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CN24: Advanced Research & Design for Sustainability

Quick Facts

Time: Thursday, 15 April 2010, 9:00 to 13:00
Units: 2
Organizers: Daniela Busse, Eli Blevis


Research and Design for Sustainability is increasingly recognized as an essential focus for the CHI community, but the topic presents unique challenges in its definition, its concrete impact on User Experience as a discipline and field of research, and its tactical implementation in day to day practitioners’ work. User Experience professionals and HCI researchers both who are new to Sustainable Research and Design, as well as those who are more experienced with it will benefit from this course. In this 2nd part of the course [Part 1 (“Introduction to R&D for Sustainability”), is submitted separately], we will recap the key learnings of Part 1’s introduction to the domain of User Experience/HCI Research and Design for Sustainability. We will then focus on helping participants internalize and solidify those learnings in studio-style exercises, in which we introduce well-scoped case study problems to the participants to apply specific sustainability research and design frameworks, methods, and approaches as covered in Part 1 of the course. We will group-critique the outcomes and place them in the overall context of our key learnings as the course proceeds.


This course targets both beginners and experienced researchers as well as practitioners alike, who are working or are interested in the field of Research and Design for Sustainability. Even though the course will touch on industrial/product design for sustainability, its main focus will be on software products and holistic experiences. For this 2nd part of this course, attendance of Part 1 (the introduction to the topic) is highly recommended, but not strictly required.


This is a new course.


Key questions we will address in the teachings of this 2nd part of the course:
  • What are the challenges for sustainable design and development and how can HCI/UX help address them?
  • How can sustainability be taken into account in various aspects of HCI practice, including requirements gathering, design, prototyping, development, and evaluation?
  • How can we define success in sustainable experience design, and how can designs or systems be critiqued, evaluated, measured, or otherwise assessed for sustainability?


Both authors have been working on the topic for a number of years, one in a research and educational setting (at Indiana University), the other in a practitioners’ environment (at SAP Labs). Eli Blevis presented the original paper on Sustainable Interaction Design at CHI 2007, co-authored a panel at CHI 2008, and a workshop on the topic at CHI 2009. He leads the SID research group at Indiana. He is the contributing editor for the Sustainably Ours forum in ACM Interactions. Daniela Busse attended the CHI 2009 workshop and is organizing a follow up-workshop to take place at Creativity & Cognition in the fall of 2009. She also has been working on various Sustainability projects (e.g. on Energy Management, Carbon Labeling, Business Design for Sustainability) in her role as UX Director at SAP since 2006.