Matching Items (240)

Filtering by

Clear all filters

149726-Thumbnail Image.png

Furniture longevity: how mass-produced heirloom furniture supports sustainable consumption

Description

In recent years, the length of time people use and keep belongings has decreased. With the acceptance of short-lived furniture and inexpensive replacements, the American mentality has shifted to thinking that discarding furniture is normal, often in the guise of

In recent years, the length of time people use and keep belongings has decreased. With the acceptance of short-lived furniture and inexpensive replacements, the American mentality has shifted to thinking that discarding furniture is normal, often in the guise of recycling. Americans are addicted to landfills. The high cost of landfill real estate and other considerable ecological impacts created by the manufacturing of furniture should persuade people to give their belongings a longer life, but in reality, furniture is often prematurely discarded. This grounded theory study takes a multi-method approach to analyze why some types of furniture are kept longer and to theorize about new ways to design and sell furniture that lasts well past its warranty. Case studies bring new insight into designer intention, manufacturer intent, the world of auction-worthy collectables and heirlooms, why there is a booming second-hand furniture market and the growing importance of informed interior designers and architects who specify or help clients choose interior furnishings. An environmental life cycle assessment compares how the length of furniture life affects environmental impacts. A product's life could continue for generations if properly maintained. Designers and manufacturers hoping to promote longevity can apply the conclusions of this report in bringing new pieces to the market that have a much longer life span. This study finds areas of opportunity that promote user attachment, anticipate future repurposing, and provide services. This thinking envisions a paradigm for furniture that can re-invent itself over multiple generations of users, and ultimately lead to a new wave of desirable heirloom furniture.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

152507-Thumbnail Image.png

Electron Microscopy Study of the Phase Transformation and Metal Functionalization of Titanium Oxide Nanotubes

Description

Titanium oxide (TiO2), an abundant material with high photocatalytic activity and chemical stability is an important candidate for photocatalytic applications. The photocatalytic activity of the TiO2 varies with its phase. In the current project, phase and morphology changes in TiO2

Titanium oxide (TiO2), an abundant material with high photocatalytic activity and chemical stability is an important candidate for photocatalytic applications. The photocatalytic activity of the TiO2 varies with its phase. In the current project, phase and morphology changes in TiO2 nanotubes were studied using ex-situ and in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM). X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy studies were also performed to understand the phase and morphology of the nanotubes. As prepared TiO2 nanotubes supported on Ti metal substrate were amorphous, during the heat treatment in the ex-situ furnace nanotubes transform to anatase at 450 oC and transformed to rutile when heated to 800 oC. TiO2 nanotubes that were heat treated in an in-situ environmental TEM, transformed to anatase at 400 oC and remain anatase even up to 800 oC. In both ex-situ an in-situ case, the morphology of the nanotubes drastically changed from a continuous tubular structure to aggregates of individual nanoparticles. The difference between the ex-situ an in-situ treatments and their effect on the phase transformation is discussed. Metal doping is one of the effective ways to improve the photocatalytic performance. Several approaches were performed to get metal loading on to the TiO2 nanotubes. Mono-dispersed platinum nanoparticles were deposited on the TiO2 nanopowder and nanotubes using photoreduction method. Photo reduction for Ag and Pt bimetallic nanoparticles were also performed on the TiO2 powders.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

152509-Thumbnail Image.png

Telling your stories: designing an online email based storytelling group for older adults

Description

The aim of this study is to test the feasibility of building a storytelling system for older adults to tell and share their life stories based on email. It is measured by the level of participation and people's acceptance of

The aim of this study is to test the feasibility of building a storytelling system for older adults to tell and share their life stories based on email. It is measured by the level of participation and people's acceptance of the system. The central goals were to empower people over 60 years old by providing a platform for them to share their wonderful life experience and perspectives on life and lead social services into the digital age by bridging traditional roundtable interaction and modern digital communication. A prototype was built to test the level of participation of the system and follow-up interviews were conducted in order to deeply understand people's acceptance. Content analysis was used to analyze the stories to ascertain what common themes were present. Key design considerations and key factors that affect the feasibility of storytelling system were discussed. This research expands on current research and implementation of Internet-based storytelling system and shed light on the future of combining storytelling with older adults' existing Internet knowledge. Key findings of this research are :(1) Frequency of reminiscence trigger and the number of active participants affect the level of participation collectively. Frequency is considered to be a key determinant. High frequency indicates high level of participation. (2) Categories of topics do not affect the level of participation significantly but serve as key attractions that enhance people's acceptance of the system. (3) Older adults highly accept and get involved in the new email storytelling system. This storytelling program helps them recall their memories and have a profound effect on their own introspection.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

