The Compositor Tool: Investigating Consumer Experiences in the Circular Economy
2.1. Cultures of Consumption (and the Role of the Consumer)—From Linear to Circular Economy
2.2. Engagement with Materials and Tools to Facilitate It
2.3. An Altered Consumer Journey: Emerging Technologies and New Experiences in Retail
3. Materials and Methods
3.1. Design of the Compositor Tool
- Focus on in-store experience—the most conventional point of contact for consumer experience in the current state of affairs;
- Consider blended analogue-digital experiences—as we are now living analogue and digital realities;
- Comply with circular design requirements—long-lasting, high quality, designed to be disassembled .
- Component selection: this station aims at allowing for the configuration of products by enabling people to articulate perceptions and preferences via the selection of materials. For this study, each participant could select from three strap and two sole options to create a sandal (modular), which they could carry to the consecutive stations using a tray also available at the station (Figure 4).
- Material stories: the station aim is to allow for playful engagement in immersive storytelling about materials’ provenance. For this study, we designed puzzles containing three steps of the material transformation. The ‘puzzle’ element was selected as we did not expect participants to have prior knowledge of how materials look, feel or smell on their journey from waste to becoming a new bio-based material. Hence, the shapes of the puzzles were intended to help people in the discovery journey of the material transformation, for example, the journey from an orange peel, through cellulose pulp, to fibre . Once participants assembled the puzzle correctly, a projection would reveal further details of this process (Figure 5).
- Material futures: this station aim is to enable participants to understand future lifecycles via immersive storytelling. By positioning their selected strap and sole on an interactive table, projections would reveal possibilities for future applications of each material (Figure 6). One example was a sole that was recycled several times and could only be utilized in a composite material for furniture in the next lifecycle.
- Materials gym: this station aim is to support embodied explorations of the sensory and physical properties of materials. For this study, physical props related to shoemaking process, such as a cobbler’s tool, were presented alongside animated videos that showed participants different ways to manipulate and experience materials (Figure 7).
3.2. The Compositor Tool Study
- ‘Familiarising’ with the data by reading the transcripts to acquire a general understanding
- Identifying initial codes by systematically categorising transcripts with labels; such labels should “identify a feature of the data (semantic content or latent) that appears interesting to the analyst” (, p. 88)
- Identifying themes based on clustering the codes generated in step 2
- Reviewing and verifying if themes do reflect the content of the whole dataset
- Formalising themes and renaming where necessary, to help construct the narrative the communicates the results
- Reporting themes with the support of selected quotes
4.1. Deeper Connections between People and Products/Materials
4.1.1. Product-Led Interaction
4.1.2. Full-Circle Relationships
4.1.3. Retail Reimagined
4.2. New Interaction Techniques Enabling Consumers to Have More Creative Interactions
4.2.1. Participation and Gamification
“through giving that different experience of actually playing with the material, playing with the product, you can get a much better result. When I’m looking at this and thinking, “Could that be my shoe experience?”, that would be wonderful because then it’s also customisation to a completely new level because you’re choosing all the materials, but you’re also understanding where they’re coming from. So, you’re making that conscious consumer decision.”(P16).
4.2.2. Meaning-Making through Storytelling
“So, I’d like to have known a bit more… About the process of the impacts of doing that. So, even though you’re processing part of the wheat, is it actually a higher impact than if you throw it away and created these shoes in a different way?”(P6).
“I guess because there is this higher perceived value you are tempted to take care of it more, because you know that there are many people who actually in a way have participated into this process of you having these shoes at this moment, from farmers to manufacturers”(P10).
4.2.3. Making Sense of Materials
“this one is, like, it’s, kind of, fun, it’s like a gym with the material and I can remember everything, every detail in this part. So, for me, it’s really enjoyable, yes. And this part, it’s the most influential… (...) like, the most important thing that made me choose two of the materials.”(P12).
“it’s almost like a workshop kind of scenario where you’re presented with a few things and you’re like, ‘I want to play and see how it works here, how it works here.’ It’s good because it also stimulates your creativity.”(P16).
“It allows you to test for it, almost, and learn how you could understand the ways how you can take care of that material (...) it allows you to understand what your commitment will need to be to the material, to the product, in order to maintain it for as long as possible”.(P16).
4.2.4. Flow between Physical and Digital Experience
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Aspect Being Explored||Question|
|Description of the experience as a whole||1. If you agree, could you please tell us how was the experience that you just have been through?|
|2. What components did you choose?|
|3. Can you tell us about your decision-making process?|
|Exploring discrete experiences||4. What role did the stories of material provenance have on your choice?|
|5. What role did the future stories play in your decision?|
|6. What role did the sensory properties and performance of materials have on in your choice?|
|Exploring the quality of experiences||7. Were the ways that the stories were presented engaging?|
|8. Did you feel as if you have learned something?|
|9. Did the way that the presentations were delivered create an engagement between you and the material?|
|10. Would these compel you to take care of the material? Or feel that you are a custodian of the material?|
|Beyond the study||11. If you were to imagine a future scenario where some of these interactions are presented in retail spaces, is this something you would participate in?|
|12. Would you like to have access to these interactions beyond the “Living Lab”? If so, how would you like to store and/or access it? For example, would you like to record things in an app (e.g., Pinterest type), or some kind of digital repository?|
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Petreca, B.; Baurley, S.; Hesseldahl, K.; Pollmann, A.; Obrist, M. The Compositor Tool: Investigating Consumer Experiences in the Circular Economy. Multimodal Technol. Interact. 2022, 6, 24. https://doi.org/10.3390/mti6040024
Petreca B, Baurley S, Hesseldahl K, Pollmann A, Obrist M. The Compositor Tool: Investigating Consumer Experiences in the Circular Economy. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction. 2022; 6(4):24. https://doi.org/10.3390/mti6040024Chicago/Turabian Style
Petreca, Bruna, Sharon Baurley, Katrine Hesseldahl, Alexa Pollmann, and Marianna Obrist. 2022. "The Compositor Tool: Investigating Consumer Experiences in the Circular Economy" Multimodal Technologies and Interaction 6, no. 4: 24. https://doi.org/10.3390/mti6040024