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Sustainable Interactions: Studies in the Design of Energy Awareness Artefacts
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. (MDALAB - Human Computer Interfaces)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5621-7327
2011 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis presents a collection of experimental designs that approach the problem of growing electricity consumption in homes. From the perspective of design, the intention has been to critically explore the design space of energy awareness artefacts to reinstate awareness of energy use in everyday practice. The design experiments were used as vehicles for thinking about the relationship between physical form, interaction, and social practice. The rationale behind the concepts was based on a small-scale ethnography, situated interviews, and design experience. Moreover, the thesis compares designer intention and actual user experiences of a prototype that was installed in nine homes in a residential area in Stockholm for three months. This was done in order to elicit tacit knowledge about how the concept was used in real-world domestic settings, to challenge everyday routines, and to enable both users and designers to critically reflect on artefacts and practices. From a design perspective, contributions include design approaches to communicating energy use: visualizations for showing relationships between behaviour and electricity consumption, shapes and forms to direct action, means for turning restrictions caused by energy conservation into central parts of the product experience, and ways to promote sustainable behaviour with positive driving forces based on user lifestyles. The general results indicate that inclusion is of great importance when designing energy awareness artefacts; all members of the household should be able to access, interact with, and reflect on their energy use. Therefore, design-related aspects such as placement and visibility, as well as how the artefact might affect the social interactions in the home, become central. Additionally, the thesis argues that these types of artefacts can potentially create awareness accompanied by negative results such as stress. A challenge for the designer is to create artefacts that communicate and direct energy use in ways that are attractive and can be accepted by all household members as a possible way of life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Press , 2011. , 142 p.
, Linköping studies in science and technology, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1485
Keyword [en]
sustainability, energy awareness, domestication, interaction design
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-76033ISBN: 978-91-7393-163-2OAI: diva2:491543
2011-04-29, Visionen, hus B, Linköping University, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
QC 20120208Available from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-02-06 Last updated: 2012-02-08Bibliographically approved

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