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19th European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production – Circular Europe for Sustainability: Design, Production and Consumption

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Contributions to product design methodology: to investigate the applicability of Critical Theory of Technology and Social Construction of Technology approach, from the Slow Design perspective in the Brazilian industrial context

In contemporary times, rethinking the lifestyle of the several actors involved in a particular social context requires the designer to rethink cultural issues related to consumption, as well as political and social issues that involve the project. Issues that, as a consequence, should encompass the combination of economic, social welfare and the environmental impact of products or services throughout it’s future products life cycle. It is understood, therefore, that the approach proposed by slow design is the closest approach to issues that address such concerns, because it tries to reposition the project focus on the trinity of individual, socio-cultural and environmental well-being. This article seeks to demonstrate that the perspectives of the Critical Theory of Technology (CTT) and the Theory of Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) can contribute to the evolution of the design and its practice. This is because such perspectives seek to discuss more relevant and privileged aspects in projects throughout each socioeconomic context. It considers both the design action in a purely technical scope and complex problems whose design development reaches a great influence of cultural tradition in the practice of design. The article seeks to identify issues that motivate the way in which the designer influences or is influenced by social, environmental, economic, political and cultural aspects in a society, at the moment of the projectual action, through an exploratory study with a group formed by students from two Brazilian universities. In this methodological context of action, a proposed project had the objective of investigating the applicability of knowledge learned in concepts previously structured and analyzed about issues related to CTT, SCOT and the slow design of products and services in the Brazilian industrial context. The actions were proposed through project exercises for methodological analysis of the knowledge in question. The results will be collected through recording and document analysis, observation, interview and focus group. Some preliminary results of the implementation of this theoretical model are also presented in this article. The proposed action model based on previously structured researches and concepts offers methodological tools, theoretical and practical, to evaluate and act on current design issues related to sustainable production in order to achieve its environmental, socio-cultural, individual and economic performance objectives. With the study, it is expected to demonstrate that approaches such as CTT and SCOT contribute to developing products from a more sustainable production and consumption model when the individual and historical-cultural performances are allied with environmental, social and economic performance.

Johelma Avelar
Escola de Design - Universidade do Estado de Minas Gerais

Eduardo Romeiro Filho
Departamento Engenharia de Produção - Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais


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