Abstract

Engineers must consider the usage context of a product in order to both predict its technical performance and model customer preferences. An emerging body of work in Decision-based Design (DBD) has elaborated various approaches for modeling the usage context in order to better predict customer choice behavior and select optimal product attributes. Building on this prior work, this study proposes a new method for formulating DBD problems in which product attribute values can change contextual factors. Results from a vehicle design case study demonstrate the utility of the proposed method for understanding how phenomena such as the rebound effect and induced travel demand connect system-level outcomes to design changes. This study suggests that the Design for Coupled Usage Contexts framework is a promising tool to further explore as a way to support designers making decisions which involve these types of mechanisms. Further exploration should include additional case studies to investigate other coupling mechanisms and design tasks.

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