The significance of purchasing behavioural characteristics on sustainable design education of students

Year: 2009
Editor: Clarke, A, Ion, W, McMahon, C and Hogarth, P
Author: Hunt, Clive; Reynolds, Tim James
Page(s): 402-407


More and more businesses appear to be adopting the societal (or sustainable) marketing concept as their business philosophy. This is an attempt to increase their competitiveness and promote their attitude of considering consumers' wants at the same time as meeting society's long term interests. Organisations are engaging with the sustainable agenda and many communicate this to publicly demonstrate their commitment to saving the worlds finite resources. Directives such as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) have also forced organisations to consider the recovery of their products at the end of service life. In line with the industry environment, and in providing creative solutions to design problems, product design students are encouraged to take account of the market, technical, functional, visual, and humanistic aspects of design as well as exploring the possibility of making their designs sustainable. Consideration of factors including waste reduction, how the product could be manufactured more efficiently and hence more cheaply by using fewer parts, less material, reducing assembly time and non-conformance are very important and can give the edge, in terms of competitive advantage. This paper assesses the product related purchase behavioural characteristics, and associated decision making process, by which purchases are made. It endeavours to identify the difference between the considerations that students take as designers and the choices they make as consumers. Following critical analysis of the primary research undertaken the outcomes are discussed.

Keywords: Sustainability, ecological design, environmental design, marketing, design process, design education, sustainable consumption, learning strategies, design projects

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