152510-Thumbnail Image.png

Understanding plasticity and fracture in aluminum alloys and their composites by 3D X-ray synchrotron tomography and microdiffraction

Description

Aluminum alloys and their composites are attractive materials for applications requiring high strength-to-weight ratios and reasonable cost. Many of these applications, such as those in the aerospace industry, undergo fatigue loading. An understanding of the microstructural damage that occurs in

Aluminum alloys and their composites are attractive materials for applications requiring high strength-to-weight ratios and reasonable cost. Many of these applications, such as those in the aerospace industry, undergo fatigue loading. An understanding of the microstructural damage that occurs in these materials is critical in assessing their fatigue resistance. Two distinct experimental studies were performed to further the understanding of fatigue damage mechanisms in aluminum alloys and their composites, specifically fracture and plasticity. Fatigue resistance of metal matrix composites (MMCs) depends on many aspects of composite microstructure. Fatigue crack growth behavior is particularly dependent on the reinforcement characteristics and matrix microstructure. The goal of this work was to obtain a fundamental understanding of fatigue crack growth behavior in SiC particle-reinforced 2080 Al alloy composites. In situ X-ray synchrotron tomography was performed on two samples at low (R=0.1) and at high (R=0.6) R-ratios. The resulting reconstructed images were used to obtain three-dimensional (3D) rendering of the particles and fatigue crack. Behaviors of the particles and crack, as well as their interaction, were analyzed and quantified. Four-dimensional (4D) visual representations were constructed to aid in the overall understanding of damage evolution. During fatigue crack growth in ductile materials, a plastic zone is created in the region surrounding the crack tip. Knowledge of the plastic zone is important for the understanding of fatigue crack formation as well as subsequent growth behavior. The goal of this work was to quantify the 3D size and shape of the plastic zone in 7075 Al alloys. X-ray synchrotron tomography and Laue microdiffraction were used to non-destructively characterize the volume surrounding a fatigue crack tip. The precise 3D crack profile was segmented from the reconstructed tomography data. Depth-resolved Laue patterns were obtained using differential-aperture X-ray structural microscopy (DAXM), from which peak-broadening characteristics were quantified. Plasticity, as determined by the broadening of diffracted peaks, was mapped in 3D. Two-dimensional (2D) maps of plasticity were directly compared to the corresponding tomography slices. A 3D representation of the plastic zone surrounding the fatigue crack was generated by superimposing the mapped plasticity on the 3D crack profile.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

152294-Thumbnail Image.png

Retail lighting and consumer product perception: a cross-cultural study

Description

The study of lighting design has important implications for consumer behavior and is an important aspect of consideration for the retail industry. In today's global economy consumers can come from a number of cultural backgrounds. It is important to understand

The study of lighting design has important implications for consumer behavior and is an important aspect of consideration for the retail industry. In today's global economy consumers can come from a number of cultural backgrounds. It is important to understand various cultures' perceptions of lighting design in order for retailers to better understand how to use lighting as a benefit to provide consumers with a desirable shopping experience. This thesis provides insight into the effects of ambient lighting on product perception among Americans and Middle Easterners. Both cultural groups' possess significant purchasing power in the worldwide market place. This research will allow marketers, designers and consumers a better understanding of how culture may play a role in consumer perceptions and behavior Results of this study are based on data gathered from 164 surveys from individuals of American and Middle Eastern heritage. Follow up interviews were also conducted to examine the nuances of product perception and potential differences across cultures. This study, using qualitative and quantitative methods, was executed using a Sequential Explanatory Strategy. Survey data were analyzed to uncover significant correlations and relationships using measures of descriptive analysis, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and regression analysis. Interviews were analyzed using theme-based coding and reported in narrative form. The results suggest that lighting does in fact have an impact on product perception, however despite minor differences, this perception does not vary much between individuals from American and Middle Eastern cultures. It was found that lighting could affect price and quality perception with reference to store-image and store atmospherics. Additionally, lighting has a higher impact on subjective impressions of product (such as Freshness, Pleasantness, and Attractiveness), more than Price and Quality perceptions. This study suggests that particular lighting characteristics could be responsible for differences in product perception between these two cultures. This is important to note for lighting designers and marketers to create retail atmospheres that are preferable to both cultures.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

