Designing for the sustainable use of products within product-service systems (PhD research)

Product Service Systems (PSS) often aim to reduce the environmental impact of products. However, this does not automatically lead to sustainable solutions for the production of services and products. There may even be effects that lead to an even greater environmental impact, thus making the service less sustainable than before.

Objective

PSS providers usually own the products in question and therefore
benefit from products that are durable and/or easy to replace. This
encourages producers to invest in circular and more sustainable
production processes. This PhD research is aimed at investigating
how services can be produced in a more sustainable way, thereby
reducing the environmental impact within product-service systems.

Results

One of the results of our research is the production of a series of
four sets of maps (or 'routes') which serve as a tool during the
design process. They provide for a shared vocabulary between
designers and other stakeholders, thereby facilitating or validating
choices or concepts and solutions in the design process.

The above-mentioned maps or routes can be downloaded via the
following links: Control Route (green), Intimate Knowledge Route
(yellow), Strategic Choices (red), Self-Investment Route (blue).
The lunch lecture 'How can we design more sustainable products-
as-a-service?' took place on Wednesday, December 16, 2020,
12:30 - 13:30.

Duration

01 January 2020 - 01 January 2024

Approach

Our research into the user side of Product Service Systems is a
practice-based and design-oriented study of the environmental
impact of the use of Product Service Systems (PSS). A first case
study took place at and in collaboration with The Student Hotel. This
field study took a close look at how a bicycle sharing system (which
includes the bicycle itself, the bicycle storage facility and an
application for the purpose of lending the bicycles) might be
designed in a different way so that users will handle the bicycles in a
more careful and durable manner. The desired consequences are a
reduction of both the cost and the environmental impact from use,
as well as a more positive user experience.

"I had two bikes that I always used and now they're gone, so I had to take another one."

A TSH bicycle service user

HU researchers involved in the research

Related research groups

Our research themes