Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
The individual human side of supporting sustainable design beginners
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8829-1719
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Starting to include sustainability considerations in a design project is a transition requiring a change in how things are done, that is, a change in behaviour. Furthermore, this transition takes place in the midst of the usual pressures of product design. Prior research on sustainable design has mostly explored the so-called technical side – identifying what tasks should be performed, such as specifics of including sustainability criteria when analysing product concepts. However, this has not been enough. These tasks are not being performed to the extent that they could, or that is needed. Recent studies have advocated the consideration of the human nature of the people who are to execute these ‘technical’ tasks. In other words, there is a need to work with the socio-psychological factors in order to help sustainable design beginners to adopt new mindsets and practice (their usual way of doing design).

My aim was therefore to investigate how to support individual product design team members with the human aspects of transitioning to executing sustainable design. In particular, I focused on supporting good individual decision-making and individual behaviour change. This aim was addressed through multiple research projects with four partner companies working with the early phases of product design. Given a focus to change practice, I followed an action research approach with a particular emphasis on theory building. This action research approach comprised two phases: understanding the challenge and context, and then iteratively developing solutions through a theorise–design-act-observe-reflect cycle.

Through the research projects, my colleagues and I found that there are challenges related to behaviour change and decision-making that are hindering execution of sustainable design. In order to help organisations to overcome or avoid these challenges, we found that it may be beneficial for those developing sustainable design tools and methods to (i) use techniques to mitigate for cognitive illusions, (ii) provide individuals with the opportunity to implement sustainable design while helping those individuals to increase their motivation and capability to execute sustainable design, and (iii) communicate with these individuals in such a way as to avoid triggering psychological barriers (self-defence mechanisms). I combined these points into two models.

Together with the partner organisations, we applied the two models to design some actions that we then tested. The actions included integrating behaviour change and decision-making considerations into sustainable design tools as well as stand-alone interventions in the culture.

Given the findings of these studies, I urge developers of sustainable design tools to see implementation of their tool as a learning journey. The beginning of the journey should comprise small steps supported by handrails, which then increase in size and decrease in support as the journey continues. Especially in the beginning, tool developers will also need to help travellers to avoid the decision-making errors that occur due to being in unfamiliar territory.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2018.
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1653-2090 ; 9
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-16972ISBN: 978-91-7295-357-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-16972DiVA, id: diva2:1245804
Public defence
2018-10-19, J1650, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 371 79 Karlskrona, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge FoundationAvailable from: 2018-09-10 Created: 2018-09-06 Last updated: 2018-09-28Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A method for comparing concepts with respect to sustainability and other values
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A method for comparing concepts with respect to sustainability and other values
2014 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Selecting concepts involves challenging decisions because decision-makers must consider many factors and the implications of the selection are far-reaching and unknown. As markets become increasingly sustainability-driven, bringing sustainability considerations into the decision is necessary. This is challenging due to the complexity of the concept of sustainability and it being unfamiliar to many decision-makers. In this work we therefore aimed to develop support for helping decision-makers to consider sustainability when selecting a concept. We undertook a case study where we studied decision-makers selecting a road construction process. Then we developed a method of support to help these decision-makers to select a process. The developed method helps decision-makers consider sustainability aspects when selecting concepts. The method supports decision-makers to compare alternatives by using indicators that are based on the values of actors in the extended value network. Global society is included as an actor who values development that is more sustainable. We modelled and visualised the outputs from the developed method in order to support decision-makers in the case study with their specific decision. Early indications from our testing are that the method and general approach could be useful for decision-makers wanting to consider sustainability in concept selection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Budapest: Delft University, 2014
Keywords
Sustainability, sustainable product development, value, value-focused, concept selection, decision-making.
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-6700 (URN)oai:bth.se:forskinfoFCF2EC74C877ABA3C1257CDF004BD3EB (Local ID)9789461861764 (ISBN)oai:bth.se:forskinfoFCF2EC74C877ABA3C1257CDF004BD3EB (Archive number)oai:bth.se:forskinfoFCF2EC74C877ABA3C1257CDF004BD3EB (OAI)
Conference
Tools and Methods for Competitive Engineering (TMCE)
Note

Tools and Methods for Competitive Engineering 2014 conference proceedings. ISBN/EAN (Printed Proceedings Volumes 1 and 2): 9789461861764. ISBN/EAN (Digital Proceedings USB Flash Drive): 9789461861771.

