What makes users circulate stuff? User incentives and barriers in circular consumption

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Industrial design engineering (MPDES), MSc
Ljungberg, Elin
Sköld, Sandra
Responsible consumption and production is one of the UN Sustainable development goals. It is an important area and an inspiration for working with circular consumption. The project aimed to investigate the three phases of circular consumption; Obtainment, Use, and Clearance. It also aimed to gain knowledge about, and understand user incentives and barriers regarding consumption. The project further aimed to analyze the found data to make it valuable for a designer or other agent. The analysis was the foundation of creating a toolkit that supports the development of circular solutions. The project was divided into three parts, starting with a literature review, which aimed to investigate consumption behavior and how to influence behavior. The findings from the literature review was analyzed to identify both incentives, barriers, and potential knowledge gaps. The second part of the project covered a user study, which aimed to gain knowledge regarding circular consumption and complement the potential gap discovered in the literature review. The user study also aimed to strengthen the literature information and to create a deeper understanding of consumption. The first result from the first two parts of the project was that all factors that affect circular consumption could be grouped into three themes; the consumer, the offer and external influence. The literature review also indicated that clearance had not been as thoroughly researched as obtainment and use. Therefore, the user study and the third part of the project had a clearance focus. Lastly, the final part of the project included converting the findings to support a designer or other agent. The four areas to consider while designing for clearance are; circular consumer characteristics, activities, product state, and clearance options. The four areas were the foundation of creating a toolkit that aims to aid designers and other agents while developing circular products and services. The toolkit helps to explore the target group and learn about characteristics that form consumption choices. It educates about the term ’product states’ and is about understanding the product’s journey towards clearance. Finally, it helps to identify and overcome obstacles in circular consumption and develop new business ideas and perspectives.
circular consumption, circular design toolkit, circular economy, clearance , consumption model, product development, sustainable development
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