. In Biomimicry context, our industrial systems behave like an ecosystem, where the wastes of a species are the resource to another species and the outputs of one industry is the inputs of another. Therefore, pollution and use of raw materials will be reduced. The models for these strategies have been studied in industrial ecology. (Figure 18)
Figure 18- Biomimicry
Biomimicry fits best into design, prototype, and test phases of design process since both share an iterative pattern (Figure 19).
Figure 19- Design process based on Biomimicry
Industrial Ecology- Industrial ecology is an interdisciplinary field of study that examines the relationship between economic development and the natural environment. It is about changing our very niche within the ecosystem learning how to be self-renewing right where we are. According to industrial ecology, nature is full of models as guidelines for more sustainable economic systems:
Type I- is a linear process where materials enter a part of a system and leaves as by products or waste. Because these types are fast growing and nothing is recycled or reused, consumption of raw material is very high. There are usually pioneers in the field and their primary goal is mass production. Weeds are in this type as they spread their seeds quickly and deplete the soil of its nutrients until there is none left and then move on to the next location. An example in industrial systems for type I would be the Industrial Revolution when products could be made in mass quantities without consideration of the natural resources. (Figure 20) Figure 20-Weeds, Type I system http://gardenofeaden.blogspot.com/2011/04/howto-control-weeds-in-lawn.html
Type II- is a process where materials enter a system and can be recycled and reused, but there is still some waste. As resources are being recycled, their growth is slower than Type I. They develop robust stem systems and optimize energy flows, so have a longer life span. Perennial plants are example of this type in natures which have roots and optimizes their output. Type II systems are our present industrial flows. (Figure 21) Figure 21-Perennial plants, Type II system http://www.northcreeknurseries.com/index.cfm/fus eaction/plants.plantDetail/plant_id/69/index.htm
Type III- is a closed loop system where waste equals food and is recycled and reused. There is an extreme loyalty to place and dedication to equilibrium in food cycles. Type III is a blueprint of our future survival, our next Industrial Revolution, what has been called cradle to cradle framework. Redwoods, trees that have deep roots and elaborate synergy with other plants, are examples for Type III systems in nature. (Figure 22) Figure 22- Redwoods , Type III system http://www.nps.gov/redw/planyourvisit/drives.htm
Ten commandments of mature ecosystems, Type III, has been shown in Table 1 that the more relevant topics to sustainable behavior has been highlighted:
Table 1- Ten commandments of mature ecosystems, Type III 1) Use waste as a resource Peaceful coexistence and precompetitive cooperation between companies in a 2) Diversify and cooperate similar niche allows for innovation at lower costs. to fully use the habitat 3) Gather and use energy efficiently Slowing down the through out of the materials and emphasizing the quality 4) Optimize rather than rather than quantity of the new things is required as quality provides maximize durability.
5) Use materials sparingly 6) Donâ€™t foul your own nest 7) Donâ€™t draw down resources 8) Remain in balance with the biosphere 9) Run on information 10) Shop locally
Perhaps the best way to keep from fouling our air, water, and soil is to stop producing toxins, or irregularly high fluxes of any sort.
What we need to establish are feedback links among and within businesses as well as feedback from the environment to businesses. The idea of an economy that suits the land and takes advantage of its local attributes would bring us closer to mirroring organisms that have evolved to be local experts.
Cradle to cradle (eco-effectiveness) - is an approach to design that is inspired by nature and calls for the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design. In this situation nature and commerce are allowed by products, industrial systems, buildings, even regional plans to fruitfully co-exist. This framework has been used as a foundation in MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry) firm. The company seeks to help industries leave a 'positive footprint' on the planet (instead of reducing a negative footprint). The framework presents “eco-effectiveness model” with the goal of zero waste, zero emissions, and zero ecological footprint. According to cradle to cradle efficiency is not a long term solution in regard to environmental problems as it just slows down the negative impacts (Figure 24). In the eco-effectiveness model, waste equals food, where everything in our product service systems is nutrition. For reaching to zero waste, the framework proposes two types of nutrients (Figure 23):
• Biological nutrient- is a material or product that is designed to return to the biological cycle. It is literally consumed by microorganisms in the soil and by other animals. Most packaging could be designed as biological nutrients. These types of products are being called products of consumption. The importance of this idea could clearly be perceived by looking around in our social urban places and tons of food packages that are being thrown away. • Technical nutrient- is a material or product that is designed to go back into the technical cycle, into the industrial metabolism, from which it came. This notion brings the importance of a product of service concept. Instead of assuming that all products are to be bought and owned by consumers, products with valuable technical nutrients like computers would be reconceived as enjoyable services. This system is beneficial for both the environment and the manufacturer. The manufacturer would save lots of money in their valuable material restoration and reduction of extraction of raw material that will subsequently result in less negative impacts on nature.
Redesigning manufacturing processes focusing on materials and process selection
Sharply reduce toxicity throughout life cycle of products in manufacturing
Figure 23-Biological and technical nutritents http://www.mbdc.com/detail.aspx?linkid=1 &sublink=6
A factory whose outputs are cleaner than its inputs.
Required to keep technical & biological materials separated
Figure 24cradle to cradle framework
As a common point with industrial ecology, cradle to cradle framework is based on the idea of “All sustainability is local” that makes it a perfect match for designing sustainable behaviors. Designers and industries should respect the diversity and the value of local materials, local energy flows, and local cultural and social forces. Furthermore, respecting the local resources is attached to respecting the diversity of needs and desires. It will be achieved by considering not only how a product is made but how it will be used, and by whom over times and spaces. Considering this factor will help designers to be aware about different users’ needs as an essential factor in changing users behaviors.
Lean thinking- Ohno-sensei was father of the Toyota Production system, which is the conceptual foundation of the world’s premier manufacturing organization and one of the central innovators in industry history. He created an intellectual and cultural framework for elimination waste.
