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TU Berlin

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Im Projekt FANS steht die interdisziplinäre Zusammenarbeit im Vordergrund und so werden auch Kontakte zu anderen nationalen und internationalen Forschern gepflegt.

Auf dieser Seite einen Überblick der aktuellen Zusammenarbeiten.



Designing for sustainable behaviour – smart devices for the demographic change


Cooperation between:

  • Dr. Rebecca Wiczorek, Junior research group FANS, Dep. of Psychology and Ergonomics, TU Berlin, Germany


Designing for sustainable behaviour. New generations of products are designed to consume less primary resources compared to the past. However, this improvement is not sufficient to reach significant saving targets since consumption also depends on how products are used. To promote sustainable behaviour we need to design products that increase users’ awareness of how their daily actions impact the consumption. Thus, products should provide feedback to users that not only explains but let the user “feel” the consumption when interacting with the product. Designing products with multisensory indications can help to improve sustainable behaviour.

Demographic change. Structure of European populations has changed in the last 100 years from a population pyramid to a “population rectangle” and it will further change in the upcoming decades. The number of older people (over 65 years) is predicted to increase while the number of younger people (aged below 65) will contemporaneous decrease. This change is mainly caused by the combination of low birth rates with an increasing life expectancy. This results in a rising percentage of the elderly population.

Design for older adults. Generally, new technologies and technical systems that support sustainable behaviour can and should be used by older people as well. However, there are several differences of younger and older people, which might influence the way they understand and use those systems. Those differences, whether cognitive, physical or in attitudes should be considered when designing products for every age group OR, products might also be designed differently for the divers users.

Current project. The aim of the current project is to develop a feedback device, which reduces the time people leave open the door of their refrigerator at home and to evaluate this prototype with younger and older users.

Smart device. The current prototype uses three different feedback modalities and three different signal intensities to inform the user about the time passing with the fridge door open. The system aims to provide comprehensive notifications without annoying the user.

Evaluation. Effectiveness of single vs. multimodal cues is compared as well as efficiency of constant vs. graded signal intensity. The first experiment with younger users is currently conducted at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Politecnico di Milano. The second experiment with an older group will take place in the course of 2017 at the Technische Universität Berlin.

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