Using design thinking to reduce energy and resources consumption in a house

Updated: May 29

Makers a les Aules is a project that uses Design Thinking to reflect how technology can be applied to solve/enhance real-life problems, mostly based on actual SDGs. This specific school wanted to focus on energy consumption and how to reduce it (SDG 7 and SDG 11). By using the same method of answering the 5 “What, Who, Where, Why and How” questions, the pupils decided they were interested in the energy consumption of the different parts of the house: how to reduce the energy consumption of the kitchen/ bathroom/ bedroom/ dining room/ garden.

The ideate (brainstorming) session was mostly divided into three steps: 1. think about everyday life devices that consume energy, 2. list the flaws in their functioning (e.g. the bathroom faucet → only stops when we do it manually, washing the dishes → consumes way too much water). 3. brainstorm possible ideas to battle the energy consumption problem.

Pupils are encouraged to look for existing solutions that work for energy consumption (e.g. “in the mall bathroom the light goes on/off when it detects I’m near or not”, “we could reuse the rainwater since it’s already there”, “what about solar panels to make your own energy?”).

Prototyping the idea gave them a better understanding of why reducing ideas into achievable feats is important. One of the student teams in charge of the kitchen was able to make their prototype semi-functional, where the rainwater that went down the pipes was processed through a water filter in order to make it clean. The kitchen walls are where the magic happened, filtering the water to make it clean and make it available for use right away. For extra rainwater storage, they had a water tank ready, linked to the kitchen’s water system. Demonstration video.

Source: Makers a les Aules