You can view the full text of this article for free using the link below.

Title: Designed to support or impede energy conservation? How design characteristics influence people's energy use

Authors: Anneli Selvefors; Jesper Knutsson; Christian Marx; Ulrike Rahe

Addresses: Department of Product and Production Development, Division Design & Human Factors, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden ' Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Division Water Environment Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Swedens ' Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Division Building Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden ' Department of Product and Production Development, Division Design & Human Factors, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden

Abstract: This paper explores how the design of domestic appliances influences people's energy use during everyday activities. Drawing on findings from an interview study with 81 informants, a variety of design characteristics were uncovered, which set preconditions for use that in different ways impede or support energy conservation. The identified characteristics concerned not only appliances' operative functions but also their interactive and communicative functions as well as people's underlying motives for using specific appliances. Addressing the full range of characteristics during the development of new appliances will highlight a variety of design opportunities and increase the possibilities for developing appliances that support people to go about their everyday activities in less energy-reliant ways.

Keywords: sustainability; energy conservation; energy use; domestic electricity consumption; product design; design characteristics; appliances; design for sustainable behaviour; DfSB.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2017.084504

Journal of Design Research, 2017 Vol.15 No.1, pp.43 - 61

Received: 29 Apr 2016
Accepted: 08 Feb 2017

Published online: 30 May 2017 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Free access Comment on this article