This 9-month feasibility study seeks to address the key research question: How should we engage users in New Product Development in future re-distributed models of sustainable production and consumption? This will involve mapping the challenges and opportunities for user engaged design and manufacture, and investigating their application in order to bridge the gap between users, companies and the products they produce. In addition, it will seek to understand how the promotion of resource efficient product lifecycles can be incorporated within future, more localised and responsive structures of manufacturing and product adaptation.


The aim of this research is to explore the opportunities and challenges for integrating users in the product development decisions of future sustainable products they need. Identifying and responding to these market segments will require new forms of organisation and models for design and manufacture and product lifecycle models that support different types of consumption. The drivers for the inevitable transformation to re-distributed and resource efficient systems will be determined and mapped. To this end, this project will bring together an interdisciplinary network of academic and industrial partners.


Business as Unusual: Designing Products with Consumers

in the Loop Feasibility Study

This feasibility study was funded as part of the RECODE Sandpit. Watch the video to see their pitch!

The feasibility study aim was fulfilled through undertaking the following objectives:


a) To understand where, when, and how, interactions with consumers occur across the various stages of the NPD process and product life cycle. 


b) To investigate how those interactions can scale via a data-driven approach to front end NPD


c) To investigate the product lifecycle stage of ‘ideation’ and ‘use’, to develop an understanding of how a range of consumer interactions in product use or repair can be expanded and built upon to inform more sustainable models of product development in RDM contexts.


d)To develop a vision of opportunities for future RDM research assimilated into a larger grant proposal to help businesses and industries engage with people across the lifecycle of products to not only drive future NPD and manufacture but also to develop new models of RDM and ultimately sustainable business practice.


For further information or to get involved in this feasibility study please email Mariale Moreno

Download the Executive Summary and Report