Second Nature, a Practice-led Design Investigation into Consumerism Responding to Sustainable Home Habits


  • Jade Chambers Auckland University of Technology
  • Marcos Mortensen Steagall Auckland University of Technology



Climate Change and Consumer Habits, Design Research, Graphic Design, Household Waste, Sustainable Design


This article discusses a graphic design project about unsustainable habits around the home and their effects on climate change. The article reflects on practice-led design research, asking: How can graphic design be used to provoke young adults to make positive changes towards their unsustainable consumer habits in their homes? The design project entitled: Second Nature - is an awareness campaign that combines the researcher’s passion for environmental sustainability and creative practice as a way of expression through graphic design conventions. The project responded to the research question with a communication campaign, consisting of a series of design artefacts, including a poster series, a zine set, social media presence and a website. The artefacts allow the audience to consider the negative impact their habits cause, providing ways to make small changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle. In conducting the study, reflective and heuristic enquiry was utilised as an approach to problem-solving. In the enquiry, the project employed methods such as contextual review of knowledge, mind mapping, sketching and mock-ups to ideate, reflect and test. The article adopts a commentary on practice and evidences the design decisions to the context, including how the artefacts engage with the audience. The research contributes to the current discourses about climate change in a world dominated by consumerism, proposing and unpacking how an awareness campaign can be used as a tool to combat the depletion of our greater home, earth.


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Author Biographies

Jade Chambers, Auckland University of Technology

Jade Chambers is a New Zealand based graphic designer. She is an Auckland University of Technology, Bachelor of Communication Design graduate (2022). She is passionate about environmental sustainability, producing work that considers the planet and people. Her creative practice aims to produce considered, conscious work, harnessing the influential power of design.

Marcos Mortensen Steagall, Auckland University of Technology

Marcos Mortensen Steagall is an Associate Professor in the Communication Design department at the Auckland University of Technology - AUT since 2016. He is the Communication Design Postgraduate Strand Leader and Programme Leader for Communication Design and Interaction Design for Year 3. He holds a Master's (2000) and PhD (2006) in Communication & Semiotics acquired from The Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and a PhD in Art & Design from Auckland University of Technology in 2019. Research interest focus on Practice-oriented research in Design through a Global South perspective.


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How to Cite

Chambers, J., & Mortensen Steagall, M. (2023). Second Nature, a Practice-led Design Investigation into Consumerism Responding to Sustainable Home Habits. DAT Journal, 8(1), 213–249.