‘Not durable, but sustainable’: print technology and ephemerality in product design

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Sips, Nicole
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Design
Unitec Institute of Technology
de Groot, Cristiaan
Tan, Leon
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
printed electronics
information consumer technology (ICT) objects
green purchasing behaviour
product design
green motivations
mobile phones
paper products
electronic products
Sips, N. (2018). ‘Not durable, but sustainable’: print technology and ephemerality in product design. An unpublished exegesis submitted in partial fulfillment for the Unitec degree of Master of Design, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
[RESEARCH] QUESTION: How can the principles of temporary and the ephemeral be employed by design in the critical redesign of consumer technological artefacts? OBJECTIVES: - Develop a taxonomy of ephemerality in design, print and technology. - Establish an understanding of the role and function of the ephemeral in the design of products, with emphasis on electronic products. - Establish an applied level of understanding about product design and sustainable products. - Investigate printed electronics and define the key application parameters, including functionality, lifetime (shelf and operation), stability, and homogeneity. Further investigate issues of sustainability in the printing industry and the electronic industry. - Establish and understand current user perception towards sustainability and durability in relation to technological artefacts. - Research and Develop a body of critical design approaches and strategies that result in critical design concepts that aim to provoke and transform people’s perceptions of the durable and sustainable dimensions of consumer technological products. - Develop a suite of experimental prototypes by employing printed electronics and communicate strategies to test the central proposition of this project. - Evaluate the efficacy of the design concepts developed in response to perceptions towards sustainability and durability in relation to technological artefacts. - Synthesise, illustrate and communicate the outcomes and present in conjunction with the prototypes at an Exhibition. This project’s aim is to develop design strategies that explore the potential of the ephemeral and the temporary in the context of consumer electronic artefacts, by implementing printed electronics in the service of sustainable futures. This research-led design project will establish the current perceptions users have towards sustainability and durability in relation to information consumer technology (ICT) objects. The ambition is to create critical and speculative artefacts, that make consumers stop for a moment to reassess their habits and behaviours when utilizing ICT and their attitude towards sustainability. This project will make a valuable contribution to the print and ICT market. Furthermore, it will push boundaries of the way ICT can be used, advocate sustainable ideas, with the potential of recycling, upcycling or biodegrading after its use.
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