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

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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.

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Date Created
2011

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

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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.

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Created

Date Created
2014

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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.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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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.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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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.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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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.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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LEED certification: gold standard or gold star

Description

Since its launch by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification has been postured as the "gold standard" for environmentally conscious, sustainable building design, construction and operations. However, as a "living measurement", one

Since its launch by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification has been postured as the "gold standard" for environmentally conscious, sustainable building design, construction and operations. However, as a "living measurement", one which requires ongoing evaluation and reporting of attainment and compliance with LEED certification requirements, there is none. Once awarded, LEED certification does not have a required reporting component to effectively track continued adherence to LEED standards. In addition, there is no expiry tied to the certification; once obtained, a LEED certification rating is presumed to be a valid representation of project certification status. Therefore, LEED lacks a requirement to demonstrate environmental impact of construction materials and building systems over the entire life of the project. Consequently, LEED certification is merely a label rather than a true representation of ongoing adherence to program performance requirements over time. Without continued monitoring and reporting of building design and construction features, and in the absence of recertification requirements, LEED is, in reality, a gold star rather than a gold standard. This thesis examines the lack of required ongoing monitoring, reporting, or recertification requirements following the award by the USGBC of LEED certification; compares LEED with other international programs which do have ongoing reporting or recertification requirements; demonstrates the need and benefit of ongoing reporting or recertification requirements; and explores possible methods for implementation of mandatory reporting requirements within the program.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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Shaped by design: how user-interface design influences medical decision making : the role of monitoring equipment in anesthetic practice

Description

Objective: The aim of this research is to uncover, via a comprehensive cross study analysis, data patterns that could potentially point to a positive correlation between two main variables: anesthetic monitoring equipment and anesthetic decision making. Of particular interest is

Objective: The aim of this research is to uncover, via a comprehensive cross study analysis, data patterns that could potentially point to a positive correlation between two main variables: anesthetic monitoring equipment and anesthetic decision making. Of particular interest is the equipment's monitor screen and the extent to which its user interface design influences anesthetic situation awareness (SA) and hence, decision making. It is hypothesized that poor anesthetic diagnosis from inadequate SA may be largely attributable to patient data displays lacking in human factors design considerations. Methods: A systematic search was conducted of existing empirical studies pertaining to patient physiologic monitoring that spanned across interrelated domains, namely, ergonomics, medical informatics, visual computing, cognitive psychology, human factors, clinical monitoring, intensive care medicine, and intelligent systems etc. all published in scholarly research journals between 1970 to August 2012. Anesthetic-related keywords were queried i.e. anesthetic mishaps, patient physiological data displays, anesthetic vigilance etc. (found in Appendix A). This approach yielded a few thousand results, of which 65 empirical studies were pulled. Further extraction of articles having direct connection to the use of data displays within the anesthetic context produced a total of 20 empirical studies. These studies were grouped under two broad categories of Monitoring and Monitors whereby factors directly contributing to the studies' results were identified with the aim to find emerging themes that provide insights involving interface design and medical decision making. Results: There is a direct correlation between user-interface design and decision making. The situation awareness (SA) required for decision making heavily relies upon data displays oriented towards information extraction and integration. In the systematic assessment of empirical studies, it is undeniable how strikingly prominent visual attributes show up as contributing factors to subjects' enhanced performance in the studies. Conclusions: How and to what users direct their perceptual and cognitive resources necessarily influence their perception of the environment, and by extension, their development of situation awareness (SA). Although patient monitoring equipment employed in anesthetic practice has proven to be indispensable in quality patient care, graphical representations of patient data is still far from optimal in the clinical setting. User-interfaces that lend decision support to facilitate SA and subsequent decision making is critical in crisis management.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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Interpersonal problem type, gender, and outcome in psychotherapy

Description

This study examined the relationship that gender in interaction with interpersonal problem type has with outcome in psychotherapy. A sample of 200 individuals, who sought psychotherapy at a counselor training facility, completed the Outcome Questionnaire-45(OQ-45) and the reduced version of

This study examined the relationship that gender in interaction with interpersonal problem type has with outcome in psychotherapy. A sample of 200 individuals, who sought psychotherapy at a counselor training facility, completed the Outcome Questionnaire-45(OQ-45) and the reduced version of the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP-32). This study was aimed at examining whether gender (male and female), was related to treatment outcome, and whether this relationship was moderated by two interpersonal distress dimensions: dominance and affiliation. A hierarchical regression analyses was performed and indicated that gender did not predict psychotherapy treatment outcome, and neither dominance nor affiliation were moderators of the relationship between gender and outcome in psychotherapy.

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Agent

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Date Created
2013

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An improved framework for design concept generation based on experiential and intuitive methods

Description

Conceptual design stage plays a critical role in product development. However, few systematic methods and tools exist to support conceptual design. The long term aim of this project is to develop a tool for facilitating holistic ideation for conceptual design.

Conceptual design stage plays a critical role in product development. However, few systematic methods and tools exist to support conceptual design. The long term aim of this project is to develop a tool for facilitating holistic ideation for conceptual design. This research is a continuation of past efforts in ASU Design Automation Lab. In past research, an interactive software test bed (Holistic Ideation Tool - version 1) was developed to explore logical ideation methods. Ideation states were identified and ideation strategies were developed to overcome common ideation blocks. The next version (version 2) of the holistic ideation tool added Cascading Evolutionary Morphological Charts (CEMC) framework and intuitive ideation strategies (reframing, restructuring, random connection, and forced connection).

Despite these remarkable contributions, there exist shortcomings in the previous versions (version 1 and version 2) of the holistic ideation tool. First, there is a need to add new ideation methods to the holistic ideation tool. Second, the organizational framework provided by previous versions needs to be improved, and a holistic approach needs to be devised, instead of separate logical or intuitive approaches. Therefore, the main objective of this thesis is to make the improvements and to resolve technical issues that are involved in their implementation.

Towards this objective, a new web based holistic ideation tool (version 3) has been created. The new tool adds and integrates Knowledge Bases of Mechanisms and Components Off-The-Shelf (COTS) into logical ideation methods. Additionally, an improved CEMC framework has been devised for organizing ideas efficiently. Furthermore, the usability of the tool has been improved by designing and implementing a new graphical user interface (GUI) which is more user friendly. It is hoped that these new features will lead to a platform for the designers to not only generate creative ideas but also effectively organize and store them in the conceptual design stage. By placing it on the web for public use, the Testbed has the potential to be used for research on the ideation process by effectively collecting large amounts of data from designers.

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Agent

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Date Created
2014