Maringka, Paulus
Yap, Leong
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Master of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

This Greencycle project applies a system approach to shift design thinking and practices away from the ongoing unsustainable use of resources towards a more sustainable framework of consumption whereby local cultures, skills, resources and technology are analyzed to inform the design and development of a human powered transportation system. It uses a trans-disciplinary research and design approach by consulting all stakeholders; including farmers in a Third World country, industrial designers, engineers and manufacturers to provide information, understanding and insights as a basis to find solutions that have enabled this research study to produce a system called Greencycle which utilizes renewable materials and indigenous people skills to produce a bicycle that is more sustainable. The bicycle provides more than basic transportation to go from A to B. Poor countries need and depend on this mode of transportation for a wide range of uses; thus expanding its function and uses would be of great benefit to its users. This research study has created a series of accessories to extend a bicycle’s functionality, with the core being made from sustainable materials and local skills. For this project it would have been a simple process for the designer to come up with a concept idea(s) that was based on a personal view of what would be a suitable solution for the target user. Instead however, the designer has used feedback from the target group participants to shape and develop the design process and to ensure the design will be acceptable for the target user to use and manufacture. This research study has included four expert interviews, eleven case studies of target users, prototype testing and field experiments with sustainable resources to gather information, understanding and insights from these stakeholders in order to propose, design and evaluate two Greencycles (using sustainable bamboo material) and a series of design accessories. This multi-discipline approach to the design problem has revealed many opportunities that would otherwise be hidden by less detailed research and design methodology. Many academic studies stop at the point when the written thesis is complete. This research project went a step further by testing and implementing its findings on users back in its intended marketplace to ensure the design will be adopted by and be successful for people in Third World countries. As a result of this research, there is now an opportunity to look at and create a business model that provides new income opportunities for the local people. Feedback for the Greencycle design and its accessories has so far been very encouraging, with participants showing a significant level of enthusiasm. To take advantage of this success, a business proposition to market these sustainable products seems plausible as a first step to developing this business venture. Information posters to showcase the accessories and their functions and applications have been designed to test market demands and other important indicators for future business development and strategy.

Greencycle , Human-powered , Sustainability , Transportation , Culture , Recycle
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