151932-Thumbnail Image.png

In search of better brainstorming through a two step process

Description

Much of the literature and many of the studies surrounding brainstorming focus on the performance and the quantitative aspects of the process in comparing the efficacy of individual versus group settings, specifically the benefits and pitfalls associated with each. This

Much of the literature and many of the studies surrounding brainstorming focus on the performance and the quantitative aspects of the process in comparing the efficacy of individual versus group settings, specifically the benefits and pitfalls associated with each. This study looked at using alternate combinations of both individual and group styles of brainstorming to most efficiently maximize production of ideas and satisfaction of participants, while minimizing obstacles and shortcomings typically seen in brainstorming sessions. This research was designed to compare results of three different aspects of these sessions: real efficacy, perceived efficacy, and participant satisfaction. Two cohorts of eight student volunteers each were used to participate in and evaluate the specific session sequence they attended, either that of group then individual or individual then group. Each cohort consisted of four introverts and four extroverts, and the results and responses of each were then compared against each other in the same session and then against the results of the other session to see if there was a difference between the two personality types. The findings of this research revealed that the brainstorming session sequence of group then individual generated a larger quantity of solutions to the given problem and was perceived as more effective by both introverts and extroverts. The study also showed that introverts self-reported a higher satisfaction for the session ending in individual brainstorming, while the extroverts preferred the session ending with the group brainstorming.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

152328-Thumbnail Image.png

Synthesis and electrochemical characterization of silicon clathrates as anode materials for lithium ion batteries

Description

Novel materials for Li-ion batteries is one of the principle thrust areas for current research in energy storage, more so than most, considering its widespread use in portable electronic gadgets and plug-in electric and hybrid cars. One of the major

Novel materials for Li-ion batteries is one of the principle thrust areas for current research in energy storage, more so than most, considering its widespread use in portable electronic gadgets and plug-in electric and hybrid cars. One of the major limiting factors in a Li-ion battery's energy density is the low specific capacities of the active materials in the electrodes. In the search for high-performance anode materials for Li-ion batteries, many alternatives to carbonaceous materials have been studied. Both cubic and amorphous silicon can reversibly alloy with lithium and have a theoretical capacity of 3500 mAh/g, making silicon a potential high density anode material. However, a large volume expansion of 300% occurs due to changes in the structure during lithium insertion, often leading to pulverization of the silicon. To this end, a class of silicon based cage compounds called clathrates are studied for electrochemical reactivity with lithium. Silicon-clathrates consist of silicon covalently bonded in cage structures comprised of face sharing Si20, Si24 and/or Si28 clusters with guest ions occupying the interstitial positions in the polyhedra. Prior to this, silicon clathrates have been studied primarily for their superconducting and thermoelectric properties. In this work, the synthesis and electrochemical characterization of two categories of silicon clathrates - Type-I silicon clathrate with aluminum framework substitution and barium guest ions (Ba8AlxSi46-x) and Type-II silicon clathrate with sodium guest ions (Nax Si136), are explored. The Type-I clathrate, Ba8AlxSi46-x consists of an open framework of aluminium and silicon, with barium (guest) atoms occupying the interstitial positions. X-ray diffraction studies have shown that a crystalline phase of clathrate is obtained from synthesis, which is powdered to a fine particle size to be used as the anode material in a Li-ion battery. Electrochemical measurements of these type of clathrates have shown that capacities comparable to graphite can be obtained for up to 10 cycles and lower capacities can be obtained for up to 20 cycles. Unlike bulk silicon, the clathrate structure does not undergo excessive volume change upon lithium intercalation, and therefore, the crystal structure is morphologically stable over many cycles. X-ray diffraction of the clathrate after cycling showed that crystallinity is intact, indicating that the clathrate does not collapse during reversible intercalation with lithium ions. Electrochemical potential spectroscopy obtained from the cycling data showed that there is an absence of formation of lithium-silicide, which is the product of lithium alloying with diamond cubic silicon. Type II silicon clathrate, NaxSi136, consists of silicon making up the framework structure and sodium (guest) atoms occupying the interstitial spaces. These clathrates showed very high capacities during their first intercalation cycle, in the range of 3,500 mAh/g, but then deteriorated during subsequent cycles. X-ray diffraction after one cycle showed the absence of clathrate phase and the presence of lithium-silicide, indicating the disintegration of clathrate structure. This could explain the silicon-like cycling behavior of Type II clathrates.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

