Mapping out the design opportunities: pathways of sustainable behaviour
Journal article, 2015

To advance the area of design for sustainable behaviour (DfSB), a common behaviour terminology is needed to enable comparisons of studies across application areas. Thus, the map of pathways of sustainable behaviour was created with the aim of charting different paths that users can follow to reduce environmental impact when interacting with artefacts. The construction of the map results from a comparative analysis of sustainable behaviours identified in previous studies in conjunction with a review of existing behaviour classifications. The proposed map of pathways gives a comprehensive overview of all artefact-related resource-consuming usage behaviours, organised according to a design perspective and divided with regard to aspects of use and obtainment, primary and secondary artefact, duration and type of effort. Through design, the user can be encouraged to take any of the five identified paths: choice of artefact, changed use, maintenance and repair, mediated use and regulated artefact. Using the map in a DfSB process can guide the exploration phase and highlight potential design opportunities when choosing target behaviour. If adopted by the DfSB community, the united typology of the map also provides means necessary to make rigorous comparisons and develop the field and its tools.

user-centred design

pro-environmental behaviour

design strategies

sustainable behaviour

sustainable consumption


Helena Strömberg

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Design and Human Factors

Anneli Selvefors

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Design and Human Factors

Sara Renström

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Design and Human Factors

International Journal of Sustainable Engineering

1939-7038 (ISSN)

3 163-172

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories


Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified



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