Paper accepted for presentation at the IASDR'11 conference!

6 September, 2011 - 17:12

Ramia Mazé, Judith Gregory (IIT Institute of Design) and Johan Redström are co-authors of a paper on 'Social Sustainability' to be presented at the 4th World Conference on Design Research (IASDR), which will be held at the Delft University of Technology between 31 October - 04 November. 

Abstract 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

The paper presents the research program of the project 'Designing for Social Innovation’. The project is funded at the Interactive Institute by the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA), led by Ramia Mazé and carried out as VINNMER research fellowship at the IIT Institute of Design in the USA.