Push-Pull Energy Futures: Using Design to Discuss Agency in Distributed Energy Systems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Distributed energy resources are expected to radically change the way energy is produced and distributed through decen- tralised generation and storage. Current distributed energy models tend to hide the complexity of these systems in order to improve ease of use, while restricting people’s participa- tion to predefined roles of passive users who can benefit from more reliable infrastructures, more competitive prices, and more access to sustainable energy. In this paper, we ques- tion these roles and present the Karma Kettle, an open-ended probe that aims to explore perceptions of different levels of agency in distributed energy resources. A study of the Karma Kettle with 20 residents of a block of flats in the UK reveals strategies and values of these residents, the effectiveness of the Karma Kettle to inspire discussion on levels of agency, and how these systems could be designed to promote more participatory approaches in distributed energy systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDIS '20: Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-6974-9
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2020
EventDesign of Interactive Systems (DIS 2020): More than Human Centred Design - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 6 Jul 202010 Jul 2020


ConferenceDesign of Interactive Systems (DIS 2020)
Internet address


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