TRACK Sustainable and Innovatice Public Procurement & Ecodesign


S23: STS – Design – Sustainability

Stefanie EGGER (Alpen-Adria Universitaet Klagenfurt |Wien Graz), Austria 

The technical world we are surrounded by is conceived of and created by humans: engineers, designers and architects of all fashion. From urban planning to everyday objects to creating a digital landscape – one of the most important challenges for designers today is to help create a more sustainable world. However, looking only at the world of artifacts – the technical world – may not be enough for those who want to promote shifts towards sustainability. We design the things, but we design for human use. So we need concepts and thinking tools that don´t separate the technical from the social. Combining findings from Design Research activities and Science and Technology Studies may be vital both for STS research and for Design for Sustainability.

This session wants to challenge technically focused approaches to design and at the same time strengthen connections between Design Research and research in Science and Technology Studies. The session especially welcomes papers addressing one of the following questions:

What can designers do in order to encourage more sustainable behavior? Bearing in mind that users and objects configure each other, how can we harness this processes of co-onfiguration for sustainable design? How can STS perspectives help designers to implement sustainable products and practices? What are the thinking tools we need for sustainable design? All types of research tackling sustainability design issues as well as challenging frameworks of meaning and contexts of practice are welcome in this session.

KEYWORDS: design, sustainability, EcoDesign, design research



S24: Demand side: Environmental innovation for and with public sector organisations

Eva BUCHINGER (AIT-Austrian Institute of Technology), Angelika TISCH (IFZ -Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture), Austria

Public demand for environmental innovation may commence with research and development of goods, services or processes which do not exist as supplies off-the-shelf or supplies that can be provided by many different operators on the market. Public sector organisations can effectively become part of the innovation process instead of replicating existing form of demands. Examples are such as demand for innovative municipal water and wastewater treatment, avalanche defense structures, and law-carbon infrastructures and buildings. This involves transformative processes on all societal levels, i.e. multi-actor and multi-level processes, which entail interactions between different social groups - public entities as well as NGOs, firms, associations and consumers (Weber/Rohracher 2012; Geels, Kern, Fuchs, Hinderer, Kungl, Mylan, Neukirch &Wassermann 2016; EC/ICLEI 2016; Chataway, Daniels, Kanger, Ramirez, Wittmayer, Avelino, Steenbergen & Loorbach 2017; Schot & Steinmueller 2017). This also involves framework conditions in the form of standards and regulations such as the EU energy efficiency directive, renewable energy action plans/regulations (e.g. ‘Ökostromgesetz’), and eco-labelling. In this session we want to discuss examples where public sector organisations became part of the innovation process. We want to highlight the activities of the public sector organisations in these examples as well as the framework conditions or other factors that lead to these innovations. Theoretical as well as empirical contributions are welcome.

KEYWORDS: environmental innovation, demand side, tansformative processes