“any human activity which absorbs resources but creates no value is waste.” Ohno-sensei
The nearly universal solution to such wasteful practices has been called “Lean thinking”. Four interlocked elements shaped the structure of this method: the continuous flow of value, as defined by the customer, at the pull of the customer, and in search of perfection. This method could clearly be connected to the idea of service and flow in natural capitalism and concept of zero waste by the cradle to cradle framework. All these are in favor of fulfilling customer needs in a more sustainable pattern. The satisfaction that they could bring is hidden but crucial in changing customer behavior. Lean production as is customer-based makes people happier. The University of Chicago psychologist Mihayly Csikszentmihalyi has found that people all over the world feel best when their activity involves clear objective, intense concentration, no distraction, immediate feedback on their progress, and a sense of challenge. Skiing just in control and high-standard kayaking are obvious examples. (Hawken & et. al, 1999 and Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). So, if we as designers could create these purposeful challenges for the users, they would definitely participate and become passionate about possible solutions toward eliminating waste and a sustainable future.
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) - is an entirely quantitative approach and is the most accurate framework for evaluating material and energy use. LCA process involves evaluating a product’s life cycle from material extraction to end of life. During this process, everything is taken into consideration: such as water use in every stage of production, type of used material, method of shipping and transportation, and packaging design. In this framework every detail is researched and taken into account to determinate product sustainability (Figure 25).
inventory of energy, material inputs & environmental releases
Quality, durability & consistency can not be addressed easily by
LCA technique to assess
evaluating the potential environmental impacts associated with inputs and releases interpreting the results to help you make more informed decisions
Figure 25LCA framework
Total Beauty- created by Edwin Datcheski, is a quantitative framework and a point system to calculate the total impacts of products and services. Datcheski believes unsustainable products canâ€™t possibly be beautiful. He defined five encompassing criteria for sustainability concerns:
1.Cyclic 2.Solar 3.Safe 4.Efficient 5.Social
Table 2- Five criteria to encompass sustainability by Edwin Datcheski Processes that close the loop between used resources and generated waste. Renewable sources of material and energy that derived from sun. All releases of life cycle should be safe or input for others. Energy and material use (including water) in manufacturing should be reduced to 90% of average levels. (in 1990s) Desirable solutions for human basic rights and natural justice should be considered.
Datchesfski introduced a scoring system for assessing the beauty of products that is more easily applicable to existing products comparing to new solutions. The scoring system includes ugly points for particularly bad performances criteria, material use, energy inefficiency, or social ills. Total Beauty can be scored relatively or absolutely, meaning the points awarded in scores can be calculated from absolute quantities for a product or assessed in relation to competing alternatives (such as scoring and adding plusses and minuses in performance categories instead of numbers to give a relative comparison between alternatives). However, the framework isnâ€™t valuable for its accuracy and often provides the required knowledge for designers during the concept and prototype phases.
Social Return on Investment (SROI) - SROI strategies measure social economic impacts. It is a new framework with no specific standard. It requires the translation of social values into some type of monetary return. An important initial step in this framework is establishing the impact of value chain across the social issue spectrum. These track the inputs/benefits of the solution, the activities that create the impact/ output (value being generated in social term) and overall outcome of the organization impacts. Although, it is impossible to calculate all social impacts and sometimes assumptions of organizations could be controversial or even inappropriate to try to quantify social impacts such as trying to justify freedom over slavery!
Approach to calculate SROI
Social Impact Assessment Hass Business School, UC Berkeley
1.Input (benefits of solutions)
Establish & describe the impact value chain tracks Social issue spectrum
2.Activities that create impacts 3.Outputs (social value creation) 4.Overall outcome of the organizationâ€™s impact
Figure 25- SROI framework
Case study 1, Reveal Sustainability Labeling Initiative- is a rating and labeling system for products and services to help customers to make cognizant decisions at the point of purchase that has been developed by Nathan Shedroff. Following example is a case study about LED light bulbs, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and low-consumption power adaptors. Measuring the economic impact for reducing only carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide in the environment had been chosen as a method and the researcher assumed that in the beginning only 5% of customer will adopted the bulb choices and will be reached to 80% in 10 years. These groups are from only the most environmentally â€“oriented 17% of the US and EU population Customers. Also, they will only replace three 3 CFL bulbs, 1 LED bulb, 1 low-consumption power adaptor per year. Figures 26and 27depict the results of the study.
Figure 26- Factors for measuring economic impact (Shedroff, 2009)
Imagine more than merely %1 of the US and EU population would change their behaviors!
Figure 27- The savings and benefits (Shedroff, 2009)
Thinking in systems
Thinking in systems As mentioned before, technological nutrients, natural capital and concept of no waste, stress strongly on usefulness of services.
Product Service Systems- Intangibility, potential participation of users in the process of production, and simultaneous production and consumption are among the main features of the nature of services. A product service system is a socially constructed system of products and services with cooperative capability of fulfilling a user’s need (Mont, 2002 & Morelli, 2002). It is a powerful director in transforming needs to practical concepts and changing user’s behavior toward sustainable manners. A system is a set of elements or parts that is comprehensibly structured and interconnected in a pattern or structure that produces a characteristic set of behaviors, as its “function” or “purpose”. When these patterns of behavior become problematic they create complications. These groups of problems have been called system traps. Regularly these destructions are blamed on particular actors or events, although it is actually a consequence of system structure. These systems can be escaped by recognizing them in advance and changing their structure.
There are eight system traps: policy resistance, tragedy of the commons, drift to low performance, escalation, success to successful, shifting the burden to the intervenor, rule beating, and seeking the wrong goals. Table 3 presents 5 types that are common in product-service systems regarding designing sustainable behaviors. In the last column, note, the connection and importance of a trap to sustainable behavior is described.
Trap/opportunity Tragedy of the commons
Drift to low performance/ “eroding goal”
Table 3- System traps Description The way out Refers to abuse of shared • Educate resource and lack of • Privatize accountability that will cause resources in • Regulate • Ecological tragedy (losing access resources and diversity) • Social tragedy (Death of people because of deficiency!) The desired state influenced • Absolute by the perceived state of the standards worst performance of the • Goals sensitive past that cause lower to the best standards. performance of the past
Shifting the burden to the intervenorAddiction
Refers to masking the real problem by reducing a symptom and short-term thinking
Strengthening the ability of the system to bear its own burdens
Refers to actions abiding by the letter, and not the spirit of the rule
Releasing creativity in achieving the purpose of the rule. (based on feedback)
Seeking the Wrong Goal
Goals should reflect the real welfare of the system.
