Abstract:Ã‚Â ReducingÃ‚Â the environmental effects of products has become a significant focusÃ‚Â of corporate strategies. As a result, easy-to-use ecodesign tools thatcan be implemented during the early design stage are essentialÃ‚Â for corporations to gain a competitive advantage in product development.Ã‚Â A novel eco-design method, the function impact matrix (FIM), isÃ‚Â being developed as a tool to enable the development andÃ‚Â evaluation of design concepts by correlating environmental impacts with productÃ‚Â functions. This paper aims to illustrate the efficacy and relativeÃ‚Â ease of use of the FIM. Understanding designers’ interactions withÃ‚Â visual tools and cognitive load analysis of designers can provideÃ‚Â new insight that aids in the development of easy-to-use ecodesignÃ‚Â tools. In this pilot study, design engineers with varying levelsÃ‚Â of experience and self-perceived eco-design knowledge are asked to redesignÃ‚Â an alarm clock under four different design scenarios: 1) usingÃ‚Â no eco-design tools, 2) using the LiDS wheel and anÃ‚Â ecodesign checklist, 3) raw life cycle assessment (LCA) data andÃ‚Â 4) the function impact matrix. Surveying the designers reveals thatÃ‚Â the function impact method carried the highest overall rank comparedÃ‚Â to the other ecodesign tools with regard to ease ofÃ‚Â use, quality of data, ability for identifying redesign opportunities, andÃ‚Â overall effectiveness. As suggested by the designers, a combination ofÃ‚Â a modified LiDS wheel with the FIM would lead toÃ‚Â a helpful tool for sustainable concept generation.
William Z Bernstein, Devarajan Ramanujan, Srikanth Devanathan, Fu Zhao, John Sutherland and Karthik Ramani
Function Impact Matrix for Sustainable Concept Generation: A Designer’s Perspective
Proceedings of the ASME 2010 IDETC/CIE, Paper no. DETC2010-28340, pp. 377-383.