1st Edition

Digital Technology and Sustainability Engaging the Paradox

Edited By Mike Hazas, Lisa Nathan Copyright 2018
    260 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    260 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book brings together diverse voices from across the field of sustainable human computer interaction (SHCI) to discuss what it means for digital technology to support sustainability and how humans and technology can work together optimally for a more sustainable future.

    Contemporary digital technologies are hailed by tech companies, governments and academics as leading-edge solutions to the challenges of environmental sustainability; smarter homes, more persuasive technologies, and a robust Internet of Things hold the promise for creating a greener world. Yet, deployments of interactive technologies for such purposes often lead to a paradox: they algorithmically "optimize" heating and lighting of houses without regard to the dynamics of daily life in the home; they can collect and display data that allow us to reflect on energy and emissions, yet the same information can cause us to raise our expectations for comfort and convenience; they might allow us to share best practice for sustainable living through social networking and online communities, yet these same systems further our participation in consumerism and contribute to an ever-greater volume of electronic waste.By acknowledging these paradoxes, this book represents a significant critical inquiry into digital technology’s longer-term impact on ideals of sustainability.

    Written by an interdisciplinary team of contributors this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of human computer interaction and environmental studies.

    Photo Essay 1: Selfie Time

    Eli Blevis

    Introduction: Digital Technology and Sustainability: Engaging the paradox

    Mike Hazas and Lisa P. Nathan

    Photo Essay 2: Artifice and Nature

    Eli Blevis

    Part 1: Assessing the Field

    Chapter 1: Three Principles of Sustainable Interaction Design, Revisited

    David Roedl, William Odom and Eli Blevis

    Chapter 2: Towards a Social Practice Theory Perspective on Sustainable HCI Research and Design

    Adrian K. Clear and Rob Comber

    Chapter 3: A Conversation Between Two Sustainable HCI Researchers: The role of HCI in a Positive Socio-Ecological Transformation

    Samuel Mann and Oliver Bates

    Response 1a: Sustainable HCI: From Individual to System

    Chris Preist

    Response 1b: Sustainability within HCI within Society: Improvisations, Interconnections and Imaginations

    Janine Morley

    Photo Essay 3: Rooftop Garden

    Eli Blevis

    Part 2: Addressing Limits

    Chapter 4: Every Little Bit Makes Little Difference: The Paradox within SHCI

    Somya Joshi and Tessy Cerratto Pargman

    Chapter 5: Developing a political economy perspective for sustainable HCI

    Bonnie Nardi and Hamid Ekbia

    Chapter 6: Software Engineering for Sustainability: Tools for Sustainability Analysis

    Birgit Penzenstadler and Colin C. Venters

    Response 2: Challenging the Scope?

    Enrico Constanza

    Photo Essay 4: Classroom Exercise

    Eli Blevis

    PART 3: Ways To Engage With Others

    Chapter 7: Communicating SHCI Research to Practitioners and Stakeholders

    Christian Remy and Elaine M. Huang

    Chapter 8: Negotiating and Engaging with Environmental Public Policy at Different Scales

    Vanessa Thomas

    Chapter 9: On the Inherent Contradictions of Teaching Sustainability at a Technical University

    Elina Eriksson and Daniel Pargman

    Chapter 10: Participation in Design for Sustainability

    Janet Davis and Sandra Burri Gram-Hansen

    Response 3a: Connected and Complicit

    Mél Hogan

    Response 3b: From Participatory Design to Participatory Governance through Sustainable HCI Rónán Kennedy

    Photo Essay 5: Airstream

    Eli Blevis

    Part 4: Inspiring Futures

    Chapter 11: A Sustainable Place: Everyday Designers as Place Makers

    Audrey Desjardins, Xiaolan Wang, and Ron Wakkary

    Chapter 12: Interaction Design for Sustainability Futures: Towards Worldmaking Interactions

    Roy Bendor

    Chapter 13: Think Local Act Local: The Case of Burning Man

    a.m. tsaasan and Bonnie Nardi

    Response 4: Sustainability Futures and the Future of Sustainable HCI

    Yolande Strengers

    Photo Essay 6: Locked Gate

    Eli Blevis


    Mike Hazas and Lisa P. Nathan


    Mike Hazas is Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Communications, Lancaster University.

    Lisa P. Nathan is Assistant Professor at the School of Library Archival and Information Studies, University of British Columbia.