Notes The structure of common systems makes selfish behavior much more convenient and profitable than responsible behavior to the whole community and to the future.
Handprint (increasing positive footprints) instead of decreasing our negative footprints to create awareness about successful results of actions toward sustainability. It is connected to Manzini’s idea about empowering the communities. Rule beating becomes a problem only when it leads the system into large distortion, unnatural behaviors that make no sense in absence of the rules. Systems should always produce results, not just efforts.
Within every system there are traps, but these traps can also become opportunities with the help of leverage points to identify where and how acts will result in the greatest amount of change.
â€œLeverage points are places in the system where a small change could lead to a large shift in behavior.â€? Jay Forrester, World Model, Club of Rome
Expansion model as we discussed before considers growth as its leverage point. Growth has benefits as well as cost which include poverty, hunger, and environmental destruction, in other words whole list of problems we are trying to solve with growth! So, we should change our traditional definitions and consider the growth in positive terms. A positive growth enriches vitality of the whole system. Table 4 presents eleven leverage points, and the most relevant ones have been highlighted.
Table 4- Leverage points No. 12
Leverage/ Power point Numbers
Stock and flow structures Delay
Description Constants and parameters such as subsidies, taxes, standard The size of stabilizing stocks relative to their flows (increasing the capacity of the buffer increasing the stability of the system) Physical systems and their nodes of intersection Refers to the lengths of time relative to the rates of system changes. It is always easier to slow down the change rate, so that inevitable feedback delays wonâ€™t cause so much trouble. The strength of feedbacks relative to the impacts they are trying to correct We drastically narrow the range of conditions over which the system can survive. The strength of the gain of driving loops Reinforcing loops are sources of growth, explosion, erosion, and collapse in the system.
Balancing feedback loop
Reinforcing Feedback Loop
The structure of who does and does not have access to information/ Missing information flows is one of the most common causes of system malfunction.
The role of system defines its scope, boundaries, degree of freedom. So, if you want to understand the deepest malfunctions of systems, pay attention to the rules and to who has power over them. Refers to the power to add, change, or evolve system structure
Refers to the purpose or function of the system
The mind-set out of which the system-its goals, structure, rules, delays, parametersarises. It is the deepest set of beliefs about how the world works among a society.
To keep oneself unattached in the arena of paradigms, be flexible, and always listen to the universe to get a purpose
More leverage in designing the behavior is in slowing down the economic growth, so technologies and process can keep up with it.
A system, with a uncheck reinforcing loop will ultimately destroy itself/ Slowing down the economic & population growth Systematic tendency of human beings to avoid accountability for their own decisions is one of the main reasons for unsustainable behaviors.
The ability to self-organize is the strongest form of system resilience and is effective in promoting diversification and self-evolving abilities, especially in communities. The goal of keeping the population in balance & evolving has to trump the goal of each population to reproduce without limit. We can change paradigm by building a model of the system which takes us outside the system and forces us to see it as a whole.
As mentioned before, initiatives to promote behavior change are often most effective when they are carried out at the community level and involve direct contact with people. This is because it could powerfully affect how people view themselves (McKenzie-Mohr, 2011). Consequently, it will have a huge impression of their support for policy changes or moving toward a new paradigm. Moreover, by encouraging self-organization and removing the burden from the intervenor, the members of communities will be connected to each other based on shared ways of doing things and relating these practices to one another. This will allow them to achieve their common value as a more sustainable community. Also, over time, the resulting practice becomes a recognizable bond among those involved toward a strong sense of community as has been called â€œdynamics of cultureâ€? (Capra, 2002).
Case study 2, Electric Meters in Dutch Houses- A great example for importance of information flow as a leverage point is the story of the electronic meter in a Dutch housing development. Near Amsterdam, there is a suburb of single-family houses all built at the same time and similar to each other. For unknown reasons some of the houses were built with the electric meter down in the basement and the other houses with the electric meter in the front hall. As the household uses more electricity, the wheel turns faster and a dial adds up the accumulated kilowatt-hours. During the oil and energy crisis of the early 1970s, the Dutch began to pay close attention to their energy use. It was discovered that some of the houses in this subdivision used 30% less electricity than the other houses. All houses were charged the same price for electricity and all contained similar families. The difference was in the position of the electric meter. The families with high electricity use were the ones with the meter in the basement where people rarely saw it. The ones with low use had the meter in the front hall where it was visible to the users (Figure 28).
Figure 28- Electric Meters in Dutch House http://infiniteinspiration.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/ electric-meters-in-dutch-houses/
Sustainable behaviors in practice
Sustainable living in organizations Regarding our modern and complex society, organizations is one of the great fields of practices for designing sustainable behaviors. It is common to hear that people in organizations resist change, but in reality, people do not resist change; they resist having change imposed on them. In bringing sustainable behaviors to these complicated systems the designer could use the principles of living systems in eco-systems, which are the basis of sustainability. According to a study by Harvard business school large resilient and long-lived corporations that survived major changes in the world around them, commonly exhibit the behavior and certain characteristics of living entities.
The study identified two sets of characteristics that are helpful in encouraging sustainable behaviors in organizations: • Strong sense of community and collective identity about common values- In these companies, members know that they will be supported in their endeavors to achieve their own goals. Like communities in the neighborhood, a strong feeling among the employees of a company that they belong to the organization is essential for its survival. • Openness to the outside world- These companies have the required tolerance for new individuals and ideas and a manifest ability to learn and adapt to new circumstances. To encourage sustainable behaviors in a company designers should consider special responsibilities for leaders as source of influence. Leaders should be able to recognize emergent novelty and create a fostering culture of freedom to make mistakes. In such a culture experimentation is encouraged and learning is valued as much as success. Therefore, the most effective way to enhance an organization’s sustainable learning potentials is to support and strengthen its communities of practice. Designers could help these leaders to integrate the challenges of ecological sustainability into their strategies by shifting their priorities toward developing the creative potential for employees and enhancing the quality of the company’s internal communities. (De Geus, 1997)
“In an organization that is alive knowledge creation is natural.” Fritjof Capra
As said in traps section of the system chapter, encouraging sustainable behaviors in communities and removing the additive trap could also be helpful in creation of collective empowerment.
