Background and activities
With a masters degree in Applied Econometrics from Erasmus University Rotterdam, and a PhD degree in Industrial Design Engineering from Delft University of Technology, I worked as an assistant professor in the Design for Sustainability Program at the Industrial Design Engineering School, TU Delft, the Netherlands, until 2006. In 2004, I was a visiting professor at the International Institute of Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University, Sweden.
In these years, my research interests include sustainable product innovation research and education, and have until a few years ago mainly focused on the organisational and managerial aspects of successful implementation of sustainable product innovation in the electronics industry. Before that I belonged to the first wave of ecodesign researchers that focused on end-of-life issues for electronics.
As of January 2007, I am professor in product design at the Department of Product Design. Since then, my research interests have broadened or even shifted to include the use phase. The research in my group has in recent years mainly focused on Design for Sustainable Behaviour. We focus on understanding how designers and firms can be facilitated in exploiting opportunities, both environmental and commercial, that may exist in designing products and contexts that make users use products in a sustainable way (or avoid that they use them in an unsustainable way). Three PhD students work/have worked on this: Ida Nilstad Pettersen (finished in May 2013), Johannes Zachrisson Daae (April 2014) and Kirsi Laitala (September 2014).
We aim to integrate insights from interaction design, science and technology studies, stakeholder analysis and environmental psychology in developing research protocols to collect empirical information on users' behaviour, attitudes, habits, beliefs, as well situational contexts, and to carry out practical experiments and develop design concepts. We also aim to understand to what extent and under which conditions firms may take such design strategies as a source for innovating their product portfolios. Case studies, both descriptive and explorative, have been done with firms including Philips, Jøtul, Electrolux and Glen Dimplex Nordic.
From 2014-2019, I supervised two PhD students that focus on sustainable product, system and service design related to avoiding food waste (Marie Hebrok, employed at SIFO/OsloMet) and more specifically related to fresh bakery products (Sofie Østergaard, employed at Cernova AS).
In October 2015, two PhD students, Faheem Ali and Raphaëlle Stewart, started their PhD project under joint supervision of Dr. Niki Bey (Technical University of Denmark) and myself, as part of a cotutelle agreement. In 2019 they defended their dissertations after successfully researching various themes related to implementation of design for sustainability and sustainable business modelling. As a result, they both received a double degree from NTNU and DTU.
Early 2017, PhD students Juana Otero-Camacho and Lucy Chamberlin started their research as part of the Horizon2020 EU Marie Curie ITN CIRCUIT, a training network of 15 PhD students across 7 universities in the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, France and the UK, aimed at designing circular economy-based product-service systems. In this project, we are responsible for the end-use perspective, focusing on user understanding and how to use this in CE based PSS development, as well as how to communicate this back to user. Juana and Lucy defended their dissertations in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Currently I also supervise Terje Stafseng and June Trondsen.
In April 2017, PhD student Saara-Maria Kauppi started her doctoral research as part of a ERANET-LCA cofunding project, focusing on designing food products based on insects and insect-protein, based on true understanding of user perspectives.
I the past I have also supervised Bijan Aryana (finished in May 2013); his research explored design for country-specific customisation of smart phones, in collaboration with LG Electronics. In 2012, my two former PhD students Elli Verhulst and Silje Aschehoug defended their dissertations; Elli researched how addressing human factors such as resistance and empowerment facilitate or complicate a sustainable design implementation process based on case studies in eight firms. Silje researched the availability, relevance and accessibility of information sources, that are relevant to sustainable design and manufacturing. Her work was based on case studies in the Norwegian automotive and furniture industry.
In my Delft years I have also co-supervised PhD research on topics such as ecodesign management, probing and learning in the fuel cell industry, and sustainable packaging design.
I am also affiliated to NTNU's Industrial Ecology program; In the academic year 2008/2009 I acted as interim director for this multidisciplinary international master, PhD and research program.
From 2013-2017, I was Head of Department for the Department of Design. From 2017-2021, I contribute to the Faculty of Architecture and design as Vice-Dean for Research and Innovation.
Scientific, academic and artistic work
Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database
- (2021) Understanding and managing product lifetimes in support of a circular economy. Journal of Cleaner Production. vol. 279.
- (2020) Consumer engagement in the circular economy: Exploring clothes swapping in emerging economies from a social practice perspective. Sustainable Development. vol. 28 (1).
- (2019) Exploring “Company Personas” for Informing Design for Sustainability Implementation in Companies. Sustainability. vol. 11 (2).
- (2019) User acceptance and adoption of circular offerings in the fashion sector: insights from user-generated online reviews. Journal of Cleaner Production. vol. 231.
- (2019) Consumer acceptance of edible insects and design interventions as adoption strategy. International Journal of Food Design. vol. 4 (1).
- (2018) Consumption in the Circular Economy: A Literature Review. Sustainability. vol. 10 (8).
- (2018) Marketing Approaches for a Circular Economy: Using Design Frameworks to Interpret Online Communications. Sustainability. vol. 10 (6).
- (2018) Dimensions of behaviour change in the context of designing for a circular economy. The Design Journal. vol. 21 (4).
