Abstract

Industrialization brought about the 1st consumer revolution (Hudson, 2008). Massproduced consumer goods entered the marketplace (Achterhuis, 2011), and, since then, people purchased their goods instead of making tools and other needs for themselves and their relatives. Sector A (self-sufficient) communities changed into an industrial civilization (mainly sector B: making for someone else) (Toffler, 1980). Consumption became routine; in many parts of today’s world, people live in this culture of consumption. This consumption society has (had) severe effects on sustainability (Ehrenfeld, 2008), because nature suffers from the consequences of traditional mass-production and from the use and disposal of consumer products. What’s more, passive consumption appears to be highly in contrast to people’s aspirations and needs (Atkinson, 2006; M. a. E. R.-H. Csikszentmihalyi, 1981; Press, 2007). In the past decade, technological developments were the underlying basis for a growing influence by the enduser in the development of user products, resulting in today’s revolutionary ‘user design’, also referred to as ‘Do-It- Yourself product design’. User design, as ‘Do-It-Yourself’ (DIY) traditionally does (Edwards, 2006), represents a convergence of production and consumption. Some examples are ‘Shapeways.com’, or ‘TechShop’. User design seems, considering the above mentioned, to bring forth a sustainable form of product design and creation. Sustainability is considered to concern both domains of human and nature. Through analysis of both literature and recent developments, this paper attempts to validate the assumption that user design as true type of Do-It-Yourself, both as a practice and philosophically, answers today’s urge for approaching product design and development in a sustainable way. The paper will also address ways in which – and why - user design may have a negative impact on sustainability, contrasting to the above mentioned. The paper is part of an ongoing research program in which the stimulating factors and implications of user design are examined.

Keywords

DIY, user design, customization, co-creation; sustainability, industrial design, 3d printing, being; ethics

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Sustainability by Do-It-Yourself Product Design: User design opposing mass consumption

Industrialization brought about the 1st consumer revolution (Hudson, 2008). Massproduced consumer goods entered the marketplace (Achterhuis, 2011), and, since then, people purchased their goods instead of making tools and other needs for themselves and their relatives. Sector A (self-sufficient) communities changed into an industrial civilization (mainly sector B: making for someone else) (Toffler, 1980). Consumption became routine; in many parts of today’s world, people live in this culture of consumption. This consumption society has (had) severe effects on sustainability (Ehrenfeld, 2008), because nature suffers from the consequences of traditional mass-production and from the use and disposal of consumer products. What’s more, passive consumption appears to be highly in contrast to people’s aspirations and needs (Atkinson, 2006; M. a. E. R.-H. Csikszentmihalyi, 1981; Press, 2007). In the past decade, technological developments were the underlying basis for a growing influence by the enduser in the development of user products, resulting in today’s revolutionary ‘user design’, also referred to as ‘Do-It- Yourself product design’. User design, as ‘Do-It-Yourself’ (DIY) traditionally does (Edwards, 2006), represents a convergence of production and consumption. Some examples are ‘Shapeways.com’, or ‘TechShop’. User design seems, considering the above mentioned, to bring forth a sustainable form of product design and creation. Sustainability is considered to concern both domains of human and nature. Through analysis of both literature and recent developments, this paper attempts to validate the assumption that user design as true type of Do-It-Yourself, both as a practice and philosophically, answers today’s urge for approaching product design and development in a sustainable way. The paper will also address ways in which – and why - user design may have a negative impact on sustainability, contrasting to the above mentioned. The paper is part of an ongoing research program in which the stimulating factors and implications of user design are examined.

 

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