USER‐EFFICIENT DESIGN: REDUCING THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF USER BEHAVIOUR THROUGH THE DESIGN OF PRODUCTS

Year: 2011
Author: Elias, Edward Walid Antoine
Supervisor: Culley, Steve; Dekoninck, Elies
Institution: University of Bath, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Page(s): 251

Abstract

This thesis presents why a new user‐centred design process for eco‐design would be beneficial and demonstrates how this could be done. The research produces a methodology for collecting and measuring behaviour information and a framework for assessing its impact. It explores the role of and effective introduction of information in the design process and finally concludes with the proposed design approach for reducing the environmental impact of products during their use. Utilising a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods, energy models, observational studies, laboratory design experiments, participation research, product prototyping and industrial consultation, a comprehensive picture of designing for energy‐efficient user behaviour is formed.
It illustrates how behaviour information can be recorded and quantified, assessing the division between a product’s intrinsic, technology‐based, energy efficiencies and those that are deemed user‐related. Finally, in conclusion this information is then used in a new design approach which proposes a framework for the effective and time‐efficient design of products, producing a prototype design which achieves an ongoing 43% energy saving in user‐related losses.

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