Home // Posts tagged "Sustainability"

Plugwise has something to say, about your energy use.

Plugwise is a company making various devices to assist in energy savings. The devices that target’s standby energy usage… sometimes called ghost loads, are mostly what this post is about. Unlike a lot of energy savings devices, Plugwise is not marketed exclusively to the home market, as plug loads happen every where! They suggest that

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Design experiments for the unconscious.

Sometimes its fun to take a look at conceptual papers, which have prototypes that haven’t yet been made or put into the world for testing. They are often short “thought exercises” in design, where researchers and practitioners play aloud with the relationship between a theoretical concept and actual objects. The short paper “Designing with unconscious

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Robots in your sink, pouring your water, and sharing secrets.

At this point, this paper is almost 10 years old, but in my quest to learn everything on the topic of ecofeedback, one must do some digging. I’m assuming at the time of this paper’s presentation LED lit faucets were not a thing you could just order off the internet – such is the steady march

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The new EnergyWiz kid on the block.

In the paper “Engaging energy saving through motivation ­specific social comparison,” the authors Petromil Petkov, Felix Köbler, Marcus Foth, Richard C. Medland, and Helmut Krcmar explore the effectiveness of three forms of comparison on rates of energy consumption. In order to test theory, they develop the mobile application “EnergyWiz,” which provides users with normative, and one-on-one comparisons, as well as ranking in relation to other users. The application is a

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Upstream: People don’t know what will motivate them, until it does.

The article “UpStream: Motivating Water Conservation with Low-Cost Water Flow Sensing and Persuasive Displays” by Stacey Kuznetsov and Eric Paulos presents the results of research in a number of approaches to water conservation encouragement in both public and private environments. The goal of the project was not only to decrease water consumption at the point of

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Shower calendar: A thousand points of comparative water consumption.

In the article ” With a Little Help from a Friend: A Shower Calendar to Save Water,” by Matthias Laschke, Marc Hassenzahl, Sarah Diefenbach, and Marius Tippkämperwe, we are introduced to an ambient visualization tool which allows users of a shower to compare relative water savings within a household. The authors suggest that ambient feedback is “non judgmental” in that it does

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O rly? A smiley face makes an impact with OPower.

“If something is inconvenient, even if we believe in it, moral suasion, financial incentives, don’t do much to move us — but social pressure, that’s powerful stuff.” – Alex Laskey For years Robert Cialdini, author of the must-read social psychology book Influence, has been studying the impact of social norms on behavior change and pro-environmental

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The Element: Shedding a light on energy consumption

In the paper “Visualizing Energy Consumption of Radiators,” authors Magnus Gyllensward, Anton Gustafsson, and Magnus Bang consider how to make the energy used in heating a home visible. They developed a radiator made entirely of light bulbs, which responds to temperature changes in a room using sensors. The main aim of the research was to

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The new normal: Shaping norms with real-time data.

I was really happy to discover the city of Montreal had installed an eco-counter for one of it’s bike lanes in the Plateau-Mont Royal borough earlier this year. It’s located right outside of the Laurier street exit of the Laurier metro station, which is in a residential area north of the city’s downtown. The space

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A Wee Water Saver: the Waterpebble

  The story goes that Paul Priestman, a director of design at Priestmangoode, conceived of this idea after reading a simple sign in a hotel bathroom. The sign asked to “Please Use Water Sparingly.” In one article I read he suggested the sign was stupid… but look what it lead to… not long after reading it, the

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