Design for Sustainability: Addressing Food Waste Behaviour
This research explores current approaches and frameworks to enable design to contribute to sustainable behaviour. In particular, this research closely examined Shove’s Comfort, Cleanliness and Convenience (3Cs) for its applicability in the design process, with a view to generating design interventions. In mid- to high-income countries, consumer behaviour is recognised as the major issue contributing to food waste. Sustainability approaches were applied to the context of food waste, in order to see how they could inform designing for this problem. First, a pilot observation was carried out to investigate whether Shove’s 3Cs approach could be applied to the food waste context. The results of the pilot observation suggested that the 3Cs could be a useful tool for uncovering everyday norms and habits governing food waste. A major observation was then carried out at a farmers’ market, using human centred design methods. The analysis of the observations led to frame a design brief: To improve the food waste stream at the farmers’ market through design interventions relating to take-away coffee practices. The design ideation and refinement process resulted in three design concepts, which sought to enable more sustainable behaviour by; a) removing barriers to sustainable behaviour with the 3Cs; b) emotionally durable re-use cups; and c) supporting the demand for the 3Cs. The evaluation of the design process identified that the 3Cs, used in conjunction with a social practice approach, revealed rich nuances in everyday practices with respect to food waste. These approaches were, therefore, found to be complementary to human centred design processes in framing the design problem and to forming the design brief. They were also found to be particularly useful in making sense of wicked problems. However, they were limited in their application during the design ideation phase, which reinforced the importance of conventional design ideation tools, such as sketching and prototyping. This thesis concludes that Shove’s 3Cs and social practice approach are useful tools when framing design problems. In addition, this research reinforced the importance of utilising various strategies, as required, when designing for sustainable behaviour. Further research in effective application of the sustainability approaches with reference to how they inform the design process would enrich the research in the area of design for sustainable behaviour.
Advisor: Wakes, Sarah; Abbott, Mick; McGuire, Mark
Degree Name: Master of Design
Degree Discipline: Applied Science
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Design; Sustainability; DesignAnthropology; SocialPractice; FoodWaste; SustainabilityFrameworks; HumanCentredDesign
Research Type: Thesis