- According to the Danish Smart City report in 2015: A smart and connected community has, at its core, access to data and intelligent tools to connect knowledge and people to drive change. Think of a smart city like a brain; the more neurons that are connected inside the brain, the more beautiful, creative and intelligent thoughts this brain will generate.
- Our team used waste management as a constrained design space via an in-class activity. We conducted ethnographic observations as well as interviews utilizing toolkits and walking probes as ways to understand waste in everyday life in Bloomington. We created several toolkits to envision alternative waste management solutions with selected stakeholders (3 local residents from apartment buildings in Bloomington and an apartment leasing office).
- Building on this conducted research we proposed a new collaborative service design solution for waste management in the smart and connected communities design space. The final service design communicates and contextualizes what we have learned ethnographically and concretely reflects the co-design sessions.
- At the core of the service, residents are able to drop off their recycling at their apartment complex’s regular disposal area and also at a recycling center turned community makerspace. Residents can learn how to make everyday items (cups, plates, forks, chairs, lamps, etc.) or art out of their recyclable materials.
- The goal with ReMAKE is to change the way we think of waste management. Instead of throwing everything away residents can make items for themselves, the community, or people in need.
After evaluating with our stakeholders, we refined our service design proposal by incorporating their aspirations and suggestions. The following documents provide details of the service: a service blueprint, a stakeholder map, a customer journey map, and physical evidence visualizations.
A “living” document to specify and detail each individual aspect of the service that all parties involved have a say in.
We try to incorporate and empower stakeholders at different levels to come together for the betterment of the community. This sustainable waste management eco-system is constructed with the apartment residents at the center of service. The bottom-up innovation practice is enabled by the top-down strategies and regulations.
Co-branding with Maker Faire, we are enabling a creative community through utilizing modern technologies and linking this creative practice with a pre-industrial culture: the sharing and reuse of waste. We use vivid colors to highlight the power of innovation and to make our branding highly visible.
Radical, Local Change
- This creative community would be the start of an expression of radical changes in waste management practices on a local scale.
- Local collaboration, mutual assistance, and spaces & services that are shared at our makerspace will educate and significantly reduce each individual's needs through utilizing local capabilities and resources such as equipment, technology, and experts in terms of the resulting creations made.
- Ultimately, this will lessen the impact of our daily waste practices on the environment.
- Though technology will be available to makers such as the plastic recycling machine or 3D printers and other craft equipment, the innovations that this makerspace will produce are driven more by the resulting changes in behavior than by the technology. This is a true bottom-up rather than top-down process being built with this creative community.
- The well-being of the community and environmental sustainability will be positively correlated through the community’s positive attitudes towards sharing spaces and goods, and the regeneration of local networks.
What I Learned
- Creating a toolkit is more than grabbing supplies that may work; it is more about designing an experience that will allow participants to think through their decisions and reflect on their habits.
- Challenges in the development of all our toolkits: It was difficult deciding on an activity that was not strenuous for the participant, but was still effective. It was important for the task at hand to be simple enough so that the participant can focus on how they felt and their emotions rather than stressing about the list of tasks they have ahead of them.
- The toolkits provide a great, natural way to prompt the participant about why they wrote what they did or used the toolkit the way they did.
- We must not forget though that tools are just tools. We must learn to be human with each other. It’s important to learn how to use these tools to facilitate research, but it is equally essential to learn how not to be trapped by those tools. We need to be flexible with the objects-at-hand and use them as vehicles to find insights, not as the focal point of conversation. Be human and stay sensitive to the conversations.
- Suggestions for improving the toolkits: The toolkits are more useful for reflection of habits, but not very useful in the generation of ideas for the future. Some sort of cumulative toolkit at the end or a feature of each toolkit that could be interwoven to create a final presentation of their behavior towards waste management would be interesting. It could be useful in them seeing it all laid out and then having the opportunity to become designers and come up with something crazy or useful for themselves.
