Abstract

Sustainable development calls for fundamental societal changes. Technological development alone won’t suffice; in order to reach sustainable development objectives there is a need to rethink the way we live our lives. Sustainable lifestyles are today however often depicted through a sacrifice-based cultural narrative, in which losses, rather than gains stand in focus. The paper takes its starting point in recognizing that the future is open and possible to influence, but also that (ideas about) the future influences present decisions. These ideas, or expectations, about the future thus provide an opportunity for intervention. Through presenting concrete and positive representations of what a sustainable future might imply in terms of everyday life, the expectations for such a future might be altered. This paper aims to explore how design fiction and backcasting can be used to alter expectations regarding sustainable lifestyles, through creating concrete and engaging visions of everyday life in a sustainable future. The paper also presents a project based on this approach as well as some early findings from this.

Keywords:

Sustainable lifestyles; Design fiction; Backcasting; Expectations; Sustainable design

Share

COinS
 
Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

Altering expectations: how design fictions and backcasting can leverage sustainable lifestyles

Sustainable development calls for fundamental societal changes. Technological development alone won’t suffice; in order to reach sustainable development objectives there is a need to rethink the way we live our lives. Sustainable lifestyles are today however often depicted through a sacrifice-based cultural narrative, in which losses, rather than gains stand in focus. The paper takes its starting point in recognizing that the future is open and possible to influence, but also that (ideas about) the future influences present decisions. These ideas, or expectations, about the future thus provide an opportunity for intervention. Through presenting concrete and positive representations of what a sustainable future might imply in terms of everyday life, the expectations for such a future might be altered. This paper aims to explore how design fiction and backcasting can be used to alter expectations regarding sustainable lifestyles, through creating concrete and engaging visions of everyday life in a sustainable future. The paper also presents a project based on this approach as well as some early findings from this.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.