Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Design Research Methods: Task 2: RSA Project: Make Something Disappear, Analysis of The Project

The origin point of my idea is to find new and playful solutions for re-using old objects that can be considered as wasters, in different ways. In the project I am hoping to find ways to use the products that I listed as wasters/habits in my first mapping. (Plastics, paper, rubber etc...) In order to build a project on re-usage of unrecyclable products I organize my thinking period under five main titles, which are mainly: the problem and aim of this project, my target group, research pattern, my method/abstract and hopefully the solution. Therefore principally I depict a small scenario and series of questions to clarify the abstract of my research and motivations.

The Problem and Aim: In my project, the problem is not just minimizing wasters. It is about changing people's behaviour pattern about environment and recycle. According to my research I released that the damage that people causes to the environment is a product of three main factors: the population, how much each person consumes in order to maintain their standard of living and the environmental damage incurred while producing the goods consumed. So it is clear that the last two factors can be reversed by very small cautions. However most people still ignore even the easiest solutions to not to interrupt their daily routine with global concerns.
Therefore my aim on this project is to inspire people about the future options that can be done by anyone by a clear, dynamic and playful way. Changing habits is not a very easy thing to do, so instead of breaking course of actions, my plan is to add new customs in people's daily routine. My approach is going to be asking people to do easy, enjoyable and most importantly acceptable things about their lives-not directly about environment-to make them feel special, participated and capable.
My Target Group: In that case all age groups are in my target circle however my research shows that I need to make more interaction with teenagers as I mentioned in my first mapping. Because it is easier to change their actions (Yes culture), and they can spread new ideas faster via: Internet and mobile technologies. (Twitter, facebook, myspace etc...) And the age group between 19-25 is quiet important because my research proves that they consume the most among all the age groups. Therefore they have to be involved to the solution. No wonder housewife's and parents are keystones of this project because besides their own benefits they can also educate their children about sustainability of products. Likewise I believe that big companies can do so much help about environmental issues yet it is quiet hard to get attention from them and I strongly believe that effective changes should start with baby steps.
Research Pattern: I've organized my research pattern by the following titles to be absolutely consistent with my lectures.
a. Questions I mentioned those questions below in my first brief and I think I am finding the answers I need step by step with each task I carry out.
  • Who wastes most and what wasted most?
  • What motivates behaviour change or which emotions can break behaviour patterns?
  • Who is my target audience? How should I contact with them?
  • Why environmental issues aren't priority? How can I get attention, make people see that those problems will also effect them"individually"?
  • Which products can be used for different purposes, became multifunctional?
  • Should I think about a campaign, a product or combine them all together?
  • How can I manufacture something just with mind power?
  • How can I eliminate the need of packaging for my product or campaign?
  • How can I include my product to people's daily routines, make it look familiar, easy, useful?
b. Actions From my point of view I can take an advantage from getting in touch with some of the organizations I listed below:

To investigate the measures on the people who recycle their items and find out which items recycled the most. ( or

Sustain Ability This is an amazing company who works to catalyze innovation and provides solutions to make businesses and markets sustainable. I am following their blog since I started this project and their vision and values inspire me about many things. (
c. Primary Research As I mentioned on my first brief my plan is to set up pilot groups from different age groups and investigate their daily routines about recycle and make small reportages with them about their habits and ideas. To achieve this I agree with one of my flatmates for the age group between 19-25, a British family (Carol and Mike Green-whom I have met with during a hospitality meeting for international students takes place in Harrow Campus.) who lives in Harrow for my parents group and I am going to study with their daughter as a teenager for complete my target circle. During my investigation I am going to ask them to fulfil their daily jobs while I am observing them and I am hoping to take some notes, pictures and if I can manage to find the equipment make a short movie about what I should focus on the most. And at the end of the day I am planing to make a small reportage with them following by those questions:
  1. Are you aware of the damage we give environment individually? Do you think you have enough information about recycle?
  2. Are you doing anything to avoid this damage? Do you think you spent enough time thinking and acting about environment?
  3. Would you prefer to do something individually pr do you prefer to act with a group of people?
  4. If you would have playful and easy solutions for re-using your wasters would spent time to try?
  5. If you would be happy with the solutions for re-using your wasters would you show them your friends or society?
With the information I collect I am going to make a chart on age groups and the goods, which consumed the most and I am going to create specific solutions referring to those facts.
d. Secondary Research I find RSA further reading and resources quiet useful, though I am not going to limit my research just with essential information. In my opinion to create innovative things I need to feed my imagination from different resources. Still I feel the need to add the names of the books, which I like the most:
  • Papanek, Victor Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change
  • Datschefski, Edwin The Total Beauty of Sustainable Products
  • Mau, Bruce Massive Change: A Manifesto for the Future Global Design Culture
  • Human Habitat and Environmental Change: From Cave Dwellings to Megacities (Article)
During my research I've noticed a very entertaining ad informing organization called "We Are What We Do" and I find their webpage user-friendly and eye catching for people who cares enough to sacrifice some luxuries of their life to consume less goods. They titled their movement according to the locations that each people visited everyday so it gives you the feeling that you can do something useful everywhere. And the page also allows you to edit your personal profile just like Facebook, at this point the movement turns into a social network-which I find very cool-that people can share their individual actions and ideas on recycling, I believe showing people what smallest things can do is very important. In fact I started to post some of my actions to the website, hope I can grab some attention. (
Likewise I find out about the CRR (Centre of Remanufacturing and Reuse) organization by RSA resources page, and I admire the actions they take about recycling very much. They offer many opportunities to people who want to take action such as workshops, courses and seminars. I believe the interface design of the page isn't very user-friendly however the information it offers is priceless. (
And I want to mention a book, which inspires me deeply. "The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less" by Barry Schwartz is a realistic overview on our obsessions and individualism about consuming unnecessary goods.
Method/Abstract: Originally my idea is to reverse the consuming process with innovative options over the wasting habits. Therefore I am planing to design a booklet or a manual about "How To Re-Use/Re-Value Your Wastes". This manual will include apparent information about environment, sustainability, green materials, and solutions for the junk we consume everyday.

An experimental example of an idea that I am going to give place in booklet.

Moreover my intent is not just inform and orient people with long and boring texts. I am hoping to present a user-friendly context and simple illustrations, which helps the user to accomplish each task and have fun at the same time. What separate this project from a basic craft book is; the motivation, object, and function. Here my real intent is to create an approach for changing human habits, adding new customs to our daily routines.


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