Michèle Hess


Michèle Hess

Business & Design MA level


a matter of design for behaviour change?

Child labour, severe labour conditions and industrial hazards are just a few of the present social and environmental imbalances that advoca- ted responsible consumption in recent years. Consumers are increa- singly demanding for this way of consumption that equally meet their needs but in a less environmentally wasteful way in terms of sourcing, production, transporting and disposal. Purchase behaviour patterns are however not as frequent as they could be expected to be from the consumers positive attitude towards responsible consumption.This study examines the various factors influencing consumer’s purcha-
se decision in respect of responsibility in the particular case of food consumption in the Swiss food retail environment and evaluates how Mindful Design can help consumers to consume more responsibly and in congruence with their attitude. The insights gained throughout the creative research process, including consumer interviews and obser- vations of the retail environment, allowed to identify three issues that open up for design interventions aiming to change behaviour in favour of responsibility. First, design has to interrupt and create awareness. Se- cond, design needs to stimulate reflection by informing and reminding consumers of their responsibility for the impact their consumption choices cause. Third, design creates motivation by giving consumers reasons and visions to believe that their responsible purchase behaviour can change existing situation into preferred ones. The study thereby contributes with three possible starting points for product, packaging or space design allowing them to transform retailers in a supporting environment for responsible consumption.