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Designing for shared energy responsibility
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3163-7296
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A significant part of the world’s carbon emissions is related to energy use for housing and personal transport, and there are many efforts to make this energy use more sustainable. In the field of Sustainable Human-Computer Interaction, there has been a great interest in exploring how interactive systems can be used to influence people’s energy use, often with a focus on providing information and encouraging energy users to change their behaviours. Similar ideas have been implemented in commercial products aiming to raise households’ awareness of their energy use. This approach suggests that energy use is a matter of individual choice, and that it is the energy user’s responsibility to change energy-related practices such as driving, cooking and heating the home. The effectiveness of the approach has, however, been questioned and it has been proposed to extend the focus beyond the individual – to the communities, corporations and governments that influence people’s energy practices.

With my research, I have aimed to contribute to an understanding of how various stakeholders can share responsibility for energy use and of how to take shared responsibility into account in design. The research has a starting point in studies of sustainable mobility and energy management in housing cooperatives. For these two cases, I have used design interventions to explore energy-intensive practices and more sustainable alternatives from the perspectives of both energy users and other stakeholders. In the thesis, I present ways that stakeholders influence, or could influence, energy use in terms of adoption of more sustainable practices and maintenance of these practices over time. Building on these findings, I suggest opportunities for interactive systems to amplify stakeholder initiatives and support shared responsibility for energy use, for example by contributing to transparency and trust between households and more powerful stakeholders. This includes to consider design sensitivities such as tensions between “odd” and “normal” practices, when and how to engage different stakeholders, and designing for other values than resource optimisation.

Abstract [sv]

En stor del av världens koldioxidutsläpp kommer från energianvändning kopplad till boende och persontransporter, och mycket resurser läggs på att göra denna energianvändning mer hållbar. Inom forskningsområdet Hållbar människa-datorinteraktion finns många exempel på studier av hur interaktiva system kan användas för att påverka människors energianvändning, ofta med fokus på att tillhandahålla information och att uppmuntra energianvändaren att förändra sitt beteende. Det finns också många kommersiella produkter som bygger på liknande idéer om vikten av att hushåll blir medvetna om sin energianvändning. Ett sådant fokus utgår från att energianvändning är ett val som görs på individuell nivå och att det är individens ansvar att själv förändra sin energianvändning, men från forskningsresultaten är det tveksamt hur effektivt detta är. För att förändra energianvändning i hushåll kan fokus inte bara vara på individuellt ansvar för förändring. Vi behöver även förstå hur beteendemönster kring boende, transporter, mat och konsumtion, som resulterar i energianvändning, påverkas av andra aktörer som företag, politiker och olika samhällsgrupperingar.

Med min forskning har jag haft som mål att bidra till en ökad förståelse för hur olika aktörer kan dela ansvar för energianvändning och hur man med design kan stödja ett sådant gemensamt ansvar. Som utgångspunkt för forskningen har jag två studier – den första handlar om hållbar mobilitet och den andra handlar om energiarbete i bostadsrättsföreningar. I studierna har jag använt designinterventioner för att utforska både beteendemönster kopplade till hög energianvändning och alternativa beteendemönster som är mer hållbara. I avhandlingen presenterar jag olika sätt som dessa aktörer påverkar, eller skulle kunna påverka, hur nya, mer hållbara, beteendemönster kan spridas och behållas över tid. Baserat på detta ger jag förslag på hur interaktiva system kan förstärka befintliga aktiviteter som redan utförs av olika aktörer och stödja gemensamt ansvar för energianvändning, till exempel genom att bidra till transparens och tillit mellan hushåll och aktörer med större makt. Detta inkluderar att i designen av systemen ta hänsyn till aspekter som spänningar mellan “udda” och “normala” beteenden, när och hur olika aktörer kan involveras, och att designa för andra värden än resursoptimering.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, 2018. , p. 77
Series
TRITA-EECS-AVL ; 2018:74
Keywords [en]
human-computer interaction, design, sustainability, practices, energy, mobility
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Human-computer Interaction
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-237195ISBN: 978-91-7729-976-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-237195DiVA, id: diva2:1258039
Public defence
2018-11-20, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20181023

Available from: 2018-10-23 Created: 2018-10-23 Last updated: 2018-10-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Challenging the Car Norm: Opportunitites for ICT to Support Sustainable Transportation Practices
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenging the Car Norm: Opportunitites for ICT to Support Sustainable Transportation Practices
2016 (English)In: CHI '16 Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM Digital Library, 2016, p. 1300-1311Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The use of practices as a unit of analysis has been suggested in order to scale up efforts within sustainable HCI and to shift the focus from changing individual behaviours to supporting transitions at a societal level. In this paper, we take a practice approach to the case of sustainable transportation, and more specifically to car-free transportation. Car use is intertwined in many practices and managing life without a car is difficult, particularly for people in contexts where owning at least one car per family is the norm. We studied three families in Stockholm who replaced their cars with different combinations of light electric vehicles during one year. From the families' experiences, we identified a number of opportunities for designers of interactive technologies to support environmental pioneers in the particular case of car-free living, as well as to support transitions towards sustainable practices in general.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ACM Digital Library, 2016
Keywords
Practice theory; Practice-oriented design; Sustainable HCI; Transportation
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Information and Communication Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-188182 (URN)10.1145/2858036.2858468 (DOI)000380532901033 ()2-s2.0-85015073778 (Scopus ID)978-1-4503-3362-7 (ISBN)
Conference
CHI'16
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Note

QC 20160610

Available from: 2016-06-08 Created: 2016-06-08 Last updated: 2018-11-26Bibliographically approved
2. Giving car-free life a try: Designing seeds for changed practices
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Giving car-free life a try: Designing seeds for changed practices
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016., Design Research Society, 2016Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

