My research aims to encourage a wider adoption of sustainable lifestyles. It focuses on tackling some of the cultural barriers that prevent a wider uptake of sustainable lifestyles and proposes a design framework for positioning sustainable products and services as aspirational choices that lead to improved well-being and happiness.
By implementing deep rooted and contextualised cultural analysis at the innovation stage, design can contribute greatly not only to enhance the perceived value of sustainable products and practises by making them more desirable, but also to extend their purpose into changing lifestyles and cultures.
Drawing from a convergence of cognitive science, communication theory, semiotics and aesthetics, design can contribute to encourage more people to adopt sustainable lifestyles by developing product, services and systems that: a) resonate culturally with the user’s ideals of value and, b) incorporate new narrative frames that promote the intrinsic values associated with sustainable behaviours and subjective well-being.
The intended outcome of the research is to develop a framework that will inform designers on people’s aspirations, goals and deeply embedded cultural values. This data is used by the designer in the early stages of the innovation process to develop sustainable products and services which are more in tune with the user, as they are perceived as culturally relevant, significant and desirable choices.