Design thinking for practice-based intervention

A new paper in the eminent Design Studies journal authored by Claire Hoolohan (Tyndall Centre) and Alison Browne (SEED) describes how Change Points combines methods from Design Thinking with ideas from Social Practice Theories to produce a workshop method for practice-based sustainability initiatives.

The paper, titled Design thinking for practice-based intervention: Co-producing the change points toolkit to unlock (un)sustainable practices, is available free and open access here:

This paper is the first of its kind, reporting on a collaboration between the Universities of Manchester (Browne, Hoolohan) and Sheffield (Prof Matt Watson, Dr Liz Sharp, Prof David Evans and Dr Mike Foden), along with Defra, WRAP, the Food Standards Agency, Northumbrian Water Group, WWF-UK and Artesia. This collaboration interpreted ideas from social practice theories into tools and resources to support policy-makers and practitioners in applying the valuable insights from this body of work.

Social practice theories are a way of understanding everyday action as the culmination of social, material, political and infrastructural developments and call for new ways of engaging in the complex and connected world in which behaviour arises to foster sustainability. By drawing on methods and resources in design research, the paper outlines how the toolkit enables a participatory process to intervention design that moves beyond a focus on consumers to consider how and why unsustainable practices arise and what might be done to positively affect their onwards evolution.

Design Studies

Over on twitter, Claire describes the paper as follows: