Abstract:Â ReducingÂ the environmental effects of products has become a significant focusÂ of corporate strategies. As a result, easy-to-use ecodesign tools thatcan be implemented during the early design stage are essentialÂ for corporations to gain a competitive advantage in product development.Â A novel eco-design method, the function impact matrix (FIM), isÂ being developed as a tool to enable the development andÂ evaluation of design concepts by correlating environmental impacts with productÂ functions. This paper aims to illustrate the efficacy and relativeÂ ease of use of the FIM. Understanding designers’ interactions withÂ visual tools and cognitive load analysis of designers can provideÂ new insight that aids in the development of easy-to-use ecodesignÂ tools. In this pilot study, design engineers with varying levelsÂ of experience and self-perceived eco-design knowledge are asked to redesignÂ an alarm clock under four different design scenarios: 1) usingÂ no eco-design tools, 2) using the LiDS wheel and anÂ ecodesign checklist, 3) raw life cycle assessment (LCA) data andÂ 4) the function impact matrix. Surveying the designers reveals thatÂ the function impact method carried the highest overall rank comparedÂ to the other ecodesign tools with regard to ease ofÂ use, quality of data, ability for identifying redesign opportunities, andÂ overall effectiveness. As suggested by the designers, a combination ofÂ a modified LiDS wheel with the FIM would lead toÂ 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.