This project was initiated because the level of consumption has increased rapidly in the last century with enormous negative consequences for how we use our planet’s resources. The economical system forces and encourages us to consume more and more. This is not ecologically, economically or socially
sustainable. People in rich countries with high material standards are less happy even though they can buy everything they need. The consumption culture creates a need for a calmer, more meaningful everyday life. The goal of this project was to create a vision of a sustainable lifestyle; another way to relate to
consumption with more room for immaterial and emotional values; a reflection over the role of industrial design in relation to consumption and for creating a sustainable basis for the design process. My aim was also to find a personal way to relate to these matters and create a foundation for my future work as an
industrial designer. The results:
1. The Concept of Sharing
A holistic approach to sharing that symbolises a humanistic and generous view of our fellow humans and society. To survive we have to learn to share things with others from sharing books and meals to all the resources of our globe. By sharing, individual consumption decreases and we do not need to sacrifice to
be sustainable. The potential of sharing products is much disregarded in marketing and design today. It can be a powerful tool to find a more balanced level of consumption can also creates opportunities for entrepreneurship and new business concepts.
2. The Modern Collective
Collective living has a high potential of sustainability and creates conditions for sharing resources, energy and products. It provides a sense of social belonging which strengthens our identity thus creating good conditions for more sustainable consumption patterns. Modernising and profiling collective houses will increase its attractiveness to a wide group of people.
3. Design for Sharing
I have defined six guiding principles to assist industrial designers in integrating sustainable consumption and sharing into the design process.
ENCOURAGE RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS
Companies have to show responsibility to keep their customers. They can survive and strengthen their brand by considering sustainability and sharing.
Create products, services and systems that encourage sharing. Question the traditional approach of buying and private ownership; see the possibilities of collective owning, leasing and lending.
ADD IMMATERIAL VALUES
Add value in the design by integrating experiences and services over material things. This can result in more optimized products and systems, increased well-being and decreased material flow.
DESIGN FOR TIMELESSNESS
Reject the wear and tear society and trends where ethical and sustainable values are set aside for low prices. Add value to a product by integrating long-term thinking and long-lasting design. Encourage systems for rewarding and paying that visualize the real cost over time.
ADD TRUE CYCLICAL THINKING
Not only through the traditional approach, but by being truly cyclical with means considering functionality and usage in the second, third and fourth life cycle.
ADD EMOTIONAL VALUES
Adding emotional values can make the products more sustainable, long-lasting and good for our wellbeing.
MA degree project 2008