Design contributions to building technology: goals, interfaces and responsiveness

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In this paper, I identify issues that arose in a recent pilot project in which designers contributed to the construction field. The project was led by an overall responsible innovation goal for sustainability impact: contribute to global CO2 reduction. The innovation solution being developed to achieve this goal was a sustainable renovation concept intended for upscaling. In this pilot project, it was applied to a social housing block of 12 apartments. The designers sought to help align technical solutions with the residents’ later use of their homes, because the latter is an important factor in achieving a zero-energy outcome. The paper identifies four issues that arose in the collaboration between design and construction and installation professionals. The issues are goal translation, goal dissipation, the contested service interface and the contested responsiveness to residents. I argue that designers can engage and contribute through design intervention and applying care in the collaboration, in order to support the success of responsible innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Design Society: International Conference on Engineering Design
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED
ISSN (Print)2220-4334


  • Building industry
  • Case study
  • Design for interfaces
  • Design practice
  • Impact goal


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