Understanding long term product attachment with a view to optimizing product lifetime

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Abstract
Technological and fashion obsolescence continue to be concerns in the design of contemporary products. Research shows that consumers dispose of household items even though those are still fully or partly functional, for various reasons. One cause of premature disposal is the lack of emotional attachment between user and product. Lounge furniture was selected as the product area for this study. The research starts with a literature review on consumer-product attachment, and on design strategies which promote the optimization of product lifetimes, followed by an online survey and in-depth interviews among householders to determine behaviours in furniture usage, maintenance and disposition. The findings of this research add to understanding of product attachment and detachment stages as well as possible factors that would help designers foster long-term product attachment. The study is intended to add support to a new approach to sustainable design that seeks to extend product lifetimes by designing in the potential for continuation of positive experiences that could lead to the consumer’s enduring attachment to particular products.
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Author(s)
Ko, Kimmi
Ramirez, Mariano
Ward, Stephen
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Publication Year
2011
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Conference Paper
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