Title: The satisfactory and (possibly) sustainable practice of do-it-yourself: the catalyst role of design

Authors: Giuseppe Salvia

Addresses: Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano, via G. Durando 38, 20158, Milano (IT), Italy

Abstract: Contemporary self-production (i.e. DIY) phenomena are envisaged as a 'window of opportunity' to foster sustainable and satisfactory practices of consumption and production. This research addressed self-production to save products and prolong their lifespan once the end-of-life is reached by re-using, re-pairing, re-purposing, and re-appropriating. The resulting 'RE-DIY' practice was investigated through qualitative interviews with 15 practitioners in Italy and England (UK). Sociological theories of practices have been used to investigate the skills, material and meaning elements sustaining the practice under examination. Four different groups of practitioners were identified according to motivations and levels of commitment and interest. However, all interviewees seemed to perceive comparable levels of satisfaction from practising RE-DIY. Furthermore, some elements for a flow condition have been identified. Finally, the role of design professionals in boosting the sustainable potential of RE-DIY will be proposed. To this purpose the scale of action and typologies of collaboration for design are mapped.

Keywords: satisfaction; practice theory; sustainability; self-production; sustainable consumption; do-it-yourself; DIY; product reuse; product repair; product repurposing; qualitative interviews; flow; collaborative design; end-of-life products; EOL products; Italy; UK; United Kingdom; design professionals.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2016.074782

Journal of Design Research, 2016 Vol.14 No.1, pp.22 - 41

Accepted: 17 Apr 2015
Published online: 16 Feb 2016 *

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