Practices-oriented design

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Practices-oriented design groups a range of design approaches that draw on practice theory – a group of social theories that take practices as their fundamental unit of analysis. This chapter offers a design-tailored introduction to practice theory, a brief overview of its uptake into design literature and a description of one particular practices-oriented design approach that was developed through a series of design projects focussing on reducing domestic energy demand. By illustrating practices-oriented design with a detailed approach and an example on domestic heating, the chapter shows how practice theory offers a conceptual framework that is helpful for understanding and tackling complex societal issues such as sustainability. By paying explicit attention to history and diversity, the approach opens up avenues for more radical change, while at the same time staying close to the practicalities of making change happen. In the heating case, a variety of interventions that involve change in both domestic and professional practices contribute to a redefinition of domestic comfort that involves fresh air and warm clothes. Avenues for further research in this area lie in exploring the implications of viewing practices of design as an integral part of the ‘behaviours’ it is trying to change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign for behaviour change
Subtitle of host publicationTheories and practices of designing for change
EditorsK. Niedderer, S. Clune, G. Ludden
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781317152538
ISBN (Print)9781472471987
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2017

Publication series

NameDesign for social responsibility

Bibliographical note

Chapter 10 in the book "Design for Behaviour Change"

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    Kuijer, L. (2017). Practices-oriented design. In K. Niedderer, S. Clune, & G. Ludden (Eds.), Design for behaviour change: Theories and practices of designing for change (pp. 116-127). (Design for social responsibility). Taylor and Francis Ltd..