Service design for modern energy cooking services

Project timeframe
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 17:04:00 GMT - Mon, 28 Feb 2022 17:04:00 GMT
Amount awarded
£78,000
Funder ID
UK Aid (DFID)

Project leader: Dr Val Mitchell

Service design for modern energy cooking services (SD4MECS) aims to apply a Human Centred Design (HCD) approach to generate understanding of the needs and aspirations of everyday cooks and empower them as co-creators of innovative modern energy cooking services (MECS).

By gaining a better understanding of the needs and aspirations of everyday cooks and positioning them as co-creators alongside other key stakeholders in MECS field trials, SD4MECS aims to enrich the development of more culturally informed and more desirable modern energy cooking services. SD4MECS is using two specific HCD techniques:

  • Living Labs facilitate HCD and innovation by providing a methodological framework for involving end users in the process of design by enabling them to evaluate products and services in their context of use over time.
  • Service Design facilitates the development of services to make them more useful, usable and desirable for users, but also more efficient and effective for organisations. It supports not only the design of the end user service experience, but also the organisational structures and resources needed to deliver it.

SD4MECS is using Service Design to iteratively develop a framework for a ‘MECS Living Lab’ which will feed HCD techniques into MECS field trials. The MECS Living Lab seeks to empower everyday cooks to become co-creators of aspirational modern energy cooking services by testing innovative new products and services at home in their ‘kitchen laboratories’. Outcomes from the MECS Living Lab will support the optimisation of both the design of modern energy cooking services and the experiences of everyday cooks and other key stakeholders in MECS field trials and beyond.

SD4MECS is using the CREST field trial of 120 battery-supported electric cooking devices in East Africa as a live ‘test site’ to develop and apply the MECS Living Lab framework. The SD4MECS project is part of the MECS programme.