This video was created for the 2 week course “Social Computing & Sustainability”. As the first of two Industry Projects we will have this year, it was a collaboration between the Interaction Design Pilot Year and Intel. Jacob, Yves and I produced this video as a mock “user research study” as a way to communicate Green House CPH, our concept for a government initiative to decrease energy consumption in Copenhagen.
I hope the video explains it all, otherwise keep reading for some more information and photos.
After reviewing the brief, the first thing our class did was compile a wall of interesting things we found on the web regarding sustainability, technology and energy consumption. I was particularly inspired by new devices and services that help people manage the energy consumption in their home (smart meters, Google PowerMeter, various iPhone apps, web mashups, etc.).
Our group decided it would be interesting to focus on the social collective that is the apartment block. The first thing we did after that was visit different apartment blocks in Copenhagen and ask people some general questions about their energy usage, relationships with their neighbors, etc. In short, we saw that people did not care about their neighbors energy consumption because it did not affect themselves financially.
After we presented our insights from our visits around the city, we decided to focus on the question what incentives are there for an apartment building as a whole to be energy efficient? Back in school we spent a lot of time brainstorming different concepts.
We found it difficult to answer our question by designing new devices or services. What we needed was systemic change or a large incentive that only the government could provide. With that, we asked what would happen if the government rewarded the residents of an apartment building when their entire building met certain energy efficiency standards?
We came up with the concept for Green House CPH, a government sponsored rebate plan for individuals who could work together to decrease the overall energy consumption of their entire building. We sketched out scenarios and touch points that took advantage of emerging smart grid technology, current social web applications, mobile phones, and more.
In the end we thought the best way to communicate this concept was to tell the story of a Green House CPH user. What resulted was a sort of documentary/user study that takes place one year after the city of Copenhagen launches the Green House CPH program.