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Exploring the Use of Virtual Reality to Support Environmentally Sustainable Behavior: A Framework to Design Experiences

Priming on Sustainable Design Idea Creation and Evaluation

School of Systems and Enterprises, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ 07030, USA
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tracy Bhamra
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5227;
Received: 31 March 2021 / Revised: 21 April 2021 / Accepted: 1 May 2021 / Published: 7 May 2021
Although three pillars of sustainable design—social desirability, economic competitiveness, and environmental friendliness—are all important, they are not necessarily equally accessible or salient during the design process. This paper applies a collage priming method to activate designers’ mindsets regarding sustainability pillars prior to conceptual design exercises, and to facilitate early-stage sustainable design. The study tests if collage priming (1) improves ideation outcome in terms of the sustainability pillars, interpreted as user desirability, cost, and environmental impact, and (2) encourages designers to further explore others’ ideas during idea evaluation. For (1), collage priming related to environmental aspect is shown to assist designers with generating more relevant ideas regarding environmental impact and more feasible ideas as compared to the control. The priming is not effective in helping designers generate ideas related to user desirability or cost, potentially because designers lack readily accessible information to be activated by priming. For (2), the collage priming related to user desirability is shown to encourage further exploration when exposed to (simulated) others’ ideas. The study shows the effectiveness of collage priming in improving environmental impact in conceptual design; it also demonstrates the existing challenges of addressing user desirability and cost. View Full-Text
Keywords: design; design methodology; conceptual design; priming; human behavior; environmental impact; user desirability; cost design; design methodology; conceptual design; priming; human behavior; environmental impact; user desirability; cost
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liao, T.; MacDonald, E.F. Priming on Sustainable Design Idea Creation and Evaluation. Sustainability 2021, 13, 5227.

AMA Style

Liao T, MacDonald EF. Priming on Sustainable Design Idea Creation and Evaluation. Sustainability. 2021; 13(9):5227.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liao, Ting, and Erin F. MacDonald. 2021. "Priming on Sustainable Design Idea Creation and Evaluation" Sustainability 13, no. 9: 5227.

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