Bringing life into human organizations by empowering their communities of practice not only increases their flexibility, creativity and learning potential, but also enhances the dignity and humanity of the organizationâ€™s individuals, as they will be connect with those qualities in themselves. So, mentally and emotionally healthy working environments in which people feel that they are supported in achieving their own goals and do not have to sacrifice their integrity to meet the goals of the organization will be accomplished. A further step for this concept is citizens of a city or a country. If designers could generate these supporting bonds between different parts of a larger system, as a result rule beating and seeking the wrong goal traps (Table 2) two major traps of society will be diminished.
The social Impact of new global capitalism Our new global capitalism could be characterized by three fundamental features: its core economic activities are global, the main source of productivity and competitiveness are innovation, knowledge generation and information processing. The new capitalism is structured largely around networks of financial flows. In this new system areas that are not valuable from informational capitalism and do not have a special interest for political powers are intentionally being deprived of wealth, information, and basic technological requirements that enable them to communicate, innovate, and practically live. These current forms of global capitalism are ecologically and socially unsustainable. All these deprivations that have been caused by economic globalization are growing rapidly in all parts of the world and are causing in resentments and many unsustainable behaviors against the collective concerns of the societies. Therefore, these critical areas are a necessary domain for designerâ€™s active participation. This necessity could be referred back to Margolin idea of the value of design in improving the lives of underserved populations and Papanekâ€™s idea of socially responsible design in forgotten places.
Community-based social marketing “We live in a finite world and humanity will eventually be forced to adopt sustainable practices.” Dough McKenizie-Mohr
Dough McKenizie-Mohr is an environmental psychologist and founder of community-based social marketing . His book Fostering Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing is about elegant and practical moves toward sustainable practices adoption. Most programs for fostering sustainable behaviors are based on large information-based campaigns. These campaigns have two approaches; changing attitude of people by increasing public knowledge and providing systematically economic evaluation of the desired behavior. However, most of these extremely expensive campaigns are not very effective in changing user behaviors, because they underestimate the difficulty and complexity of the process. According to McKenizie-Mohr:
“If we are to make the transition to a sustainable future gracefully, we must concern ourselves with what leads individuals to engage in behavior that collectively is sustainable, and design our programs accordingly.”
Contrary to conventional approaches, community-based social marketing has been very successful in behavior changing because of its realistic tactic that involves five steps: selecting behaviors to be encouraged, identifying barriers & benefits, developing strategies to address these barriers, conducting a pilot with a small group of a community, and broad-scale implementation and assessment of impacts.
Selecting behaviors to be encouraged- There are always board groups of behaviors to be fostered like water efficiency, waste reduction, or altering transportation choices. Therefore, making informed choices is essential for a designer. Understanding the current impact of the behavior, probability of audience engagement, and level of the behavior diffusion among target audiences are helpful in narrowing down our choices.
Identifying barriers & benefits- These barriers and motivations according to social science are activityspecific. So, it is necessary to begin by identifying them using a combination of secondary research, contextual research, and surveys.
3. Developing strategies to address these barriers- For enhancing the adoption of a desired behavior it is essential to address two set of encouraging behaviors and discouraging behaviors simultaneously in our strategies (Figure 29). For example to encourage bicycling, we need to increase the barriers and reduce the benefits of driving.
Discourage Figure 29- behavior it is essential to address two set of encouraging behaviors and discouraging behaviors simultaneously (Dough McKenizie-Mohr, 2011)
Following are five tools: 3-1-Commitment- As designers it is important to identify occasions that provide people with opportunities to frequently engage in an activity and alter their beliefs about that specific behavior in these situations. For example, recycling is a repetitive action and our strategy in this situation should lead the engaged users to a stronger belief of the importance of reducing emissions. Public and durable commitments enrich the likelihood of following engagements and because those commitments are visible to the public they also foster social diffusion. One example could be publishing the name of people who are conserving electricity and natural gas in the local newspaper or asking vehicle owners to commit to turn their car off while waiting to pick up someone by providing a prompt that can be attached to the visible parts of the car.
3-2-Social Norms are the best tools to gain community support. There are two types of norms, descriptive and injunctive. Descriptive norms refer to perceptions of what is commonly done. They signal mainstream behavior. Frequently, people do not want to be outside the mainstream. Distinct from perceptions of what is commonly done, injunctive norms refer to perceptions of what should or should not be done by individuals within a culture (i.e. approved or disapproved behavior). The first important factor is making the norm visible at the time of user behavior occurrence, such as a noticeable display in supermarkets about the percentage of shoppers who purposefully bring their own shopping bags. Also, showing information about the percentage of staff that is using mass transit, carpooling, walking or bicycling to get to work, in the foyer of an organization is an example for spreading the adoption of desired behaviors. The results of similar projects have shown that we are likely to be influenced by the behavior of those we perceive to be similar to ourselves.
Case study 3- Increasing hotel towel reuse (Goldstein & et al, 2008) We all have seen these environmental request cards at Hotels to reuse the towels in reducing the laundry. A study had been done with the help of Phoenix-based hotel to test the effectiveness of these messages in three different methods; a standard message, a request with descriptive norms, and appeal that use the norm specific for the room that the guest was staying in: • Environmental Protection; “Help save the environment. You can show your respect for nature and help save the environment by reusing your towels during your stay.” (Figure 30) • Descriptive Norms: “Join your fellow guests in helping to save environment. Almost 75% of the guests who were the asked to participate in our new resource savings programs do help by using their towels more than once. You can join your fellow guests in this program to help save the environment by reusing your towels during your stay.” • Room Descriptive norms: The room-specific descriptive norm replaced the sentence regarding reuse rates in the hotel with one specific to the room. “75% of the guests who stayed in this room participated in our new resource saving program by using their towels more than once.”