- (2018) Architect, Catalyst, Advocate, and Prophet: A Four-Lens View of Companies to Support Ecodesign Integration. Sustainability. vol. 10 (10).
- (2018) Occupant engagement in the office environment: role assumptions about the building manager. Facilities. vol. 36 (11/12).
- (2017) Household food waste: Drivers and potential intervention points for design – An extensive review. Journal of Cleaner Production. vol. 151.
- (2016) Design for Sustainability and Project Management Literature–A Review. Procedia CIRP. vol. 48.
- (2016) Exploration of the Barriers to Implementing Different Types of Sustainability Approaches. Procedia CIRP. vol. 48.
- (2016) Burning for sustainable behaviour. Journal of Design Research. vol. 14 (1).
- (2015) Users’ participation in requirements gathering for smart phones applications in emerging markets. Universal Access in the Information Society. vol. 14 (2).
- (2015) From best practices to bridges for a more sustainable future: advances and challenges in the transition to global sustainable production and consumption: Introduction to the ERSCP stream of the Special volume. Journal of Cleaner Production. vol. 108 (Part A).
- (2015) Firing up sustainable behaviour. Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design. vol. 1 (80-01).
- (2015) Making Clothing Last: A Design Approach for Reducing the Environmental Impacts. International Journal of Design. vol. 9 (2).
- (2015) A classification of user research methods for design for sustainable behaviour. Journal of Cleaner Production. vol. 106.
- (2015) Opportunities and challenges for addressing variations in the use phase with LCA and Design for Sustainable Behaviour. International Journal of Sustainable Engineering. vol. 8 (3).
- (2014) Employee Empowerment for Sustainable Design. Journal of Corporate Citizenship.
- (2014) Embracing Social Sustainability in Design Education: A Reflection on a Case Study in Haiti. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research. vol. 58 (2).
- (2014) Challenging interfaces are more fun! Operant conditioning for the interaction designer. International Journal of Learning Technology. vol. 9 (2).
- (2014) Dimensions of behaviour change. Journal of Design Research. vol. 12 (3).
- (2013) Towards a framework for sustainability information in product development. International Journal of Sustainable Engineering. vol. 6 (2).
- (2013) Building sustainability knowledge for product development and design - Experiences from four manufacturing firms. Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal. vol. 8 (1/2).
- (2013) Framing the role of design in transformation of consumption practices: beyond the designer-product-user triad. International Journal of Technology Management. vol. 63 (1/2).
- (2012) Bringing about Sustainable Change in Product Development: Theory versus Practice. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology. vol. 384.
- (2012) The role of human factors in the adoption of sustainable design criteria in business: evidence from Belgian and Dutch case studies. International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development. vol. 6 (2).
- (2012) Country specific customisation of smart phones for emerging markets: insights from case studies in Iran and Turkey. International Journal of Logistics Economics and Globalisation. vol. 4 (3).
- (2012) New Product Development and consumer culture: a review. International Journal of Product Development. vol. 16 (1).
- (2012) Environmental information from stakeholders supporting product development. Journal of Cleaner Production. vol. 31.
- (2012) Sustainable clothing design: use matters. Journal of Design Research. vol. 10 (1/2).
- (2012) Changing laundry habits in Norway. International Journal of Consumer Studies. vol. 36 (2).
- (2012) On the use of Biomimicry as a Useful Tool for the Industrial Designer. Sustainable Development. vol. 20 (3).
- (2012) Exploring behavioural psychology to support design for sustainable behaviour research. Journal of Design Research. vol. 10 (1/2).
- (2011) Potential for environmental improvements in laundering. International Journal of Consumer Studies. vol. 35 (2).
- (2010) Influence of Packaging Design on Littering and Waste Behaviour. Packaging technology & science. vol. 23 (5).
- (2009) Transitions in Sustainable Product Design Research. International Journal of Product Development. vol. 9 (4).
- (2009) Editorial. International Journal of Product Development. vol. 9 (4).
- (2008) New academic research topics to further ecodesign implementation: an overview. International Journal of Product Development. vol. 6 (3/4).
- (2008) The Ethics in Balancing Control and Freedom when Engineering Solutions for Sustainable Behaviour. International Journal of Sustainable Engineering. vol. 1 (4).
- (2008) User-centred design for sustainable behaviour. International Journal of Sustainable Engineering. vol. 1 (1).
- (2007) Essential Perspectives for Design for Environment, Experiences from the Electronics Industry. International Journal of Production Research. vol. 45 (18&19).
- (2007) Increasing the benefits of product-level benchmarking for strategic eco-efficient decision-making. Benchmarking : An International Journal. vol. 14 (6).
- (2016) Proceedings of NordDesign 2016. The Design Society. 2016. ISBN 978-1-904670-80-3.
- (2010) When Design Education and Design Research meet... Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, NTNU 2-3 September 2010. The Design Society. 2010. ISBN 978-1-904670-19-3.
Part of book/report
- (2020) Consumers in the circular economy. Handbook of the Circular Economy.
- (2018) An Introduction to Design for Sustainable Behaviour. Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design.
- (2018) Tweaking interaction through understanding the user. Design for Behaviour Change: Theories and Practices of Designing for Change.
- (2017) Design for sustainable use using principles of behaviour change. Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Product Design.