The LOLA show participants on Tuesday shared some really wild and exciting sustainability ideas as food for thought for the week. I absolutely loved the idea that Casey shared with us about OAT biodegradable shoes that will grow flowers and plants when you bury them. I didn’t think it was possible to create a shoe that was absolutely 100% biodegradable that didn’t even use any glue! I really enjoyed this story because the creator even said in the short video that if you dream it you can make it happen. Not only is this idea great in that it diverts waste from the landfill, it also promotes social sustainability because it allows the owner of the shoe to feel a sense of giving back to the environment when they no longer want their shoes. I wish that they had women’s options, because I would totally buy a pair of these! In addition, Jade’s find about a company called Izzy Lane who rescues sheep from slaughter houses to make luxury knit products also gives people who own the product a greater product attachment knowing that they contributed to an ethical cause. They even get a little tag on their product that says how many sheep have been saved to date. I think that these ideas are so great because they really do help support the idea that people make better attachments to products based on emotional or physical experiences. The most important thing I learned from the LOLA show and the reading about product services systems is that people will make product attachments (leading to sustainability) when they can truly experience a product or service.
The article we read a couple weeks ago about designing for product attachment was hard to grasp because it seems like this is a very hard thing to design for since so many factors are out of the designer’s control. This week’s learning is important because it helped me connect the ideas between product attachment and user experience. We can’t necessarily design a product and say “the user will form an attachment because the product addresses all instrumental values.” However, we can provide a product that gives a story or experience to make the user have an attachment to that item. The company North Circular that Jade shared with us has little grannies in Britain knit the products that are then sent to the users with a story about the granny that knitted their product. This is a perfect example of the experience along with the product that I am talking about. Casey’s example is also great because the user gets to experience the shoes in a functional way, and when they no longer want them they can experience planting them and enjoying the beautiful flowers that grow.
The article about product service systems talks about the same idea of providing an experience to individuals through bundling products with services. If a service is attached to a product that is offered, the user gets a better experience than if they just bought the product alone. One example that I can think of is going to the nail salon to get a pedicure. You could just buy nail polish at Wal-Mart and paint your own toes, but people go to the salon for the total experience. I think this is a product service system because they are still offering a product (nail polish), but you get the added experience from the service the salon offers: a nice massaging chair to sit in, washing and massaging your feet, clipping your toenails, and painting a pretty design. The overall experience is one of feeling relaxed and pampered. My learning is useful and relevant to me because it helps me better understand why I choose the products and services I do, and why I am attached to certain things that I have. It also makes me realize that I myself would much rather have a story or experience attached to a product then just a boring product that does not provide any type of feeling or emotion. One example is a little gift that my grandma gave me a long time ago. It’s a little box with tiny little dolls inside that were made by Guatemalan children. While I have no use for this product whatsoever, I just cannot throw it away knowing who made it. Just as the people who buy a North Circular beanie will feel about the grannies that knitted it.
The article about product service systems offered a great overview of what types of product service systems there are and how these can be economically viable and sustainable, but it did not provide a lot of examples. From what the article was saying I almost just felt like product service systems are just services in general. I may be wrong here, but is there a difference between product service systems and just services such as dry-cleaning or car rentals? I would like to learn more about what the differences are (if any), and some examples of product service systems that are already in the market.
I am an interior merchandising student. I may be off track with my PSS idea relating to interiors, but I would love any feedback about my idea. My grandma has a china cabinet full of expensive china that she uses for dinner parties and holidays such as Thanksgiving. Other than that, it just sits in the cabinet. During my internship this summer, brides would always come in and register for expensive china. I remember thinking to myself, “Do people really still buy china?” I just thought that my grandma had it because it is more from that generation, but apparently I was wrong. I personally would not ever have any use for fine china except on very rare occasion such as a holiday, and I sure would not want to pay the price to never use it at all. My PSS idea is a service in which you could rent fine china, glassware, stemware, and table linens for dinner parties or special occasions. You could pay a fee to rent whichever items you needed, have them delivered, and even set up. This way you don’t have to fuss with the table while you are busy cooking and preparing for your guests. This may be a silly idea, but I just know that I am not fancy at all and would never want to actually own a set of china, but it would be nice to have this service if I ever wanted to impress my family, coworkers, or friends.