FROM PRODUCT TO SERVICE…
WE DON'T NEED MORE SHIT.
Today is about sustainably optimizing existing products and preventing the production of just more and new products.
Jeremy Rifkin predicted 20 years ago, "The pursuit of ownership becomes a pursuit of access, access to what (these) networks have to offer."
Exchanging goods will transition into short-term access to goods.
BUT WHY SHOULD WE?
The temporary possession or sharing of goods offers advantages:
For pricy products, renting means a clear cost advantage. Constant technical progress always ensures access to state-of-the-art products. Lack of storage space on the consumer side can also motivate temporary usage.
This pattern already applies to cars and clothes but could prove true for suitcases or cargo bikes (and many more).
… AND THE IMPACT ON PRODUCT DESIGN
The "reprocessing of used objects for renewed use on the market" results not only in changed requirements for the products themselves but also for their production and distribution.
PARTNERS IN NETWORKS
Using goods in cycles requires new appropriate distribution systems. Various partners will participate in offering your service. Every partner will have an impact on product design in their way.
DESIGN BY CONTEXT
Considering predicted ways of usage will impact the design of a product: will it be used en route, where will it be stored, and how will it be delivered? Creating products for sharing changes demands on product and processing, too: individual parts should be easily disassembled or exchanged.
PERSONALIZE AND IDENTIFY
The product may need personalization for users to identify it as theirs. Users may require some form of identification to confirm their membership.
FEEDBACK AND COMMUNICATION
Not every user will be a heavy user. Providing how-to information and an immediate and easy feedback channel will be crucial to the success of the shared product.
STATUS AND SYMBOLISM
In addition to their purely functional value, property-replacing services also need to transfer characteristics and symbolic elements from the consumer goods sector.
A SHARED SUITCASE
The concept of "Mioko – suitcase to rent" transforms an individually rarely used object into a generally accessible item to rent – a product turns into a service.
Requirements for a suitcase change when it becomes a service.
The resulting consequences for design and usage are explained and illustrated in this case study.