“Conshumourism” is a portmanteau of consumerism and humour. It is a lens of viewing society immersed in consumerism and systemic oppression and how objects, spaces, and services could bring sustainability into discourse through humour.
Design is about choices, and the following choices were made. Keywords align the project premise, and conshumourism essentially works in the intersection of design, humour and sustainability. Methods drive the project, and conshumourism is open source (free to use and share), critical (of self, design and society at large) and speculative (of possible near and distant futures). Values provide the essential tone, and conshumourism will try to possess an honest (anti deception), responsible (anti-prejudice and circular) and playful demeanour.
An elaborate list of psychological, social, cognitive & political reasons exists for using humour. Conshumourism aims to employ humour to prompt sustainable behaviour through discursive design. A discursive design is an object that has been intentionally (and usually abstractly) embedded with discourse and/or is used to elicit discussion.
To realize this aim, a “design for sustainable behaviour with humour toolkit” was created, consisting of a framework, flashcards, and a set of tools to generate ideas.
A discursive design sprint workshop was put in place to test the ability of the toolkit to help in the ideation process and has evolved over various sessions conducted with design students from multiple disciplines. Conshumourism is transdisciplinary. An idea bank of 75+ ideas generated using the toolkit was created to influence various sustainable behaviours in various contexts. A website and a social club on Instagram was launched to act as a repository of research and work data and provide a place to discuss topics around design, humour, and sustainability.
critical design, design for sustainable behaviour, discursive design, humour, sustainability