Designing Sustainability

Alan Murray

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


As everyday products increasingly have the capacity to sense, make decisions, analyse and learn, designers need to understand the potential complexity and cross-disciplinary nature of designing 'behaviours' in interaction. If products are to become adaptable open-system learning sentients it may be that to design 'effective behaviour' demands that products become independent agents that have a flexible multi-purposeness leading to 'learnt, controlled and communicated sustainable behaviour'. If Human agency is the capacity for human beings to make choices and to impose those choices on the world, there may be a need to examine the implications of a non-human agency making choices and imposing those choices on the world. Artificial Social Intelligence (Bainbridge 1994) may need to be expanded beyond how robots interact (Dautenhahn 1995) to a reflection on ‘designing socially acceptable intelligent artefacts’.

If a user is to preserve and promote a product's sustainable behaviour and invest in extending its meaningful life-cycle, they will need to feel that the product is an extension of their own thinking and acting self. Although true Artificial Intelligence (AI) in everyday products is not yet a reality, perceived intelligence is. How can we develop a 'protective and promoting' relationship with emerging intelligent products to provide the trust needed to ensure 'undying support' and an 'unrestricted investment in sustainability'?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventSociety for Social Studies of Science and European Association for the Study of Science and Technology - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 17 Oct 201220 Oct 2012


ConferenceSociety for Social Studies of Science and European Association for the Study of Science and Technology


  • sustainability

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