© RMIT, 1997
Kambrook 'Axis' Kettle
Circa 1996, the Australian company, Kambrook worked with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) to try and reduce the energy of the kettle. They realised that a technological solution would be too expensive, so the designers took a different approach.
The RMIT designers used user centred research techniques to observe the way in which the kettle was used. Their observations revealed that the kettle was often overfilled and reboiled as the user left the room to do something else.
By designing around this behaviour the energy efficiency of the product was increased dramatically.
The designers used two eco-feedback mechanisms to persuade the user to change their behaviour:
- a temperature gauge to indicate suitability of the water for making tea or coffee
- and a clearer volume indicator which was relocated to the top of the jug
They also introduced a double wall thickness to insulate the kettle and keep the water hotter for longer which in turn reduces the energy needed to reboil
Although more materials were used in the final design, the energy efficiency was dramatically increased, and it is the use phase which has been identified as having the greatest environmental impact in goods of this nature.
For more information on the work carried out at RMIT visit http://www.cfd.rmit.edu.au