Research: Walking Probe & Toolkits > Insights > Scenarios > Our Service Design: ReMAKE
Our process over the course of this project allowed us to:
- explore, expand, contract, and redefine design problem spaces by generating, proposing, and defending design concepts through our stakeholder's insights
- analyze design and use cases, exemplars, and empirical user research data to understand design needs
- communicate design proposals, prototyping results, and user research practices to stakeholders in a professional manner
Our selected stakeholders were 3 local residents from apartment buildings in Bloomington, Indiana and an apartment leasing office. With them we explored waste generation at these apartment complexes and what sustainable residential living in smart cities might look like.
- The overall goal with our toolkits is to understand the role recycling and eco-friendly behavior plays in our participant’s lives, if any.
- We set out to understand the level of awareness and education our participants have with sustainability in their apartments and where there are opportunities for potential design interventions within the smart city of the future.
- With this goal in mind we wanted each of our toolkits to elicit a deeper conversation and learning from our participants about the role of waste in their homes, specifically living in apartments.
- We researched potential activities from design agencies and used the Sanders  reading as a guide for gaining insights into how our toolkits might work, which we presented to our participant in her home.
Interview: A post-interview was conducted by the end of the toolkit activity. Questions for the semi-structure interview included:
- What are the objects you threw away that can’t be recycled?
- What do you do with the objects that are recyclable?
- Does this activity make you rethink your recycling habit? Will you make any changes after this activity?
The objective of this toolkit is to focus on their point-of-view to see their individual story throughout the experience of throwing away their trash and gain an understanding of what their experience is like. We can identify segments of their experience, such as negative ones, that would benefit from new products or services and reveal design opportunities.
Using the toolkits we created, and in combination with ethnographic observations and insights made, we generated a total of 3 different scenarios for future waste management in Bloomington with our stakeholders. We took these scenarios back to them to inform our final service design concept.
Mrs. Henderson decides it’s time to take her trash out. She supports sustainable habits in her household, but it’s hard without easy access to her local recycling bin. She has to walk may blocks to recycle while her trash bin is just outside.
Students around the Informatics building hear of a new community recycling center right outside! They walk on by and see the creation.This artistic display takes the idea of a trash bin and flips its insides out to the public. The community can see how much they are recycling by the volume. It provides a motivating display to the community through the large and accessible area making recycling fun.
- A new game sweeping the nation called RecyclingGo!
- An augmented reality game with recycling as its message.
- The game allows for learning of sustainable waste management for young people.
- Chad walks around and has his first encounter with a wild coke can!
- He can either trash it, recycle it, or reuse it. Each option on different encounters will have different effects based on the encounter.
- Choosing to Reuse it will change the coke can into a collectible item for Chad within the game. Nice!
- Choosing to Trash it will show Chad the results of his actions. The graveyard of all things.
- Choosing to Recycle it revitalizes the coke can showing Chad how it can become a new coke can!
- Chad learns what can be recycled, what should be thrown away or chooses to reuse things and sees what happens! All based on modern sustainable practices.
Co-Desiging the Recycling Service
- We are taking advantage of opportunities arising from combining the existence of traditions, using an existing set of products, services, & infrastructure, and also the existence of social conditions in Bloomington favorable, and accepting, of the development of this creative community.
- We shared and refined our service design idea with our stakeholders: local residents, an apartment leasing office, and a co-op for the Bloomington Sustainable Living Association.
We would like to thank Wan-Ting, Yin-Chang, Michelle, LP, Kyle, and all the mentors who helped us with this project!
* All graphics and illustrations created by Cyn Liu and Ashely Smith. Scenario illustrations by Philip Begel
- Sanders, E.B.-N. and Stappers, P.J. (2014) Probes, Toolkits and Prototypes: Three Approaches to Making in Co-designing. In CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts. Special Issue on Making. Vol. 10, Issue 1.
