A New Consumerism: The Influence of Social Technologies on Product Design

de Vere, I 2014, 'A New Consumerism: The Influence of Social Technologies on Product Design', in Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic,, Brian Parkinson and Wessel Wits (ed.) Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E and PDE 2014), Enschede, Netherlands, 4-5 September 2014, pp. 530-536.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title A New Consumerism: The Influence of Social Technologies on Product Design
Author(s) de Vere, I
Year 2014
Conference name EPDE 2014: Design Education & Human Technology Relations
Conference location Enschede, Netherlands
Conference dates 4-5 September 2014
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E and PDE 2014)
Editor(s) Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic,, Brian Parkinson and Wessel Wits
Publisher Design Society
Place of publication Glasgow, United Kingdom
Start page 530
End page 536
Total pages 7
Abstract Social media has enabled a new style of consumerism. Consumers are no longer passive recipients; instead they are assuming active and participatory roles in product design and production, facilitated by interaction and collaboration in virtual communities. This new participatory culture is blurring the boundaries between the specific roles of designer, consumer and producer, creating entrepreneurial opportunities for designers, and empowering consumers to influence product strategies. Evolving designer-consumer interactions are enabling an enhanced model of co-production, through a value-adding social exchange that is driving changes in consumer behaviour and influencing both product strategies and design practice. The consumer is now a knowledgeable participant, or prosumer, who can contribute to usercentred research through crowd sourcing, collaborate and co-create through open-source or open-innovation platforms, assist creative endeavours by pledging venture capital through crowd funding and advocate the product in blogs and forums. Social media-enabled product implementation strategies working in conjunction with digital production technologies (e.g. additive manufacture), enable consumer-directed adaptive customisation, product personalisation, and self-production, with once passive consumers becoming product producers. Not only is social media driving unprecedented consumer engagement and significant behavioural change, it is emerging as a major enabler of design entrepreneurship, creating new collaborative opportunities. Innovative processes in design practice are emerging, such as the provision of digital artefacts and customisable product frameworks, rather than standardised manufactured solutions. This paper examines the influence of social media-enabled product strategies on the methodology of the next generation of product designers, and discusses the need for an educational response.
Subjects Industrial Design
Keyword(s) product design
participatory culture
design entrepreneurship
prosumer
producer
Copyright notice Copyright © 2014 Institution of Engineering Designers, The Design Society
ISBN 9781904670568
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