Can Changes to Product Behaviour Alter Consumer Behaviour?
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Is it possible to alter the nature of consumer behaviour towards social responsibility and desirable sustainable products through the design of the “behaviour” of consumer-based -products using an ontological design process? That is using styling or a look and feel design methodology that was originally developed during the 1940’s with the advent of Industrial Design in the United States of America to counter under-consumption. The look & feel of a product provides a perceived expectation with regards to what the ‘product’ does and its meaning, that is to say we have certain expectations when we first view a product, beyond simply being aesthetic and pleasing to the eye. The sophistication of the service based design industry today to create desirable products is greater than ever, however these ‘throw away products’ has created an attitude of a ‘throw-away’ consumer society at the same time. The hypothesis is that product behaviour is related to product performance or the ability of a designed product to do what it is supposed to do, including its ease of use, intuitiveness, the reliability and quality of the product and the materials from which it is constructed. In addition what the design of a product as shape and form means to the consumer on different levels. Product behaviour is also about meaning, social and otherwise and functions at a much deeper level than that of superficial two-dimensional graphic branding as used for marketing and advertising. This is called three-dimensional branding or coding, where product behaviour is not simply restricted to its actual performance, but also has a direct influence upon the consumer response to product in terms of desire, need and want. Can the design of product and product behaviour be redeployed to address the crisis in over-consumption?
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Queensland College of Art