SUSTAINABLE DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR EMOTIONAL DURABILITY AND PRODUCT LONGEVITY THROUGH PRODUCT CARE ACTIVITIES BY REPAIR ENTHUSIASTS

2021-8-02
Yazirlıoğlu, Lilyana
Take-make-dispose behaviours as the basis of the linear economy model are challenged by the sustainable modes of consumption that aim to minimise the use of raw materials and waste production. The most prominent among these is the circular economy model, which resembles the production and consumption cycles to a living system, and proposes alternative systems where there is no such thing as waste but only food for another within the system (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2015). Therefore, the aim is to protect the value of the products for a more extended period, preferably through repair and maintenance activities to avoid creating waste and using raw materials for a new product. As the literature on product longevity shows, people pay more attention to protect and prolong the lifetime of the objects they feel attached to (Mugge et al., 2008). Product care behaviours that aim to extend products’ lifetimes, such as repair and maintenance (Ackermann, 2018), are the examples of the protective behaviours that users exhibit, which also strengthens the user-product relationship (Hernandez et al., 2020). Therefore, this design research attempts to show the significance of product care behaviours to strengthen the emotional bond between users and products that serve for product longevity. The secondary aim is to investigate the reflections of the right to repair movement and circular economy in the user-product relationship. To meet the study’s objectives, nineteen semi-structured interviews with repair enthusiasts that are the members of repair initiatives are conducted, and some of the initiatives are visited for user observations to understand the nature of repair for end-users. There are five significant conclusions of the research that are informed both from related literature and the field study: 1) Product care is a skill-oriented practice that involves creative processes, 2) Product care activities transform or change the roles and perception of users, 3) Priorly obscure objects transform into identifiable sums of components that are open to intervention while users conduct product care activities, 4) Repair communities are significant actors of teaching, encouraging and inspiring product care activities that support the right to repair movement, 5) Product care activities create and strengthen the emotional bond between users and products.

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Citation Formats
L. Yazirlıoğlu, “SUSTAINABLE DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR EMOTIONAL DURABILITY AND PRODUCT LONGEVITY THROUGH PRODUCT CARE ACTIVITIES BY REPAIR ENTHUSIASTS,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.