- Danish Smart City Report: http://www.cleancluster.dk/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/594256e47ab31.pdf
- Image of clothes - https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRj1R6cryq4h9Jooftl0kK4-2y2xyKzI3L2qc5ENR-FOeP1I7uqQA
- Pumping Gas - https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRb6NLIEdIBA5j23WK99FRyA2U2XkkTW6OPzsq_HyPI042yb03N
- Bike - http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WkguuKndpAk/Vc0wgqb2xNI/AAAAAAAAAQA/DIyDJstRv-8/s200/bike-3.jpg
- Light bulb - http://www.the3best.net/getattachment/40490deb-916b-4b1c-af16-ffe4e441992d/EcoSmart-Soft-White-14-Watt
- Electric Car - http://www.afromum.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Eco-friendly-car-300x165.jpg
- Trash pile - http://x3.wykop.pl/cdn/c3201142/comment_8maGnpXpDprP7MUNLooysCVNu3prSiKj.jpg
- Sustainability symbols - https://mir-s3-cdn-cf.behance.net/project_modules/disp/0c5ad030726981.56302b108f473.jpg
- Pumpkin and Cans - Bloomington recycling
- Recycled bottles - https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.ids/65907_webrecyclef.jpg
- Recycling bin (emotional toolkit) - http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/1000/30/309d29fe-9da1-4193-b1c0-a8709f81c587_1000.jpg
- Bottle art - https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/22/32/4b/22324b47b19bb4ada2dd68ae5d784d75.jpg
- IU student recycling - https://www.iu.edu/~images/dams/449591_w680.jpg
- Fix Flint Now - http://images.techtimes.com/data/images/full/236504/michigan-police-begin-monitoring-social-media-for-flint-water-crisis-unrest.jpg
- Man with water cases - https://www.thetrace.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/flint-water-crisis-gun-violence-1920x1000-c-top.jpg
- Public recycling parcel - http://blogs.rochester.edu/thegreendandelion/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/2a-281x300.jpg
- Plastic bottle process - http://designtekplastics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Blow-Mold.png
- Wasted food - http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2012/11/26/food-waste_custom-649ff1ae4461b8dfa8f244293139d87489975454-s1400-c85.jpg
- 3 bins - https://sfenvironment.org/sites/default/files/editor-uploads/zero_waste/image/rec_zw_bins_group3_05.jpg
- Plastic bottle recycling - http://www.sciencefriday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/shutterstock_139546226.jpg
- Plastic - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4a/Plastic_bottles_before_processing.jpg/220px-Plastic_bottles_before_processing.jpg
- Family recycling: http://inverde.ro/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/elvetia_resized.jpg
- Precious Plastic DIY Machine: https://davehakkens.nl/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/14827445535_4bb90e0150_k.jpg
- Craft room: http://kidsroomsideas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/kids-craft-room-ideas-5.jpg
- Craft room 2: http://bussigel.com/communityart/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/0929-Table-View-2-150x150.jpg
- Craft art: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/c7/17/1c/c7171c0a301348d54238143f0231cca9.jpg
- Recycling community: http://catholicphilly.com/media-files/2016/07/GSR-BROOKLYN-RECYCLING.jpg
- Recycling shop: http://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/media/8620/img_8909.jpg?center=0.69339622641509435,0.65248226950354615&mode=crop&width=480&height=365&rnd=131291535260000000
- Recycling community 2: http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/cached/cached/http_cc-magazine.thomas-paterson.co.uk/inc/phpThumb/2eeb61000561d50ffbafb1ea92699d97/phpThumb_750_500.jpg
- Maker community: http://siskiyou.sou.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/mini_maker_2-1024x683.jpg
- Craft lights: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8f6f6jE03iM/VQVXhM7RKlI/AAAAAAABwAw/6AyqUYtodn0/s1600/Pet_Design_Veronica_Richterova_1.jpg
- IU Surplus store: http://ipf.msu.edu/_files/images/surplus-feature.jpg
- Re-use Made Chairs https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/f2/a6/15/f2a615e89524b2f2e2fa0f14f9a7e24b.jpg
- SoIC Luddy Hall: https://www.soic.indiana.edu/img/frontpage/Luddy-Perspective-from-south-west.jpg
Precious Plastic DIY Home Recycling used as inspiration for service.
All images by authors unless otherwise noted.