As the result, in the standard method 37% of the guests reused their towels. With card reference reuse for the hotel 44%, and in specific appeal for the room 49% of the guests reused their towels. Figure 30- A standard message Goldstein & et al, 2008
Case Study 4- Using Social Norms to Reduce Household Energy Consumption (Schultz & et al, 2007) In this project in 2005 information was delivered to households in the City of San Marcos, California, in order to foster norms that support reduced electricity consumption. The researchers used two types of norms, descriptive and injunctive. The researchers provided normative information for hundreds of households over a period of four weeks. At the beginning of the four-weeks, two door hangers were delivered one week apart to the households. Each door hanger displayed: • The amount energy that the household had used in the previous week; • Descriptive normative information about the amount of consumed energy by the average household in the neighborhood during the same period; and • Suggestions for conserving energy. (Figure 31)
On delivered door hangers’ households were in one of these four experimental conditions; an injunctive normative message implying approval for whose energy use was lower than the neighborhood average. Half of these low users received a happy face icon too. They used the same strategies for higher than average energy users, half of group with sad faces, implying disapproval and the other half of only received the standard information. (Figure 32) Three weeks after receiving the second and final door hanger, households who had higher-than-average electricity use at the outset of the campaign, and who had received information that included a sad face, had reduced their electricity use by 6.0 percent. Higher-than-average electricity users who received the standard information without the sad face had reduced their usage by 4.6 percent. Households that had lower-than-average electricity usage and received the happy face in addition to the standard information increased their usage by only 1 percent three weeks after receiving the second door hanger, a statistically insignificant amount, while those that did not receive a happy face increased their use by 10 percent.
Figure 31Suggestions for conserving energy with social norms for city of San Marcos (Schultz, 2007)
Figure 32Difference between daily energy consumption for the four conditions created (descriptive normative feedback only vs. descriptive feedback combined with an injunctive message). (Schultz & et al, 2007)
3-3- Social Diffusion is about accelerating the adoption of new behaviors. Conversations that we have with others, especially those we trust have excessive influence in our decisions compared to nonperson sources such as advertising. Bear Creek Elementary School in Boulder, Colorado encouraged children to walk or bike to school with different colored armbands based on distance. These armbands became mediums between children to talk about the behavior. 3-4-Prompts are reminders to act because abundant promoting actions of sustainability are vulnerable to our forgetting trait. Signs to encourage drivers to turn off their engines in parking position is an example. 3-5- Communication is about creating effective messages. All encouragements start with drawing attention. As discussed above, information is in groups of the main leverage points in the systems. Vivid, tangible, and personalized presentation of information is an effective ways to capture attention. To bring attention to the amount of the water that is used in cloth washing machines, designing a chart that compares the amount of required water for each option is an example for communication the information. 3-6-Incentives are enhancing motivations to bring users to action. The sizes of incentive, its relevance to the behavior, and visibility are important criteria in creation of incentives. Also, it is critical to remember if incentives are perceived to be extensive, such as carpooling lanes, people are motivated to avoid the incentive. Creating charges that are variable based upon time of electricity use is an example of using incentive to foster sustainable behavior. 3-7- Convenience- Sustainable behaviors that are inconvenient have low participation levels and will have a low adoption level if we as designers fail to address these barriers. For example, providing each office worker with a recycling container for paper can increase the amount of paper retrieved from a low percentage to over 75%. Policy is an important factor in this tool because all the proposed changes should be applicable through a policy filter.
Case study 5- Making biking convenient (Susan, & et al, 2010) Bike sharing programs were started in Amsterdam in 1965. The first communal bike sharing results were not economically successful as the bikes were quickly stolen or vandalized. However, now after nearly thirty-five years, bike sharing programs are being applied all over the world. The current generation of bikes is durable and traceable. In 2009, 100 bike sharing programs were registered and in 2010 another 45 programs were introduced. In total approximately 139,000 bikes are being shared in different programs around the world with some sites such as Velin in Paris averaging an amazing 20,600rentals a day in 2008 with a price â‚Ź 1.70 for one day (Erlanger , 2008). (Figure 33)
Figure 33- A system for renting Vélib’ bicycles in Paris (Erlanger , 2008).
Figure 34- Self-service rental stations in Paris (Erlanger , 2008).
The concept is simple. Bikes are provided at convenient stations that users register at the station or online with different period of rentals (Figure 34). The user enters a code or swipes her registration card. Bikes that are not returned within 24 hours are considered stolen and are charged to users credit. The most important target group of bike sharing programs is commuters. With the bike sharing program they are able to travel the last mile quickly and conveniently. The Biki system in Montreal, have stations that are solar-powered and could be set up in 20 minutes. Also they are mobile and can be moved in different locations. (Figures 35 and 36)
Figure 35- Montreal’s bikesharing system, known as “bixi” http://thecityfix.com/blog/bixi-lands-bostonlondon/
Figure 36-Montreal’s bikesharing system, known as “bixi” Pay station with solar power http://www.bixisystem.com/what-we-do/thestation/
In Paris users of the Velib system travel over 300,000 kilometers per day. Survey researchers suggest that bike sharing is displacing between 8% to 16% of vehicle trips. (DeMaio, 2009 and Gardner, 2010)
Conducting a pilot with a small group of a community- Regarding high implementation costs in large scale, it is important to conduct a pilot. Moreover, pilots could be useful in defining effective methods or even demonstrating merits of a program to its funders.
Broad-scale implementation and assessment of impacts
As said before, products or services that are deliberately designed to change behavior are frequently based on the existence of an undesired behavior such as unhealthy eating habits or unpaid train tickets. To change these behaviors, designers could discourage the undesired behavior or encourage the desired behavior. However, it is always more effective if we could address both the behaviors at the same time.