Available from: 2014-05-22 Created: 2014-05-21 Last updated: 2018-09-20Bibliographically approved
2. Using social sustainability principles to analyse activities of the extraction lifecycle phase: Learnings from designing support for concept selection
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using social sustainability principles to analyse activities of the extraction lifecycle phase: Learnings from designing support for concept selection
2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no 1, p. 267-276Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Analysing product concepts with respect to social sustainability is a contemporary challenge for which there is little support available for product developers. Our aim was to build on previous work to support product developers in a case company with this challenge. We designed a first prototype of support for product developers to use a previously developed definition when analysing the extraction lifecycle activities associated with their product concepts. The prototype instructs users to model the location of the extraction activities and then use existing databases and indicators to analyse the social sustainability performance of each location. The databases and indicators were selected according to their relevance to scientific principles for social sustainability. We then performed initial evaluation of the support, through which we learnt that the approach may make it possible for product developers to analyse extraction activities, but the level of accuracy of analysis that is possible is not good enough for comparing the concepts in the case study decision. We discuss the implications of these challenges and suggest that it may be better to re-design our approach in order to provide learningful support for product developers or support for other decision-making in the company.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-12921 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.08.004 (DOI)000388775100025 ()
Projects
Model driven development and decision support
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2016-08-17 Created: 2016-08-17 Last updated: 2018-09-20Bibliographically approved
3. Sustainable product development and tricks on the mind: Formulating conceptual models of cognitive illusions and mitigating actions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable product development and tricks on the mind: Formulating conceptual models of cognitive illusions and mitigating actions
2018 (English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Similar to visual illusions playing tricks on your eyes, cognitive illusions cause you to misjudge reality and therefore potentially make biased decisions. You are especially vulnerable when starting to introduce sustainability into concept development decision-making since this setting offers unfamiliarity, and complexity. Given a shortage of theories regarding which cognitive illusions product developers are susceptible to, we formulated a conceptual model. This model is based on the decision-making tasks that product developers undertake when they are developing concepts and the conditions that they experience when integrating sustainability into this decision-making. From decision-making literature, we identified the following cognitive illusions as occurring when undertaking those tasks under those conditions: availability, anchoring and confirmation bias when generating ideas; illusory correlation and validity effect when selecting between ideas; evaluability bias and status quo bias when gate reviewing. Based on the model, we synthesised literature on how to mitigate for the identified illusions and organised this synthesis according to when (during which task type) a product developer should perform the mitigating actions. These mitigating actions vary according to task type and focus on the quality of the decision-making process.

Keywords
the soft side of ecodesign; sustainable product development; sustainable design; decision-making; cognitive illusions; fallacies and biases in decision-making
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-17037 (URN)
Available from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2018-10-04Bibliographically approved
4. Shrinking and scaffolding: supporting behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Shrinking and scaffolding: supporting behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design
2018 (English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

To start to include sustainability in a design project is a transition. This transition requires change in how people do things, that is, behaviour change, and it takes place in the midst of the usual pressures of product design. Prior research on sustainable design has mostly explored the so-called technical side – identifying what tasks should be performed, such as specifics of including sustainability criteria when analysing product concepts. Recent studies have advocated the consideration of the human nature of the people who are to implement these ‘technical’ tasks, to undergo and drive the transition.

We therefore embarked on an action research project to support behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design in the individual members of design project teams. Our action research partner was a design consultancy who wanted to begin working with sustainable design. Our research question was: How might the partner organisation support individual behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design?

Firstly, we identified some barriers to behaviour change; these barriers were related to motivation, capability and opportunity to apply sustainable design. Secondly, to investigate how to address the barriers and support individual behaviour change, we integrated concepts on behaviour change, motivation, learning for sustainability and climate communication to form a conceptual system (a theoretical model). In parallel, we undertook a participatory action research project with the consultancy, where we iteratively and collaboratively employed our model to develop ideas for specific actions that the organisation could take. We also tried out some of these actions and observed the outcomes.

