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Scoping Usage Contexts and Scenarios in Eco-Design

[+] Author Affiliations
Cassandra Telenko

Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore, SingaporeMassachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Carolyn Seepersad

The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Paper No. DETC2014-34846, pp. V004T06A055; 10 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 19th Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle Conference; 8th International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4635-3
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Descriptions of a product’s usage context are easily understood and often provide useful information for reducing energy consumption of products. Such descriptions help inspire concept generation, explore operational issues, and evaluate prototypes. Nevertheless, characterizing the usage context as a concise but comprehensive set of factors is not a trivial task. This paper presents a taxonomy and method for characterizing the usage context and its various scenarios as sets of factors relevant to energy consumption. The taxonomy defines a general usage context as a set of human, product and situational factors that can be specified individually to create unique scenarios. The method for identifying relevant factors is grounded by first assessing variables in the fundamental physical equations that govern product operation. Then, activity diagrams reveal the elements influencing user habits and procedures. The method is demonstrated through the example of an automobile and the results are compared with existing automobile studies.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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