User experiences and designerâ€™s influence The other important issue in designing sustainable behaviors is userâ€™s experiences. The user experience of products and services is an important factor in the user motivation to alter his or her behavior. According to a research by Delf University of Technology, there are four different types of influences that can be used in changing the user experience and behavior: Strong, weak, apparent, and hidden. (Figure 37). The user experience of these designerâ€™s influences plays an important role in the effectiveness of the design involvement. The extent to which a user considers the implication as personally beneficial defines what type of influence is possible or appropriate. Based on these four types of influences, designers could use different strategies to affect the user experience and behavior: Strong 4. Make the desired behavior the only possible choice
1. Create a perceivable barrier for undesired behavior
Apparent 3. Generate optimal conditions for a specific behavior
2. Provide the user with arguments for specific behavior
Weak Figure 37- Four types of influences on users behavior and related strategies (Tromp & et al, 2011)
Create a perceivable barrier for undesired behavior (Strong and apparent): It is a very effective strategy, although the results could be situational and temporary and may not create a lasting change of behavior. Figure 38 shows the speed bump is designed to obstruct irresponsible driving behavior. The speed bump damages the car when the driver does not slow down. This strategy uses a so-called physical punisher for unwanted behavior . Figure 38- A perceivable barrier for undesired behavior http://www.ecofriend.com/eco-techburger-king-testing-energy-harvestingspeed-bump.html
Provide the user with arguments for specific behavior. (Weak and apparent): This strategy aims to address, form, or change attitudes, rather than directly facilitating a behavior with providing objective information about the consequences of certain behavior. A well-known example is the cigarette package with explanations of the consequences of smoking. (Figure 39)
Figure 39- Arguments for specific behavior, Consequences of smoking http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchi versscience/100079380/will-banningtobacco-displays-in-shops-help-preventyoung-people-smoking/
Generate optimal conditions for a specific behavior. (Weak and hidden): It is about designing and manipulating an optimal situation to create natural occurrences of the desired behavior without interfering in the underlying psychological processes of the behavior. An example is the coffee machine in the hallway of a company that encourages people to gather at a neutral place. This situation naturally results in small talk between colleagues who may not interact in the office. (Figure 40)
4. Make the desired behavior the only possible behavior to perform (Hidden and strong): All the other behaviors except the desired behavior are impossible in this situation. A bus stop location is an example that controls the distance that passengers need to walk and their physical activity. (Tromp & et al, 2011).
Figure 40- optimal conditions for a specific behavior, Coffee machine in the office hallway http://www.oncoffeemakers.com/whichis-the-best-office-coffee-machine.html
As I cited in the leaders chapter, Ezio Manzini is a well-known design strategist in changing userâ€™s behaviors in everyday living toward sustainability. He has a huge influence on my passion in this topic and I would like to finish this chapter with one of his ideas that coherently refer to all of our discussions in terms of creating a sustainable daily life. According to Manzini in sustainable daily life terms, the following criteria are indispensable in transforming the concepts to designs: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
â€œShare tools and equipment and bring people and objects together (Reduce demand) Bring people and things together (Reduce demand for transport) Produce at zero waste (Promotes forms of industrial ecology) Give space to nature (Protect natural) Promote variety (Protects and develops biological, social-cultural and technical diversity) Use the sun, wind, and biomass (Reduce dependence on oil) Develop networks (Promote decentralized flexible forms of organization) Think before doing (Weight up the objectives) Re-naturalize food (Cultivate naturally) Use what already exist (Reduce the need for the new) Empower people (Increase participation)â€? (Manzini, 2004 and Zafarmand, 2006) (Figure 41)
1. Reduce demand
4. Protect natural
7. Develop networks
10. Use what already exist
2. Bring together
5. Promote variety
8. Think before doing
11. Increase participation
3. Zero waste
6. Reduce oil need
9. Re-naturalize food
Figure 41- Sustainable everyday, scenario of urban life (Manzini, 2004 and Zafarmand, 2006)
Case study 6 -Massive Change (Mau & et al, 2004) *
Massive Change was a prescriptive exhibition about design and the future that opened at Vancouver Art Gallery in late 2004. It was designed by Bruce Mau Design and the Institute without Boundaries, the exhibition invited viewers to consider the dynamic future of design culture and the crucial real-life choices we must make. It shifted the objective of the welfare of the human race from a utopia to a design project, a practical objective. Relying heavily on experts in diverse fields, it emphasizes the ability to innovate in a socially-responsible way. (Figure 42)
Figure 42- Massive change (Mau and et al, 2004)
The exhibition was held in a series of eleven general themes; urbanization, movement, information, the image, markets, energy, materials, military, manufacturing, living, and wealth & Politics. All of the topics addressed the fundamental role of design in all aspects of human life, from manufacturing and transportation to health and the military. * http://www.massivechange.com/exhibition http://www.brucemaudesign.com/ http://www.institutewithoutboundaries.com/
In each area, visitors were presented with the objects, images, ideas and people that are reshaping the role of design in the world. They also published the results in a book with the same title Massive Change in 2004. (Figures 43 to 50) In the following I have captured three narratives by Bruce Mau as a founder of the exhibition in energy, material, and information sections. Energy- “The sun has helped human kind’s mystical and practical imagination for as long as we have recorded history. But, for more than a century it has taken a back seat to fossil fuels as the energy source driving civilization and shaping culture. This is about to change. In one hour the sun gives the earth more energy that is used annually by our global population. The task for contemporary design is to produce objects and systems that tap this powerful resource and provides the world’s population access to renewable energy. In the face of declining oil reserves and a carbon rich atmosphere, this is one of our pressing and promising design challenges. We envision a future of distributed energy production where the whole world enjoys the benefits of access to electricity. For with electricity come the power to access information through radio and internet and the power to achieve diverse goals from purifying water to building industry. In this firm you will find amazing facts about the energy potentials that exist and through the wall you will see some of the technologies which promise to take us into a clean energy future.” Bruce Mau
Figures 43 and 44- Massive change exhibition, Energy area http://www.robertharshman.com/360vr/mca/mca-energy-2.html
Figure 45- Fossil fuel free- The fist Shell-branded hydrogen fuel station to operate anywhere in the world opened in Reykjavik, Iceland, in April 2003. (Mau and et al, 2004)
