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Title: Considered spontaneity: the new role of the product designer.
Authors: Gungaya, S 
M'Rithaa, Mugendi K. 
Keywords: Artefacts;Ecodesign;Consumer behaviour;Design models;Industrial design;Product lifecycle;Repurposing;Socially responsible design;Sustainable lifestyles
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Proceedings of Design, Development & Research Conference- CPUT
Abstract: This paper employs qualitative research methods to explore trends in consumerism, and in particular their potential implications for an industrially developing context such as South Africa. Additionally, the paper interrogates a number of pertinent cases ranging from household goods, packaging, and fast food chains from an industrial design perspective. In the conventional design model (where consumer products are made for one specific use, or set of uses), the designer plays the role of organic interface between producer, product, and user. The ‘designed’ product is perceived as being acceptable due to the fact that it has been designed by a professional with specialist knowledge. The user in this context plays the role of passive consumer, making no input into product function beyond that intended by the designer. In emerging design models, such as the Ecodesign strategy of product reuse, the user is required to play an active role in either choosing an established use or creating a new use for the product, once it’s first usage cycle has ended. These new models require the user to apply traditional or empirical design knowledge, in realising subsequent methods of reuse. However, negative perception of empirical design by the consumer makes reused products less desirable than virgin products created by designers. The designer therefore has the opportunity of procuring a new role for this emerging context: that of making the product acceptable to the user. The designer’s specialist knowledge, coupled to the users specialist knowledge, result in a new design approach: considered spontaneity.
ISBN: 978-0-620-52128-4
Appears in Collections:FID - Conference Papers

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