A Refrigerator Concept Designed for Sustainable Behaviour


Eco-design usually focuses on eco-friendly materials,energy efficient technologies and design for dis-assembly, but regarding the user phase less has been done. The research field Design for Sustainable Behavior (DSB) highlights the important aspect of user impact on product sustainability, and suggests strategies for changing the user behavior through product design. However, there are few product examples on the market providing evidence of when such strategies have been applied.

The refrigerator is a good example of a product where user behavior has great impact on sustainability .Not only in terms of energy consumption,but also food waste. This Master Thesis Project was carried out in cooperation with Electrolux with the aim to develop a refrigerator concept that changes the user to adopt a more sustainable behavior. Based on a thorough literature review and user studies, with the aim to understand the problem situation and users’ barriers to a sustainable
behavior, concepts were developed. Some of the main findings were that users’ connection between actions, e.g. placing warm food in the refrigerator,
and the consequences on energy consumption and foods durability is limited, so is the knowledge of good food preservation.
The project resulted in the final product concept Pompador; a refrigerator that strengthen the bonds between the product, user and the brand, and can
change the users’ behavior when using it – and thus avoiding waste of resources. Pompador is a refrigerator with a workbench on top and drawers
customized for different foodstuffs. The concept is developed for 5-10 years ahead and strongly focused on the target user, including increased feedback
and an interactive top surface that helps the user chill and thaw food efficiently. The concept was evaluated with the target group and assumed
to change the user’s behaviour successfully.

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