152238-Thumbnail Image.png

The transformation of the modern American kitchen from 1901 through 1964: from hell on earth to the warmest room in the house

Description

Many of the scholars that have chronicled the creation of the modern American kitchen have written about how the technological, societal, and cultural revolutions of the twentieth century played a role in dramatically changing its structure and design. More recently,

Many of the scholars that have chronicled the creation of the modern American kitchen have written about how the technological, societal, and cultural revolutions of the twentieth century played a role in dramatically changing its structure and design. More recently, some scholarly research has focused on the evolution of the kitchen and its meaning over time. In several of these research publications scholars profess that the modern American kitchen, more than any other room, has come to symbolize the center or heart of the home, and the warmest room in the house. However, they are quick to acknowledge that, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the kitchen was not so fondly regarded. Little research exists regarding why individuals increasingly became attached to the kitchen or how that attachment influenced the layout, size, objects, and activities conducted in the kitchen. This thesis fills this void by exploring the implications of place attachment on the evolution of the American kitchen from 1901 through 1964. By approaching this research from a combination of design history and environmental psychology, this thesis provides a new perspective to our understanding of the evolution of kitchen design. Using this two-pronged approach, this study contributes to our understanding of the evolution of the kitchen. This study traces the evolution of the modern American kitchen using two qualitative methodologies: material culture and phenomenology. Drawing from a variety of floor plans, advertisements, and articles contained in the House Beautiful magazine 1901 through 1964, as well as writings from popular domestic advisors of the period, this thesis charts the transformation of the modern American kitchen from a "hell on earth" into the "heart and soul of the home." By combining place attachment theory and kitchen design research this thesis provides interior designers new insight into designing kitchens that foster endearing emotional attachment for our clients.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

152243-Thumbnail Image.png

The true value placed on creativity: is the fear of risk a factor?

Description

There is a popular notion that creativity is highly valued in our culture. However, those "in the trenches," people in creative endeavors that actually produce the acts of creativity, say this is not so. There is a negative correlation between

There is a popular notion that creativity is highly valued in our culture. However, those "in the trenches," people in creative endeavors that actually produce the acts of creativity, say this is not so. There is a negative correlation between the value stated and the true value placed on creativity by our contemporary culture. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate that correlation as well as a possible contributing factor to this negative correlation--the fear of risk involved in enacting and accepting creativity. The methods used in this study were literature review and interview. An extensive literature review was done, as much has been written on creativity. The review was done in four parts: 1) the difficulty in defining creativity; 2) fear and the fear of creativity; 3) solutions - ways to be, express, and accept creativity; and 4) the plethora of articles written about creativity. Six one-on-one interviews were conducted with creative individuals from a variety of commercial creative endeavors. Creatives in commercial fields were chosen specifically because of their ability to influence the culture. The results of this study showed that the hypothesis, that there is a negative correlation between the value stated and the true value placed on creativity, is true. The fear of risk involved in enacting and accepting creativity as a factor in this dichotomy was also shown to be true.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

152195-Thumbnail Image.png

Electronic excitations in topological insulators studied by Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy

Description

Topological insulators with conducting surface states yet insulating bulk states have generated a lot of interest amongst the physics community due to their varied characteristics and possible applications. Doped topological insulators have presented newer physical states of matter where topological

Topological insulators with conducting surface states yet insulating bulk states have generated a lot of interest amongst the physics community due to their varied characteristics and possible applications. Doped topological insulators have presented newer physical states of matter where topological order co&ndashexists; with other physical properties (like magnetic order). The electronic states of these materials are very intriguing and pose problems and the possible solutions to understanding their unique behaviors. In this work, we use Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) – an analytical TEM tool to study both core&ndashlevel; and valence&ndashlevel; excitations in Bi2Se3 and Cu(doped)Bi2Se3 topological insulators. We use this technique to retrieve information on the valence, bonding nature, co-ordination and lattice site occupancy of the undoped and the doped systems. Using the reference materials Cu(I)Se and Cu(II)Se we try to compare and understand the nature of doping that copper assumes in the lattice. And lastly we utilize the state of the art monochromated Nion UltraSTEM 100 to study electronic/vibrational excitations at a record energy resolution from sub-nm regions in the sample.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013