Materials- â€œThe world is in the midst of materials revolution. New techniques including high tech composites, Nano-technology, bio-mimicry and Polymer science are producing materials with unprecedented performance and capacity to meet human needs. Traditional materials such as metals, ceramics and woods have dominated the field of design for centuries. Materials have traditionally been something to which design is applied. Now designers are designing the material itself. For example new methods in the field of Nano-technology have rendered matter as the object of design development. We see the emergence of a new field of superhero materials that are super hard, extra strong, and ultra-light. Scientists for example, are designing synthetic materials that mimic natureâ€™s intelligence. Such as synthetic fiber that surpasses the support strength of spider silk and synthetic adhesive, which out performs the grip strength of gecko feet. The materials revolution is well on the way and its outcomes would affect economic wellbeing of all nations and all industries.â€? Bruce Mau
Figures 46 and 47- Massive change exhibition, Material area http://www.robertharshman.com/360vr/mca/mca-materials-2.html
Figure 48- Material strategy for Massive change (Mau and et al, 2004)
Information- â€œDesign has played an integral role in the emergence of the information age. From the design of devices that links humans to their computers to the design of information that eventually emerges. The world of information is intimately linked to the world of design. If we are ever to achieve between this vision, the welfare of the human race. We need to see and understand the world as a global system. There is no accident that the first earth day happened after we were able to photograph our world from space for the first time. The image produced the movement. In the next room you will see a brief history of input devices. The objects we use to turn the information in our minds into data in a computer. A family tree indicates the evolution of devices within and across applications. Beyond that you will encounter a room of global portraits that reveal the extraordinary impact of information design on our understanding of our planet and its future.â€? Bruce Mau
Figure 49 and 50- Massive change exhibition, Information area http://www.robertharshman.com/360vr/mca/mca-global.html
Case study 7- Green TM (Menheere, 2006) This case study has been chosen to emphasize the importance of the usability of products that we as designers are bringing to society to support sustainable behavior. The ideas of eco-feedback presents users with information on the efficiency of their behavior and users are expected to relate this information to his or her own behavior, and adapt it to be more sustainable. A familiar example is the information about fuel consumption in cars. In 2006 a project was conducted in the Netherlands to apply eco-feedback to electronic and electrical devices in peopleâ€™s homes. Milieu Central is a Dutch non-profit organization that aims to stimulate consumers in more environmental-friendly behavior through publicity campaigns. In one of their campaigns one could use an energy meter free of charge for three weeks, on the condition that they would give the meter to a new family after three weeks. An evaluation of the project by Milieu Central showed that people that had used the energy meter could, on average, save 7% in energy consumption. On a national level this would reduce CO2 emissions by almost 1 megaton. (Koens & Groeneveld, 2006) But, the campaign was confronted with some usability problems as some participants found the meter too complex to use. Therefore, Delft University of Technology helped the campaign redesign the meter. The main problems found were related to inappropriate design of the buttons and hardship figuring out the sequence of the actions. In addition, the measuring device could only be operated when inserted into a wall socket, requiring people to lie down on the floor to see the readings if the wall socket was built at low height. Essentially, people were not able to perform the basic tasks that the product should enable them to do. (Figure 51)
Figure 51- Example of a usage problems with the original product, physical design of the product forced users to use the product upside down. (Menheere, 2006)
After a usability test one of the concepts was chosen and developed to Greeny™. (Figures 50 and 51) In the redesign project, based on contextual research and survey an inventory was made of the problems. Based on the user interviews and additional data, personas and scenarios were generated for recording all steps required to use the energy meter. (Fulton Suri and Marsh, 2000)
Figure 52 and 53- On-screen (left) and physical simulations (right) of the product during user evaluations (Menheere, 2006)
The new product focused on user interface such as essential functions including calculations in terms of financial cost – which is easy to understand by users and physical set-up of the product. Additionally, the levels of user’s engagement were enhanced by LEDs which increased light intensity as the measured energy use increases, enabling the product to be monitored with a single glance. In comparison of performing tasks to original energy meter, users were on average 4 times quicker with Greeny™. (Figure 54)
Figure 54- The final design of the Greeny™ Energy Meter (Menheere, 2006)
Conclusion This journal was an exploration in sustainability context with special focus on practical empowerments for designers toward changing users’ behaviors. Our modern society and complicated urbanism in relation to global economy have created new responsibilities for designers. A shift from user-concentration to society-centered design is required. We as designers are shapers of the future society. This critical task is about changing behaviors and habits of the citizens toward sustainable patterns. Changing customer behaviors is a complicated process, but if it is done thoroughly will have impressive positive impact toward protecting our nature, improving our economic matters, and encouraging social innovation. In other words, users’ behaviors are the key role in developing sustainable communities of the future. Therefore, collaborations and practices between designers and communities toward radicalism in consumption patterns and social paradigms are critical steps.
Affecting the behaviors of the communities for social implications requires a redefinition of the role of designers. We are no longer agents of big companies. We cannot hide behind the needs of the customers, or in other words the needs of companies! We have to think about the dignity of human beings and how our designs could affect people lives in neglected areas around the world in more positive pattern. Although, there are so many powerful controlling factors such as policy in our society, it does not indicate that we should not take serious the social consequences of our design. Our efforts in enriching sustainable behaviors will improve the connections between human-centered and participatory design that leads to social innovation among involved groups from designers to users. There is always a need in fostering the type of innovation in societies:
“Encouraging social and human innovation compared to technical innovation is definitely a poor member if the family.” (Capra, 2002)
Designing sustainable behaviors is a new topic and it is the designers’ task to incorporate relevant experts, such as sociologists and policy makers as well as citizens. Consequently, it is the designer’s quality and expertise that can create a connection between these groups and translate the individual concerns to individual concern by means of design.
