The law of supply and demand has not applied to the scarcity of natural resources and increased consumer prices. Consequently, the material nature of our lives has blurred. Stuff seems to appear and disappear from our lives as if they were immaterial. Now this is changing rapidly.
iFuture – The diversity of sustainable lifestyles is European-wide consumer study into future lifestyles. We profiled 80 participants according to their material footprints. For each profile we created a set of social and commercial innovations to free them from their most material-intensive everyday practices. This unique combination of material footprinting and focus groups in different countries lead us to suggest a new model for understanding consumer behaviour. “The material prism” is a model for understanding how material scarcity changes excisting consumer segments by three major lenses. Lifestage transitions, home vs. mobile and value differentation or increase and create their own mega-segments. In a word, the material prism creates a wealth of new lifestyles.
Authors: Outi Kuittinen, Roope Mokka, Aleksi Neuvonen, Mari Orjasniemi, Maria Ritola and Markus Wikholm