‘Design | Behaviour: Making it Happen’ Seminar, 17th October - programme updated / by Dan

Design | Behaviour: Making it Happen, mentioned a few days ago, now has a full agenda available [PDF] (thanks Debra) - here are the abstracts:

Tang Tang, Loughborough University Creating Sustainable Behaviour: An exploration of environmental impacts of household cold appliance use Products, as the interface between consumers and consumption activities, can give immediate and direct responses to users’ operations: how they are perceived, learned, and used. Designing a product means designing a user experience with the product, which also determines the compound impacts of this experience. A better understanding of what users do and how they interact, with products as well as the hidden factors behind the daily decision-making process should be gained in order to develop a valid critique of environmentally significant consumption. This study aims to show that in-depth user research is an essential starting point for improving product design for behavioural change to reduce environment impacts. A single product type, household cold appliances, was chosen as a case to explore the capacity of designer-conducted user study to identify unsustainable aspects of product use.

Ed Elias, University of Bath Behaviour Driven Design Energy using products account for a growing proportion of domestic energy use and it is important to make these products as efficient as possible. However even the most efficient product will waste energy if it is used badly. User behaviour can be a significant proportion of a product's energy demand. This presentation will give an overview of the work being done to develop a Behaviour Driven Design Methodology for improving the energy efficiency of products during use, by studying user behaviours and designing the products to them.

Dan Lockton, Brunel University Design for Sustainable Behaviour: Easier Efficiency by Influencing Interaction The idea of using design strategically to influence users' behaviour -Design with Intent - recurs across many fields, in diverse contexts, and a set of patterns can be identified, linking target behaviours to particular design techniques, physical, psychological and technical. Applying these techniques to environmental problems where user behaviour is a significant factor offers the prospect of Design for Sustainable Behaviour - helping people use everyday products and systems more efficiently.

Dr Debra Lilley, Loughborough University Exploring the ethics of design for behavioural change Informative, persuasive or coercive products can be designed explicitly to change people’s attitudes and behaviours and encourage more sustainable actions. Informative or persuasive products seek to achieve a voluntary change in behaviour; a coercive technology, on the other hand, force behavioural change. Coercive approaches, though arguably more effective than an informative or persuasive ones, raise challenging ethical questions for designers; is it better to educate the consumer and risk failure or overrule users and “force” behavioural changes in order to achieve demonstrable results? Is it possible to “prescribe” actions with absolute certainty that the user will respond in the manner intended? Designers are trained to envision possibilities. But to what degree can designers foresee unintended effects which may result from the use of the products they design? How can designers anticipate and “design around” appropriation and adaptation on the part of the user?

13th Sustainable Design Network Seminar – “Design | Behaviour: Making it Happen!” engCETL, Keith Green Building, Loughborough University Friday 17th October 2008, 10.00am – 4.30pm

If you're interested in design and behaviour change, particularly as applied to ecodesign and sustainable behaviour, this will be a really important event and ought to be well worth attending; I'm very much looking forward to being a part of it.