Simon Fraser University, SIAT, PhD Studies, Summer 2012 – Fall 2013

At the Everyday Design Studio we conducted two different studies of green practices: the practice of everyday repair and the practice of green-DIY. These two studies show the range and differences between practices of sustainability. The Everyday Repair Study was conducted prior to me coming to SIAT. The Green-DIY study, which I was part of, aims at understanding the motivations, objects, tools, and skills used by green enthusiasts (individuals who create projects that support a sustainable lifestyle).

We were mostly interested in understanding the underlying practices of green enthusiasts, using green blogs  as an entryway to observe how people make green projects. We narrowed the results to 5 Web sites: Crafting a Green World, Green Upgrader, Instructables, Planet Green, and Simple Organic.

We then looked at the study data with a framework of Theories of Social Practice differenciating between three practice elements: Competences, Material, Meaning. It showed that in Green DIY practices meaning plays a stronger role than competences, for instance, often enthusiasts are willing to learn new skills if that will enable them to make a sustainable project. More on those studies can be read in the article below.

We published this article on this project:

Wakkary, R., Desjardins, A., Hauser, S. & Maestri, L. (2013) A Sustainable Design Fiction: Green Practices. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI). 20, 4, Article 23 (2013). (34pgs)