12 May 2009

Human-centred design for sustainable development on an urban scale

Be the first to share

Low2No
The built environment is now the largest negative factor in the stability of ecosystems and the climate. As populations become increasingly urbanized, the evolution of cities will largely shape the outcome of our long dependence on natural resources.

Recognising the need and opportunity to improve sustainable building practices, the City of Helsinki and Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund are organising a sustainable design competition (rather than just an architecture competition) for a major urban development project.

Called Low2No (implying “low to no carbon emissions”), the competition’s goal is to attract and identify the best teams to design a large mixed-use building complex on a reclaimed harbour at the western edge of Helsinki’s central business district, that would through its exemplary nature set out a sustainable development framework applicable to other contexts.

Despite the short application time frame, a total of 73 applications were submitted. Last week, five teams were selected from a very competitive pool of proposals to proceed to the design phase of the competition.

One of the shortlisted teams is led by the global design and engineering firm Arup, in partnership with the international architecture and urban planning agency Sauerbruch Hutton, and Experientia, the experience design company that this blog is part of.

Arup is highly regarded for its many top-level projects, but also for its philosophy and culture of engineering – and in our field for the many important contributions by Dan Hill at conferences and on his famous cityofsound blog, whereas Sauerbruch Hutton is well-known for the design of the German Federal Environment Agency.

Needless to say that we are very proud to be in such excellent company, and to be the only experience design consultancy in the shortlist.

The five teams are now working on the development of “a design strategy and approach suitable to the challenge, a framework for developing an indicator of sustainability suitable to the challenge, and a vision for the project that will inspire stakeholders to overcome the challenges of systemic change”.

The jury “will be instructed to evaluate the proposals based on evidence of systemic thinking. More than a design, we are look-
ing for a credible strategic framework for change, and the principals upon which the framework was built.”

Experientia will be taking a human-centred angle in its partnership with Arup and Sauerbruch Hutton, emphasising the fundamental impact that people’s behaviours can have on sustainability. Although we cannot disclose too much (the competition is still going on), we will surely be exploring a full plethora of research and design approaches, from ethnographic research to interaction design, and from service design to strategic communications. It will definitely be a great challenge for us to test and prove the fundamental role of a human-centred perspective in this pivotal project.

Be the first to share
27 March 2015
Sharp methodological critiques on current Big Data practices
Two methodological critiques on Big Data that caught our attention: In the Financial Times, economist and journalist Tim Harford points out that sampling bias and statistical errors are, if anything, magnified in Big Data research, …
26 March 2015
Gov.uk’s open policy making toolkit – practical guidance on ethnography and more
The Gov.uk open policy making toolkit is a practical guide to techniques that can help you make better policy. The toolkit, which brings together the latest techniques to improve making and delivering policy, is based on …
24 March 2015
Presentations online of IEA energy efficiency behaviour workshop
The 11th and 12th of March, the International Energy Agency [IEA] in Paris hosted a workshop on energy efficiency and behaviour in the buildings sector. The goal of this workshop was for representatives from IEA …
18 March 2015
The considerations and limitations of feedback as a strategy for behaviour change
The considerations and limitations of feedback as a strategy for behaviour change Garrath T. Wilsona, Tracy Bhamraa & Debra Lilleya, Loughborough Design School, Loughborough, UK Published online: 12 Mar 2015 - Taylor & Francis Design for Sustainable Behaviour …
18 March 2015
The smartphone society
Just as the automobile defined the twentieth century, the smartphone is reshaping how we live and work today. Boston University sociology lecturer Nicole Aschoff explores it aLL. Half way down her leftist criticism of how the …
16 March 2015
Workshop_40/Wild energies: wind, fire and people in movement
For those in Torino: Workshop_40/Wild energies: wind, fire and people in movement Conducted by Marguerite Kahrl e Marjetica Potrč Friday, March 20 3.30 - 5.30, meeting with stakeholders Saturday, March 21 10.00 - 4.00, Participatory design in groups In …
12 March 2015
Nudging and Choice Architecture: Ethical Considerations
Nudging and Choice Architecture: Ethical Considerations by Cass R. Sunstein Yale Journal on Regulation January 17, 2015 50 pages Is nudging unethical? Is choice architecture a problem for a free society? This essay defends seven propositions: It is pointless to …
7 March 2015
Why most customer experience efforts fail
It is no secret among Customer Experience (CX) professionals that most CX efforts fall flat. Forrester found that only 25% of CX professionals say their companies’ CX programs actually improve customer experience, and Avaya recently …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

See all articles