DS 83: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE16), Design Education: Collaboration and Cross-Disciplinarity, Aalborg, Denmark, 8th-9th September 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Christian Tollestrup, Kaare Eriksen, Nis Ovesen
Author: Lowley, James; Gulden, Tore
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
Section: Creativity
Page(s): 132-137
ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9


The use of bicycles in Norway today is very high, perpetuating a popular view of the bicycle as a
symbol of sustainability. This study explored how the life of a bicycle and its parts might be extended
through the reuse and repair of materials to heighten product value. Using John Elkington's triple
bottom line theory, which is described in his 1997 book Cannibals with Forks, social, environmental
and economic factors are discussed in the context of a potential project called Hĺp Cycles. Successful
realisation of this project requires cross-disciplinary collaboration between several actors, including
bicycle mechanics, designers, graphic designers, retailers, manufacturers and other groups. The
research question therefore is: How can the triple bottom line influence modern bicycle consumption?
The methods used in this research were case studies, interviews and product development. Typical
examples from the bicycle market were graded on their performance according to self-expression,
group affiliation, memories, pleasure and customer attachment. These along with other findings were
used to identify a potentially important fourth factor: culture. This research discusses the bicycle and
uses it as an example to highlight some of the broader issues surrounding consumption and
sustainability. Therefore, it can contribute to the better understanding of designers, students and crossdisciplinary
businesses of the relationship between products and their potential in social,
environmental and economic sustainability benefits.

Keywords: Recycling, bicycle design, triple bottom line, social responsibility.


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