Aiming to miss: lessons for design research from the study of everyday energy practices

Jaffari, Svenja and Matthews, Ben (2013) Aiming to miss: lessons for design research from the study of everyday energy practices. Journal of Design Research, 11 2: 107-125. doi:10.1504/JDR.2013.055136

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Author Jaffari, Svenja
Matthews, Ben
Title Aiming to miss: lessons for design research from the study of everyday energy practices
Journal name Journal of Design Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1748-3050
Publication date 2013-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1504/JDR.2013.055136
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 11
Issue 2
Start page 107
End page 125
Total pages 19
Place of publication Olney, Bucks, United Kingdom
Publisher Inderscience Publishers
Language eng
Abstract This paper argues that the historical focus of design research on the design process designers themselves, their activities, decisions and rationale conceals many design-relevant phenomena that emerge in the use of products and systems. With regard to designing for sustainability, these phenomena become vital, since sustainability is itself a use practice. We present a set of vignettes from an ethnographic study of peoples everyday energy practices, in an effort to show how consumption is grounded in the intersections of various elements, including architecture, habit and social values. This gives pause to reconsider designers roles in determining (through products and architecture) such patterns of energy use, and leads us to recommend that a different kind of scenario, i.e. one that aims to miss the deliberate and intended use, may be helpful in sustainable product design. We conclude with a discussion that outlines how the study of mundane practices of use might be instructive for agendas and concepts in design research, particularly those of framing and design intent.
Keyword Design-in-use
Design research
User studies
Indoor climate
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering Publications
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Created: Fri, 15 Mar 2013, 18:08:02 EST by Ben Matthews on behalf of School of Information Technol and Elec Engineering