We learnt that it is important to not just define what ‘technical’ tasks project teams should ideally perform, but to also scaffold the journey as a series of simpler steps. Shrinking the ‘technical’ tasks into meaningful steps that are within reach helps individuals to feel confident and competent, which in turn leads to increased intrinsic motivation and behaviour change. Progressively achieving small steps aligned with their values reduces the risk of dissonance and denial, and therefore increases the potential for action.

In this article, we present our model and our learnings.

National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-17038 (URN)
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2018-10-04Bibliographically approved
5. Integrating sustainable development and design-thinking-based product design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integrating sustainable development and design-thinking-based product design
2017 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this research was to integrate sustainable development and design-thinking-based product design in order that the product design then contributes to society’s transition to a sustainable future. This is an important pursuit since product lifecycles are a major cause of society’s current sustainability challenges. To address this, many authors argue for integrating sustainable development into existing design processes rather than developing stand-alone tools and methods.Through action research with a design consultancy who wanted to start working with sustainable product design, we iterated between three stages: understanding needs, designing action, and trying out the action. The first stage comprised document analysis, focus-group style workshops, a survey and interviews. When designing the actions (enhancements to their design-thinking-based process), we drew on literature on sustainable product design, decision-making for sustainability, and organisational learning and change for sustainability. We also drew on our research partners’ practical experience. The enhanced process was tried out and further developed through feedback, student testing and co-development meetings.The result is an enhanced process where project teams (i) use the outcomes from the inspiration phase of the existing process to choose sustainable design strategies that are relevant for their particular project. Once the teams have chosen which strategies to work with, for example, design for remanufacture, we suggest that they (ii) use the strategies to develop ideation foci/questions that help them explore the design space. The third enhancement is for teams to (iii) compare concepts with respect to sustainability as part of their concept comparison and evaluation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017
Keywords
Ecodesign; sustainable product design; design thinking; product development
National Category
Design Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-15656 (URN)
Conference
International Symposium on Environmentally Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing (EcoDesign), Tainan, Taiwan
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Note

Best paper award at the conference

Available from: 2017-12-13 Created: 2017-12-13 Last updated: 2018-09-20Bibliographically approved
6. Why choose one sustainable design strategy over another: A decision-support prototype
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Why choose one sustainable design strategy over another: A decision-support prototype
2017 (English)In: DS87-5 PROCEEDINGS OF THE 21ST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING DESIGN (ICED 17), VOL 5: DESIGN FOR X, DESIGN TO X / [ed] Van der Loos M.,Salustri F.,Oehmen J.,Fadel G.,Kokkolaras M.,Maier A.M.,Skec S.,Kim H., The Design Society, 2017, Vol. 5, p. 111-120, article id DS87-5Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Sustainable design strategies provide tangible ways for integrating sustainability into early phaseproduct design work. Examples include design for remanufacturing and design for the base of thepyramid. There are many such strategies and it is difficult to choose between them. Sustainable productdesign activities also need to be tailored to business priorities. We therefore designed a decision-supportprototype to aid project teams to choose strategies based on relevance to the project in terms of bothbusiness and sustainability value. To design the prototype, we first identified potential strategies fromsustainable product development literature. We then used literature on each of six selected strategies toidentify potential business and sustainability benefits. We developed a way to compare sustainabilityvalue based on a scientifically established definition of sustainability and a lifecycle perspective. Theprototype is designed to be usable by practitioners who are not necessarily sustainable design experts.The prototype was created to enable future work to test ways to integrate the selection of sustainabledesign strategies into the early phases of product design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The Design Society, 2017
Keywords
Sustainability, Ecodesign, Circular economy, Design for X (DfX), Sustainable design, Hållbarhet, hållbar design
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-15108 (URN)000455224400012 ()978-1-904670-93-3 (ISBN)
Conference
International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED17), Vancouver
Projects
MD3S – Model-driven development and decision support
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2017-09-05 Created: 2017-09-05 Last updated: 2019-06-27Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(891 kB)122 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 891 kBChecksum SHA-512
9fe175a91755c91159c16fedb1cee22a0258595455e52f098db26641e0917c5591e6e491a378e461f4507594fa90c7e0f5b131b3c2db18971c977db739c2d42e
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Authority records BETA

Gould, Rachael

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Gould, Rachael
By organisation
Department of Strategic Sustainable Development
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 122 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 923 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf