Social Sustainability: A design research approach to sustainable development

Mazé, Ramia and Gregory, Judith and Redström, Johan (2011) Social Sustainability: A design research approach to sustainable development. In: 4th World Conference on Design Research (IASDR), Oct 31 - Nov 4, Delft, The Netherlands.

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While issues such as clean production and energy efficiency are still central in sustainable development discourse, attention is increasingly on patterns of consumption at multiple levels in society. This opens new opportunities and responsibilities for design research, as we shift from a focus on product lifecycles to people’s lifestyles. It also requires further understanding the ‘social sustainability’ aspects of the environment and development, including the complexity of problematics characterized by uncertainties, contradictions and controversies. In response, we propose a programmatic approach, in which a tentative assemblage of theoretical and experimental strategies frame a common ground for a collaborative and practice-led inquiry. We present a design research program based on two propositions: socio-cultural practices are the basic unit for design, and; transitions, and transition management, are the basic points of design intervention. Rather than affirming the status quo or the prevailing discourse, we argue for design research as a ‘critical practice’, in which cultural diversity, non-humans and multiple futures are considered.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
ID Code:4179
Deposited By:Ramia Maze
Deposited On:13 Sep 2011 13:30
Last Modified:14 Nov 2013 14:20

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