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Framing Behavioural Change through Place-Based Initiatives: Repair-led design strategies for environmental restoration

Format: Papers, RSD12, Topic: Cases & Practice, Topic: Culture & Society, Topic: Socioecological Design, Topic: Sociotechnical Systems

Skye Smith and Eleni Kalantidou

Design’s agency to enact positive change in conditions of climate change has been promoted by theorists and practitioners, but it has yet to be extensively employed as a process of systemic adaptation and restoration. Design has the potential to orchestrate and set in motion planned and proactive strategies rather than actions and solutions based on chance and reactive necessity (Stolterman & Nelson, 2012). For this to occur, design needs to embrace and integrate systems and place-based thinking as well as further explore lived-experience methods. This approach will facilitate unearthing new relations among system components while enacting capacity among the actors involved.

Notwithstanding the encouraging progressions within the systemic design discipline, there is a growing need for more research efforts to engage directly with communities, their diverse needs and complex histories. To fill this gap, a growing body of research emphasises the necessity to explore scaling deep by cultivating systemic design practices rooted in a non-linear exploration of place-based experiences, knowledge and value frameworks (Lake, 2022; Moore et al., 2015). In an Australian context, promising progress has been made in this field by design theorists and practitioners (Kalantidou, 2020; Lopes & Gill, 2015) who have employed repair-led design to address the contribution of communities to environmental restoration. In an effort to contribute to this development, this paper explores critical insights into sustainable development and investigates the potential of design to support place-based initiatives for environmental repair. Future research includes a systematic review to scope existing place-based initiatives and analyse them in relation to systemic design principles. A qualitative approach is adopted to generate approaches to involving designers in environmental repair by embracing the power of local communities through co-design tools, interviews and participatory collaboration. The outcomes aim to provide recommendations and guidelines to assist designers in promoting environmental repair strategies within their communities.

KEYWORDS: systemic design, place-based interventions, sustainable practices, environmental repair, behaviour change

RSD TOPIC(S): Cases & Practice, Society & Culture, Socioecological Design,
Sociotechnical Systems

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Citation Data

Author(s): Skye Smith and Eleni Kalantidou
Year: 2023
Title: Framing Behavioural Change through Place-Based Initiatives: Repair-led design strategies for environmental restoration
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/repair-led-design-strategies
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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