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Category Archives: debates in sustainable design

Design for Behaviour Change

Exercise more. Turn off the lights. These are among many messages we receive about how we should change our behaviour for the better. Now a German designer, Matthias Laschke and a team of students are proposing designs that help us make the changes, reports co-exist.


“if you choose the car key, the bike key drops to the ground, forcing you to pick it up and reconsider your decision.”

He calls them “pleasurable troublemakers” and they include:

  • an elevator that takes you to the floor below where you’re going so you can walk up the last flight of stairs
  • key hooks that will drop the key to your bike lock on the floor when you choose your car key
  • a light turns off slowly unless you keep touching it to indicate you still need the light

On the project’s website,, each object comes with a short paper that details the concept. Handy for researcher types!

soccer field: powered by players footsteps, or not?

soccer field: powered by players footsteps, or not?

You may have read recently about Shell’s renewable energy project in Brazil. It’s a soccer field lined with peizo-electric tiles that capture energy from footsteps. While the project was reported excitely (in FastCo.exist, BBC, Gizmag and others), just recently Alex Epstein, in an article for Forbes, has “done the math” to show that the footfall-powerContinue Reading

The Sharing economy – is it green?

The Sharing economy – is it green?

Intuitively the sharing economy seems greener than the conventional economy. After all, it is about using existing capacity more efficiently–rather than buying new to own (and then having to discard and update and so forth). But does the sharing economy have a “rebound” effect? In Switerland, stickers on your mailbox show what you’re willing toContinue Reading



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