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Empowering Energy Futures

Even though there is consensus regarding shifting energy sources to renewables and decrease climate emissions, not much is happening and time is running out. In this project, we have worked with a user-centred design methodology to explore people’s images of the future from an energy and climate perspective.

The images people have of the future, are crucial for how people feel they can and want to act. The project has also explored different tools people can use to start exploring their own energy future.

As there are an infinite number of futures, and to limit the study, the project has, as a basis for the design research, used the future scenario Legato, within the scenario report Fyra framtider , developed by the Swedish Energy Agency.

The main result from the project is a energy fiction, a kind of design fiction consisting of a manifesto for a sustainable future and a future archaeology describing examples of how everyday life could become in this sustainable future. There are several purposes for the design fiction. On the one hand, it is a concretization of Legato which brings the energy future of Legato down to a level of everyday life, that could be easier for people to relate to and use as starting point for explorations of possible lived futures. On the other hand, it is an artefact that emphasizes that the future is not apolitical, but on the contrary political and plural, accommodating several possible futures within Legato.

Furthermore, the project has commenced the design process of a co-design tool in the form of a set of trigger materials that can be used to discuss and explore different energy futures, and which was used in a workshop in the project.

One of the tools used in the workshop, a card deck with which one can explore ones energy future.

The project is based on a literature review of climate communication, empirical studies (interviews, focus groups and design workshop), as well as a considerate amount of reference projects. Furthermore, the design artefact (manifesto and future archaeology) has been developed in an iterative process where also two graphic designers, Andrejs Ljunggren and Gabriel Kanulf, as well as the illustrator Laurie Rollitt, have participated.

Report (only in Swedish) (pdf 311 kB)