SWITCH! Design and everyday energy ecologies – new book from the Interactive Institute!

6 May, 2013 - 20:35

There is no single answer to the question of how people should live nor any silver bullet to solve current ecological problems – and yet, we must seek new ways to think and act in light of emerging environmental challenges. Given the power of design to influence consumer and societal values, its role must be questioned and renewed in relation to current problematics of mass-production and (over)consumption. SWITCH! Design and everyday energy ecologies is a book that expands current approaches and strategies within design discourse concerning sustainability and environmentalism.

Welcome to a launch of the book! The event will include informal reflections on the book from the authors as well as drinks and snacks.


  • Monday May 13, 5-6pm
  • Interactive Institute in Kista/Stockholm, Sweden
  • Isafjordsgatan 22/Kistagången 16, Elevator B, 6th floor

Evading design genres of greenwashing and eco-horror, future utopias and dystopias, the authors attempt to raise more fundamental questions. They ask, for example, how does design mediate people’s access to nature and control over resources? What kinds of futures — or who’s — do we assume, desire and determine by design? How are environmental experiences, risks and values made visible in everyday life? These questions were explored in a series of collaborative and experimental design processes carried out since 2008 by an international team of designers, artists, architects, computer and social scientists at the Interactive Institute in Sweden. Collectively authored, the book is a highly visual and reflective presentation of the 6 resulting projects –‘Energy Futures’, ‘3Ecologies’, ‘Green Memes’, ‘Telltale’, 'Ab|Norm' and ‘Symbiots’ – which are also contextualized within contemporary themes in ecology, critical design and practice-based research.

SWITCH! Design and everyday energy ecologies is edited by Ramia Mazé, with contributors Martin Avila, Jenny Bergström, Loove Broms, John Carpenter, Brendon Clark, Karin Ehrnberger, Alberto Frigo, Aude Messager, Johan Redström, Thomas Thwaites, Anna Vallgårda, Basar Önal, maoworks (Tobi Schneidler, Tom Ballhatchet and Solon Sasson), Olivia Jeczmyk and Bildinstitutet. Published by the Interactive Institute, the book is designed by Martin Frostner and Lisa Olausson at Medium.


The book is published and distributed in a sustainable way. A limited print-run of the book will be available at the launch and, shortly, through Antenne Books in Europe and Amazon.com. Wide availability will be through an electronic version. Further details at www.tii.se/switch

About Switch!

Switch! is a design research program at the Interactive Institute sponsored by the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten) in 2008–2010. Additional support was received for developing design examples through: the Smart Textiles Initiative, led by the Swedish School of Textiles at the University College of Borås and funded by the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA); Forms of Sustainability, a project at the Interactive Institute funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet). Individual participation was supported through artistic grants and doctoral studies.