Sustainable Consumption is a multidisciplinary research group that focuses on people's influence on sustainability as users of products and services, ranging from consumer durables and clothing to buildings. Members apply theoretical and practical knowledge from design and related disciplines to environmental and social sustainability, often integrating expertise in design with research frameworks drawn from the social sciences.
The group is based in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment but works closely with sustainability experts across the University.
Key research themes
Staff are active in the following areas of research:
- sustainable product design
- sustainable electrical and electronic goods, human-powered products
- sustainable behaviour
- the repair and maintenance of consumer goods and industrial equipment
- reuse, closed loop and upcycling practices
- social innovation, collaborative consumption and social practices
- clothing longevity, fashion design and culture
- sustainable materials and supply chains
- sustainability, trends and marketing
- energy use in buildings, low impact buildings, water usage, recycled construction materials
- craft-based practices
- interdisciplinary practices and pedagogy.
We welcome applications to undertake a higher degree by research leading to the award of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Master of Philosophy (MPhil). Further information on research degrees is available on the University website.
Head of the group
Professor Tim Cooper is Head of the research group. After graduating from the University of Bath, Tim worked as an economist in industry for over a decade before undertaking research at the New Economics Foundation and Sheffield Hallam University. Contributing Editor of Longer Lasting Products (Gower, 2010), his research interests are multidisciplinary, embracing design, consumer behaviour, public policy and environmental ethics. He has managed research projects funded by the European Commission, Council of Europe, EPSRC, ESRC, Defra, WRAP and industry and third sector organisations and was Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Environment Committee for its enquiry Reducing the Environmental Impact of Consumer Products.
This groups research contributed towards the Public Policy on the Sustainability of Consumer Goods Impact Case Study for REF 2014.