ecobiente – successful design of sustainable products

The research project “successful design of sustainable goods” supports the commercial viability and the acceptance of sustainable goods. It was promoted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The project aimed to impact companies and designers who develop or provide ecological sustainable goods. The project  paid attention to the opportunities that design has to bring into the market more of such attractive goods and fair target groups – e.g. the constructing and living of the demand area.

AA_thumb Baufritz1 c2_thumb Baufritz3

The project started in September 2002 and lasted until June 2005.

Project goal:
The aim of the project was to improve marketing opportunities for sustainable goods through the development of design, advertising and marketing strategies of ecological sustainable products for appropriate target groups. For this reason, special attention was paid to the elaboration of aesthetic and ecological semantic of products. A good design, meaning, the right cognitive dimension and environmentally sound product design, gives to users and buyers better information about the product itself and about the proper environmental handling.
 By addressing emotional dimensions, the ecological solutions can be connected to positive feelings by the users/ buyers and their appreciation  for the product rises.

Partners and projects:
The project explored possibilities and limits to “soft factors” of design for appropriate target groups and the marketing of sustainable goods – e.g. constructing and living of the demand area. The four reference projects have been realized accordingly together with the following partners:

  • Baufritz, Erkheim, ecological prefabricated houses,
  • Energiebau Köln, low energy and passive houses, ecological renovations, constructions and modifications, 
  • combinaat, Aachen, Furniture, Accessories und Interiors,
  • newcraft, NRW/ Offenbach, house to house distribution of a computerized numerical control-fair  furniture range, that means decentralized production, without intermediary trade, without overproduction,
During the project, the research team developed a practical guideline for sustainable design and marketing. Based on this guideline, the involved companies developed prototypes and products. The prototypes and products are tested with the methods of the social-scientific market research, for attraction and acceptance amongst appropriate user-target groups.

At the same time

  • the commercial viability of the developed products/marketing strategies,
  • the successful application of the guideline, e.g. needed adjustments,
  • the sustainability of the developed concepts are determined.

Project results:
It has developed a new target-groups model for the building and living demand area. In addition to three publications for the target groups designers, companies and consumers on the subject “sustainable products – successful design, marketing, uses” there are also product and concept examples, which the successful and determined principles have implemented with success.

  • Baufritz,
  • Combinaat,
  • Energiebau,
  • Newcraft.
ecobiente final report:

The final report “Ecobiente: successful design of sustainable goods” can be  downloaded.

ecobiente broChUrE:
In line with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research-research project ecobiente, econcept has written a brochure “Sustainable living – good life – guide to product choice for sustainable building and living”.