For sustainable practices to emerge, they have to be tried out. In the design intervention A Car-free Year, we studied the particularities of three families’ changed practices. With a collaborative mind-set, the practices’ constituting elements were analysed, and their intertwined links followed, forming possible design concepts. When designing these seeds for changed practices, we have found, through the knowledge gained from the participants’ different perspectives, possibilities to design initiatives that could enable more people to live car-free. We believe that designing enabling ecosystems, where all types of elements encourage sustainable practices, can be an important role of sustainable design. Furthermore, design research can challenge existing societal norms, as clearly revealed in this project, and consequently inspire more people to make sustainable lifestyle choices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Design Research Society, 2016
Series
Proceedings of DRS2016, ISSN 2398-3132 ; Volume
Keywords
sustainable design, practice-oriented design, service design, collaborative design
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-198932 (URN)
Conference
DRS2016: Design + Research + Society - Future-Focused Thinking
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Note

QC 20161222

Available from: 2016-12-22 Created: 2016-12-22 Last updated: 2018-10-23Bibliographically approved
3. Bridging citizen and stakeholder perspectives of sustainable mobility through practice-oriented design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bridging citizen and stakeholder perspectives of sustainable mobility through practice-oriented design
2018 (English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

Transitions toward more sustainable mobility are necessary and involve changes in complex constellations of mobility-related practices. To understand opportunities for moving in this direction, there is a need to explore both the consumption side of sustainable mobility practices and the perspective of stakeholders that provide products, services, infrastructures, and policies required for such practices. This article contributes to a discussion of critical aspects of sustainable mobility practices in relation to the responsibilities and concerns of stakeholders with power to influence these practices. We present four sets of design concepts for supporting car-free living which were formulated and co-created based on a practice-oriented analysis of a one-year study of three families in Stockholm, Sweden that replaced their cars with light electric vehicles. The design concepts bring forward elements of sustainable mobility with a focus on: trying out new mobility practices, cycling infrastructure, child-friendly public transport, and transporting stuff. Furthermore, we discussed the concepts with public and private sector stakeholders and examined their interests in particular practices. Also considered are how the responsibilities of different stakeholders may clash. Finally, we suggest that practice-oriented design concepts can support discussions and increased knowledge about responsibilities and potential conflicts related to sustainable practices, as well as provide means for supporting learning about sustainable practices among decision makers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2018
Keywords
sustainable mobility, practices, practice-oriented design, policy, stakeholders
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-237189 (URN)10.1080/15487733.2018.1533781 (DOI)2-s2.0-85062724693 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency, 38207-1
Note

Manuscript accepted for publication in Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy.

QC 20181030

Available from: 2018-10-23 Created: 2018-10-23 Last updated: 2019-05-23Bibliographically approved
4. Linking Data to Action: Designing for Amateur Energy Management
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Linking Data to Action: Designing for Amateur Energy Management
2016 (English)In: DIS 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems: Fuse, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2016, p. 473-483Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Design of eco-feedback has primarily aimed at persuading individuals to change behaviours into more environmentally sustainable ones. However, it has been questioned how effective such feedback is in supporting long-term change. As an alternative focus for energy feedback, we present a case study of amateur energy management work in apartment buildings owned by housing cooperatives, and the design of an app that aims to stimulate and support cooperatives in taking energy actions that significantly reduce the cooperative’s collective energy use. By linking energy data to energy actions, the users can see how actions taken in their own and other cooperatives affected the energy use, learn from each other’s experiences and become motivated as energy amateurs. Based on our housing cooperative case, we reflect on design aspects to consider when designing for energy management in amateur settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2016
Keywords
Sustainable HCI, Interaction Design, Energy, Housing Cooperatives, Amateur Community
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Human-computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-189167 (URN)10.1145/2901790.2901837 (DOI)000390478300046 ()2-s2.0-84978696610 (Scopus ID)978-1-4503-4031-1 (ISBN)
Conference
11th ACM SIGCHI Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, DIS 2016, Gardens Point Campus of Queensland University of Technology (QUT)Brisbane, Australia, 4 June 2016 through 8 June 2016
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 608774StandUp
Note

QC 20160714

Available from: 2016-06-28 Created: 2016-06-28 Last updated: 2019-02-07Bibliographically approved
5. Designing for Diverse Stakeholder Engagement in Resource-Intensive Practices
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Designing for Diverse Stakeholder Engagement in Resource-Intensive Practices
2018 (English)In: Proceedings of the 10th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, 2018Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Despite many contributions to Sustainable HCI stressing the importance of “moving beyond the individual”, a majority of HCI work is still targeted mainly at consumers or resource users. However, many stakeholders influence resource use and including such stakeholders in design work can open up new design opportunities for supporting sustainable practices. In this paper, we present results from a longitudinal study of practices related to energy improvement work in housing cooperatives. During the study, we discovered new opportunities for interactive technologies to support this work when we involved various stakeholders other than housing cooperatives. In addition, we discuss more general implications for design aiming to support diverse stakeholder engagement in practices related to resource use: which stakeholders and practices to include, temporal aspects of engagement, and opportunities for supporting shared responsibility for resource use.

Keywords
Sustainable HCI, resource use, resource-intensive practices, energy, stakeholders, design
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Information and Communication Technology; Media Technology; Art, Technology and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-235987 (URN)10.1145/3240167.3240193 (DOI)000455775700038 ()2-s2.0-85056604060 (Scopus ID)978-1-4503-6437-9 (ISBN)
Conference
10th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, NordiCHI 2018, Oslo, Norway, 29 September 2018 through 3 October 2018
Funder
Swedish Energy AgencyEU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme
Note

QC 20181012

Available from: 2018-10-11 Created: 2018-10-11 Last updated: 2019-02-04Bibliographically approved

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