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Hacking the Campus: Art and creative engagement to design a sustainable environment
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Media Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5627-2158
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0070-6794
2022 (English)In: Book of Abstracts: The 28th Annual Conference, International Sustainable Development Research Society “Sustainable Development and Courage. Culture, Art and Human Rights”, ISDRS , 2022, article id 347Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Cities are becoming increasingly complex as a multitude of interests, needs, values and ways of living converge. For this reason, it is important to understand this diversity and explore how it could be captured by planning and governance processes. This is commonly done in participatory spatial planning processes where well-educated, adult, and economically stable citizens would commonly provide input to the process. Younger demographic groups as children and youth are rarely involved. In 2022 Sweden, however, passed an act that states that children and youth shall be part of spatial planning when they are to be affected by given interventions. 

There are many diverse good examples of youth participation that offer valuable insights and grounding to this new turn. Yet, youth is not an easy catch. Youth is a very diverse group, and more often than not, they are critical of the status quo, and thrive most when challenged on tasks that they find interesting. Engaging youth in classical workshop sessions with experts discussing maps or models might not work at all. Here some have suggested that art, crafting, and novel technology could help to develop meaningful participatory processes. 

In the study presented here, we report on an attempt to explore a novel method. We introduce an activity where 52 students at a media and design bachelor program at a Swedish university explored the use of art and design methods to ‘hack’ their campus in a post-Covid-19 scenario. The students were asked to work with the design materials – paper and cardboard – to give shape to alternative ideas about how to hack the campus environment. They were asked to develop a “sustainable artefact” representing a solution to the challenge of returning after the pandemic. They were asked to critically look at the current infrastructure and think about what they would like to change to make it a more sustainable place. 

The data set for this study consists of 52 assignments including tangible material representations of the work in the form of images of i) the resulting designed artifact  (details, work-in-progress, final prototype), ii) of montage images of the designed artifact contextualized and placed into the campus environment, as well as iii) written reflections about the task at hand. The assignments were analyzed using a thematic content analysis and analysis of the sustainable artifacts. 

The designed artifacts were created from a range of different ideas and observations. Some were made with the purpose to reduce stress, others to promote mental and physical health, or to boots social gatherings and togetherness. The typology of these spans from artifacts that are inspired by furniture that promotes meetings and social interaction, collective gardening areas, bird nests, litter containers, green houses, training equipment, tools to provide feedback, interactive screens and power stations both for bikes and phones. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ISDRS , 2022. article id 347
National Category
Design Environmental Sciences Human Computer Interaction Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-49776OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-49776DiVA, id: diva2:1691876
Conference
28th International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS), Stockholm, June 15-17, 2022.
Part of project
Planning with youth: a tool and a framework for an engaging meaningful and forward-looking participation of youngsters in shaping attractive and sustainable living environments, Swedish Research Council FormasAvailable from: 2022-08-31 Created: 2022-08-31 Last updated: 2022-09-06Bibliographically approved

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Lundmark, SofiaRodela, Romina

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
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