â€œDesign is not merely an adornment of cultural life but one of the practical disciplines of responsible action for bringing the high values of a country or a culture into concrete reality, allowing us to transform abstract ideas into specific manageable form.â€? Richard Buchanan
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Terminology Balancing feedback loop- is a stabilizing, goal-seeking, regulating feedback loop, also known as a “negative feedback loop” because it opposes, or reverses, whatever direction of change is imposed on the system. Biosphere- is the global ecological system integrating all living beings and their relationships. Biomimcry- teaches us to evaluate design solutions by comparing them with natures' principles and processes. It considers nature as a model, a measure, and a mentor. The biosphere- is the global sum of all ecosystems. It can also be called the zone of life on Earth, a closed and self-regulating system. Bruce Mau Design- BMD is a design and innovations studio centered on purpose and optimism. BMD works in a global context with organizations that are thought leaders in culture, commerce, media, and education. Brundtland Commission- the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in 1987 known by its Chairman name as the Brundtland Commission, for the first time united countries to pursue sustainable development. Built-in obsolescence- Product intently has been designed just for a specific period to encourage users to get rid of it and buy a new one. Conspicuous consumption- The market is full of extraordinary range of products that are consistently increasing users’ expectations. These products are being purchased just for the sake of symbolic statement, not for a special need. Club of Rome was a group in 1960s that for the first time studied the world as a system and argued that “consumption of resources at the current rate is unsustainable.” Cradle to cradle- is an approach to design that is inspired by nature and calls for the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design. The framework presents “eco-effectiveness model” with the goal of zero waste, zero emissions, zero ecological footprint. Deep ecology- is a contemporary ecological philosophy of the inherent worth of living beings regardless of their instrumental utility to human needs. DESIS- Design for Social Innovation towards Sustainability is a network of university-based design labs that studies the social responsibility of designers under control of Ezio Manzini. Ecosystem- is a community of living organisms (plants, animals and microbes) in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system. These components are regarded as linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Economy of services- a shift from economy of good and purchases to one of service and flow where manufacturers deliver long-lasting, upgradable, and durables services.
Ecology- originates from the science of biology, where it is used to refer to the ways in which living thins interact with each other and with their surroundings. Eco-effectiveness â€“ is a model that promotes the idea of waste equals food, where everything in our product service systems is nutrition. Ethic of responsibility- requires radical changes in social expectations and systems that will result in creative and powerful communities as the main medium of sustainable behavior. All these radical changes are rooted in consumption habits. Expansion model- has been shaped as a result of industrial revolution. In this model, the world consists of markets in which products as economic exchanges pursue just one specific goal, attracting capital. Footprint- The ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth's ecosystems. It is a standardized measure of demand for natural capital that may be contrasted with the planet's ecological capacity to regenerate. Hans Jonas- (1903-1993) was a German-born philosopher was Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York City. He insisted on dependence of human survival on our efforts to care for the planet and its future. He formulated a new and distinctive supreme principle of morality. Industrial Ecology- is an interdisciplinary field of study that examines the relationship between economic development and the natural environment. Industrial Revolution- was a period from 1750 to 1850 where changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times. It began in Great Britain, and then subsequently spread throughout Western Europe, Northern America, Japan, and eventually the rest of the world. Institute without Boundaries- founded in 2002 is a Toronto-based studio that works towards collaborative design action and seeks to achieve social, ecological and economic innovation. Limits of Growth- published in 1972 was commissioned by Club of Rome declared that the global equilibrium should be achieved. MBDC â€“ is McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry firm that is working based on cradle to cradle framework. The company seeks to help industries leave a 'positive footprint' on the planet (instead of reducing a negative footprint). Nathan Shedroff- is the chair of California College of Art and Design MBA in Design Strategy. He is one of the pioneers of experience design; an approach to design that encompasses multiple senses and explores the common characteristics in all media that make experiences successful. Natural capital- are all the resources that we are using from water to mineral and oil and living systems which includes grasslands, wetlands, oceans and etc. Natural capitalism- advocates the serious connections between the production and use of human-made capital and the maintenance and supply of natural capital.
Predictive theories – have been formed to reshape the culture of design toward a sustainable pattern. These theories are pragmatic and plausible and consider the possible answers to the current problems; what could be happen? Prescriptive theories- have been formed to reshape the culture of design toward a sustainable pattern. This idealistic scenario is about finding the required answers; what should happen? R. Buckminster Fuller- in 1920s was also in favor of predictive scenario. He created a comprehensive anticipatory design about systematic rethinking and connection to scientific theories and high level of technology. Radical monopoly- There is not any other choice for user except to adopt with new technology. Reinforcing feedback loop- is an amplifying or enhancing feedback loop, also known as a “positive feedback loop” because it enforces the direction of change. Resilience- is the ability of a system to recover from a perturbation; the ability to restore or repair or bounce back after a change due to an outside force. Self-organization- is the ability of a system to structure itself, to create new structure, to learn, or diversify. Society centered design- believes designers are responsible to shape the society and protect the collective norms of different communities. Stocks- Stock is an accumulation of information or materials that has been built up in a system over time. Sustainable behavior- The importance of user behavior in terms of environmental implications has created the concept of Sustainable behavior. The goal is changes user’s behaviors and habits to protect our natural resources. System- is a set of elements or parts that is coherently organized and interconnected in a pattern or structure that produces a characteristic set of behaviors, often classified as its “function” or “purpose”. Tomas Maldonado- (1922, Buenos Aires, Argentina) is an Argentine painter, designer and thinker and is considered one of the main theorists of the legendary ”Ulm Model”, a design philosophy developed during his tenure (1954–1967) at the Ulm School of Design . In 1970s he suggested the autonomy and a more active role for designers. User-centered design: is an approach that the needs, wants, and limitations of end users are focal point of the design process. Wicked problem- is a class of ill-formulated social system with confusing information, confusing values among many clients and decision makers, and thoroughly confusing ramifications in the whole system. William Moris- (1834 – 1896) was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and libertarian socialist associated with the English Arts and Crafts Movement. He was also a major contributor to reviving traditional textile arts and methods of production.