the all-inclusive PSS

Hello everyone.

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?

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10 Responses to the all-inclusive PSS

  1. princessaurora10 says:

    I think your idea for a PSS is very logical for the interiors field. Although it may not be some super cool product or service, like you said we are designers, which requires more abstract concepts. The product that would be provided, if I’m understanding your thoughts correctly, is a building or house or what have you for the customer, and the service is a continued involvement in their sustainability journey in their newly designed space? Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Thanks you! And yes, you are correct. It would be like a “package deal” with the product (house/building/interior) and then the continuing service of advising the client on using sustainable design concepts in their space. As new concepts are developed in the industry, the designer would be responsible for informing and encouraging the client to integrate the new concept in their space.

  2. Dr. Cosette Armstrong says:

    How you use the readings in your blog posts are up to you. The important thing is that you use it. Ideally, discuss an idea from the reading that really spoke to you … explain it, then reflect on it just as you did above. Just avoid saying, “I read this article this week … and it was awesome.” ???

    Great PSS idea! (and much needed) This concept empowers the customer to be more thoughtful and accountable for what they do in the space after you leave.

    • Thank you! Instead of creating a product that could potentially need a service I decided to run with an idea that doesn’t require a specific, new product but just a new approach as to how we use the products (spaces) we currently have or that we are planning. I wanted something that can be used for a broad spectrum of people in the industry and so I think this could cover most bases. It would be profitable for the designer, sustainable for the client and overall knowledge-empowering for all parties involved.

  3. olivejackson says:

    I think your PSS idea is pretty neat – it really makes use of all the PSS principles, by creating a lifelong service product. Being an Apparel Merchandising major, when I first read this I had a hard time picturing how the idea would actually work, but the more I think about it the more it seems like a service that a lot of businesses could really take advantage of and benefit from, for example the kinetic energy floor tiles – thats one way a consultant could get those implemented through clients they have worked for before.

  4. Yes, thank you! That is encouraging to hear that an Apparel Merchandising major can get on board with this idea. And you are correct, this concept is not exclusive to just interior design, it can be used across the board to benefit many businesses and clients because if you think about it, the entire process is sustainable. The client doesn’t have to search for a new designer, consultant, or whatever they may need since the original person employed would continue to serve them throughout the journey of needs and changes. That also means the business/designer wouldn’t be searching for new clients all the time, they would be able to maintain an established client-base. Thanks for the comment!

    • olivejackson says:

      I like that the business wouldn’t have to outsource to many different consultants/designers throughout its life, but would have one steady person to contact when something is needed. It really creates a great business-customer relationship.

      • That is the idea! Hopefully we’ll be able to see this concept applied somewhere in our industry. It’s critical to design with the end-user in mind and so this concept helps to integrate that into the process.

  5. no won says:

    I love the idea of a sustainability life coach!! Especially if you have established a relationship with the family/person/business that the building had been built for; people are more likely to follow suit with someone they respect and/or admire. Some people want to live (or conduct a business) in a sustainable way but do not know exactly how to approach it. Like someone mentioned above, ideas like the pavegen tile installations cannot begin to be implemented until interior designers pass on the information! Your idea perfectly combines empathic design as well as a PSS approach.

    • Thank you!! I wanted a combination of activism and empathic design in my PSS idea and so I’m hoping that we’ll be able to see this concept applied in the field. I agree with you about the established relationship, people are more willing to continue business with someone that they respect and that they’ve known for a while. The idea is to create those relationships between the client and designer so that outsourcing isn’t necessary.

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