2.10 A Multilevel Design Model Clarifying the Mutual Relationship between New Products and Societal Change Processes

Peter Joore

NHL University of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 1080, The Netherlands

2.10.1 Introduction

Designers working on the development of sustainable and energy-efficient products inevitably run into issues such as user acceptance, infrastructural integration, or governmental regulations. Although such topics may not be part of their specific expertise, these issues cannot be ignored during the design process. First, this is because societal issues largely determine the development of many energy-efficient products, for instance through public awareness regarding the depleting resources of fossil fuels and the availability of sustainable energy technologies. Secondly, these issues cannot be neglected because the successful implementation of many energy-efficient products is largely determined by existing frameworks such as infrastructures and legal regulations, as well as other aspects that cannot be directly influenced by an individual designer. This means that the broader context in which new products will be functioning has to be considered during the design process (Joore, 2008, 2010). To support designers and to demarcate their efforts, it is necessary to structure the design process and the role of designers in such a way that the mutual relationship between new products and the sociotechnical or societal context in which these products function is taken into ...

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