Design for resource-limited societies: Informational behaviour of designers

DS 87-1 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 1: Resource Sensitive Design, Design Research Applications and Case Studies, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Jagtap, Santosh; Larsson, Andreas; Warell, Anders
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden; 2: Lund University, Sweden
Section: Resource Sensitive Design, Design Research Applications and Case Studies
Page(s): 021-030
ISBN: 978-1-904670-89-6
ISSN: 2220-4342


There is a sharp contrast between High Resource Settings (HRSs), commonly seen in developed countries and Low Resource Settings (LRSs), typically found in the marginalised sections of societies around the world. Product design for LRSs is crucial to satisfy unmet or under-served needs of the people living in LRSs. Supporting designers to develop successful products for LRSs demands developing an in-depth understanding of their design process, including their informational behaviour. In this research, using think aloud protocol analysis, we compared the designers’ informational behaviour in designing products for LRSs and HRSs, where HRSs is considered a baseline. The findings indicate that designing products for LRSs is more information intensive, and that it influences the informational activities of designers, thus indicating potential impact of a resource-setting on the way designers deal with information.

Keywords: Design process, Human behaviour in design, Design cognition, Poverty and Base of the Pyramid, Resource-limited societies


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