Just for you



Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2013

Degree Name

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Correia, Monica

First Committee Member

McGuire, Steve

Second Committee Member

Choo, Chunghi

Third Committee Member

Lima, Vinicius


Sustainability has become a major concern of contemporary product design. Whether it's furniture, appliances, apparel, or technology designers of every field must now consider the ecological impact of the products that they create. Sustainability of material resources, impact and by products of manufacturing processes, energy using in production, product lifespan, and disposal are all things that must be carefully considered to maximize product sustainability. Strategies for reducing negative environmental impact include maximizing material usage, using recycled and or biodegradable materials, minimizing product weight and transportation, reducing energy consumption, and dematerialization.

In more recent years the idea of increasing product lifespan has received a lot of attention from design theorists. This doesn't just mean making goods that can physically last a lifetime and have superior performance. The consumer must have an attachment to the object. This attachment comes from an emotional connection. Contemporary designers must find innovative ways of creating an emotional bond between product and consumer. How can mass produced goods achieve this goal? I believe the answer is involving the consumer in the design process in order to personalize and customize the products they buy.

Made to order goods offer the customer the opportunity to co-design the products that they desire so that they suit particular needs and wants. Instead of selecting pre-manufactured goods from a store or website consumers can now personalize and customize an increasing number and range of products. Companies like Longchamp, Nike, Levis, Addidas, and Ralph Lauren are capitalizing on the fact that consumers want to personalize and customize the products they consume without having to lift a finger. By allowing customers to choose colors, sizes, styles, and even adding personalized logos these companies are capitalizing on the fact that consumers want customization. People become more invested and more attached to objects that they have spent effort in creating, allow for self-expression, and that are unique to the user. The consumer is allowed to be creative but this is only from a limited amount of choices available to them.

My research involves taking the concept of customization further to make products that are completely unique to an individual. Nothing is more personal and individualized than the human fingerprint. I am exploring how the fingerprint can be abstracted and used as texture on the surface of furniture. By making objects that are personalized to the user it is my goal to deepen the connection between owner and object to increase product lifespan.


customization, design, fingerprint, personalization


vi, 23 pages


Includes bibliographical references (page 23).


Copyright 2013 Abigail Jane Sandberg

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