So this week, I’m going to chat about a few different things. Firstly, I didn’t have an epiphany (sorry everybody that was on the LOLA show, no offense at all) but a lot of the presentations did get the wheels in my brain turning! Shoes that are 100% biodegradable and that grow plants from them, that is CRAZY! Very cool. And expen$ive. However, the thing that I have learned the most this week is about the Power Walk Tiles and thus, Product-Service Systems. I think that the Power Walk Tiles are an excellent example of a PSS, which according to the article “Eight Types of Product-Service Systems”, can be defined as consisting of “tangible products and intangible services designed and combined so that they jointly are capable of fulfilling specific customer needs” (I think I’m just going to site our reading articles differently each week until I have an epiphany as to which one is correct). The Power Walk Tiles are a product (they act as the floor) that uses the kinetic energy gathered from the movement on them to generate electricity. Therein lie the tangible product, intangible service, and sustainability factor (plus the tiles are from recycle rubber!). Voile! How neat. I really think it’s an excellent concept and I am anxious to see how it takes off in not only the sustainability industry but also the commercial construction/design industry. Like I really would want to know why places such as malls, airports, and other large commercial buildings would object to integrating them into their design. I think it’s brilliant, although maybe not the most aesthetic.
I think this week’s learning about the different types of PSSs is very useful in innovating sustainable design. I realize that’s a vague statement but since there are 8 different types, there are lots of directions that you could go with that statement. For instance, if I were to design/innovate a Product-Service-System, I would obviously like to integrate my field of study, interior design. And since we all know that we design, not decorate, our concepts are a bit more abstract and larger than just a product. Not that you’re limited to designing a product BUT I think it’d be cool to take it to the next level. Still being vague, I know, this is just coming together as I write. SO what if we were to employ empathic design AND create a PSS? What would that look like? I think it would look like an awesome opportunity. In designing an interior, you could create a sustainable interior space or even a house/building. You would work with the customer for “X” amount of time before the design process would even begin so that you could design empathically and get to really know the person/family/business/etc. Then after the interior/house/building is built, you would maintain a relationship with them to help them with sustainable practices. You would work with them on recycling, efficient energy-use, using sustainable products, and integrating new sustainable concepts/designs into their space as the industry progresses. You basically establish a relationship with them and continue to work with them and their sustainability goals. It’d be like a sustainability life coach!! How cool. So if you were to categorize this it could be considered a Product-Related Service/Functional Result/Activity Management/Advice & Consultancy PSS. I have no clue if this is a good idea or if I’m even on topic but there it is.
Anyways, that’s my idea for a PSS. I think it’s a great idea because it truly does combine products, services and sustainability in the best of all worlds. This reading was relevant because I think it challenged us (or at least me) to actually put into practice what we’re been learning about empathic and sustainable design. It’s cool to see what we can actually come up with in respect to each of our industries.
Knowing what I know now, what does it take to install the Power Walk Tiles into public places?! Will people be progressing towards that anytime soon?