Category: Design for sustainability

  • Governing sustainable urban innovation: navigating the generic and specific.

    Governing sustainable urban innovation: navigating the generic and specific.

    In many UK towns and cities the search for responses to climate change is framed by extant urban fabrics and thus favour incumbent technologies and actors associated with these.  For example, road networks which favour motorised vehicles have almost inevitably directed sustainable transport innovation toward electric vehicles produced by established vehicle manufacturers.  Indeed, rendering transport […]

  • Design@50 – Design in a Time of Climate Emergency

    Design@50 – Design in a Time of Climate Emergency

    The latest Design@50 event focused on the topic Design in a Time of Climate Emergency, featuring reflections and discussion between Prof Stephen Peake, Dr Emma Dewberry, Dr Alessandra Campoli and Dr Derek Jones. The event also featured archive footage from the first Open University course that introduced design, connecting it to far broader issues around […]

  • What is the problem with solar thermal panels?

    What is the problem with solar thermal panels?

    In my research on carbon reduction from heritage buildings, visible renewables such as solar panels are interesting. Quite a lot of the heritage conservation community isn’t necessarily convinced by solar panels on the roofs of heritage buildings and there’s been lots of research in various places to consider how to integrate solar PV sensitively with […]

  • Creativity, Rituality and Sustainable Development: A Case Study from the Global South

    Creativity, Rituality and Sustainable Development: A Case Study from the Global South

    Introduction   A few years ago, while researching the persistence of traditional creative practices in Nepal, I heard about the Janakpur Women Development Centre, an NGO in Southern Nepal, where local women work on the preservation and re-use of traditional patterns and imagery used in agricultural rituals. The NGO aims to improve the quality of […]

  • Art-Based Research Methods, STE(A)M and Global Challenges

    Art-Based Research Methods, STE(A)M and Global Challenges

    Over the past two weeks, I shared some thoughts about Art Based Research (ABR) methods with students and colleagues. I thought I would also write my reflection here. Personally, I have always been driven toward ABR for my need to think through making and my passion for the arts. But aside from my strictly personal […]

  • Redesigning how to tackle sustainability

    Redesigning how to tackle sustainability

    In her thought-provoking blog in November, Alice Moncaster expressed the hope that, following COP26’s image of male, white, and wealthy people making decisions, that COP27 would be “redesigned in a way that allows all people to participate equally that works best for them”, concluding that “the most sustainable solutions are those which are designed by […]

  • COP26 – Is 1.5 still alive?

    COP26 – Is 1.5 still alive?

        After unprecedented global news coverage, the United Nations COP26 conference ended on 13 November 2021 with the Glasgow Climate Pact agreed by the 196 countries present. The Pact was only achieved after a last-minute weakening of its wording on the use of coal from ‘phase out’ to ‘phase down’ after objections from India […]

  • Creative Activism, COP26, Emerging and Forgotten Voices

    Creative Activism, COP26, Emerging and Forgotten Voices

    Today is the last day of COP26 and, being based in Glasgow, I thought it would be a good time to share some thoughts and images. I don’t want to write about COP26 itself, but rather about how creative activism has reshaped the city space and visually and emotionally engaged people in the last two […]

  • Doing it for the ‘gram: Design, influencers and affluenza.

    Doing it for the ‘gram: Design, influencers and affluenza.

    There is (rightly) no getting away from discussion of the climate emergency, especially this week as Cop26 is underway in Glasgow. Whilst many problems that contribute to the crisis are global, political and very difficult to solve, there are others that, frustratingly, are driven by greed, social media, and personal choices. We could put the […]

  • COP26 UN Climate Change Conference – ‘Code red for Humanity’

    COP26 UN Climate Change Conference – ‘Code red for Humanity’

    Image; Rise in average surface temperature 2048-2051 from 1951-1980 based on IPCC 4th Report, Robin Roy, October 2020 As you’ve probably heard, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP) – called COP26 because it’s the 26th annual UN climate change conference since 1995 – will be held in Glasgow, Scotland from […]