REVEALING THE HIDDEN: USING A CO-DESIGN APPROACH TO EXPLORE ON CAMPUS ENERGY USE THROUGH THE REPRESENTATION OF CONSUMPTION DATA

Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Design Creativity (ICDC 2020)

Year: 2020
Editor: Boujut, Jean-Fran├žois ; Cascini, Gaetano ; Ahmed-Kristensen, Saeema ; Georgiev, Georgi V. ; Iivari, Netta
Author: Gwilt, Ian; Davis, Aaron
Series: ICDC
Institution: University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Page(s): 133-143
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.35199/ICDC.2020.17

Abstract

Cites around the world are looking for ways to reduce the energy consumption associated with the built environment, but there are a number of significant challenges in this. These include, difficulties in making energy consumption data meaningful, particularly when people are not financially liable for consumption, and communicating the complexity associated with energy mix. In this research, data physicalisation principles are applied through a co-design approach to investigate how the users of a university campus understand the concept of energy. Key findings include a tension between a scientific understanding of energy and the experience of various forms of human energy including both physical and metaphysical understandings of energy, and the importance of translating energy data from the quantitative into an emotional context in which people can be encouraged to stop and take note. This is reflected upon in the context of sustainability transitions and behaviour change approaches more generally. The paper also reflects on the process of using a series of creativity tools to facilitate the co-design process, asking the same group of participants to reflect on similar questions using multiple co-design and creativity techniques. The results of this approach show promise as a way of facilitating complex co-design processes with diverse groups of stakeholders.

Keywords: Data Physicalisation, Co-design, Design Thinking, Sustainability, Visualisation

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