Exploring design patterns for sustainable behaviour

Dan Lockton, David Harrison, Neville A. Stanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Products and services explicitly intended to influence users' behaviour are increasingly being proposed to reduce environmental impact and for other areas of social benefit. Designing such interventions often involves adopting and adapting principles from other contexts where behaviour change has been studied. The 'design pattern' form, used in software engineering and HCI, and originally developed in architecture, offers benefits for this transposition process. This article introduces the Design with Intent toolkit, an idea generation method using a design pattern form to help designers address sustainable behaviour problems. The article also reports on exploratory workshops in which participants used the toolkit to generate concepts for redesigning everyday products - kettles, curtains, printers and bathroom sinks/taps - to reduce the environmental impact of use. The concepts are discussed, along with observations of how the toolkit was used by participants, suggesting usability improvements to incorporate in future versions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-459
Number of pages29
JournalDesign Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Design methods
  • Design tools
  • Ecodesign
  • Idea generation
  • User behaviour


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