The project investigates the co-design of energy demand reduction technologies and communities of practice. Using methods from design, sociology and science and technology studies that enable play, exploration and ambivalence, the research explores how affect, ambiguity and aesthetics as well as functionality might enable communities to take innovative 'ownership' of technologies and systems of energy demand reduction.

In Stage One, there is engagement with relevant communities to investigate strategies for energy-demand reduction and to recruit volunteers for a newly-formed community around the project.

On this basis, in Stage Two, the team will design, batch-produce and implement speculative technological prototypes. These (affective, ambiguous, playful as well as instrumental) prototypes will be introduced to the volunteer community as part of a large-scale, extended field trial.

The aim is to engender creative discussion and debate around matters of trust, responsibility and community ownership of energy demand reduction. In Stage Three regular ethnographic engagement with this community will record volunteers' complex views on the prototypes and their impact on emerging technical and social practices related to energy demand reduction.

The results, along with other materials will be presented to a broader public in a launch event and exhibition.

Start date
01 January 2011
End date
29 June 2014
Grant holder
Professor William Gaver
Professor William Gaver
Dr Jennifer Gabrys
Jennifer Gabrys
Grant amount
Grant reference
No Lead Discipline
Grant type