Implications of social practice theory for sustainable design

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 4 Research NOT TU/e / Graduation NOT TU/e)


Sustainable design faces challenges at a scale and level of complexity that are ill at ease with design’s mainstream focus on products and users. Recently, social practice theory has been suggested as a promising theoretical framework to inform new ways of designing. In social practice theory, practices – socially shared entities such as cleaning, cooking and playing - are taken as the fundamental unit of analysis. So far, however, design research in this area has been scattered and varying strongly in its interpretations of the implications of a ‘practice-orientation’. This thesis explores these implications through a series of empirical projects on the topics of bathing and staying warm at home and introduces a coherent practice-oriented approach to sustainable design.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • van Eijk, Daan, Promotor, External person
  • de Jong, Annelise M., Copromotor, External person
Thesis sponsors
Award date7 Feb 2014
Place of PublicationDelft
Print ISBNs978-94-6186-246-4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Practice theory
  • sustainable design
  • Research-through-Design
  • bathing
  • thermal comfort
  • domestic energy use


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