Design for Sustainability Transformations: A ‘Deep Leverage Points’ Research Agenda for the (Post-)pandemic Context

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Abstract

This position paper presents a ‘prototype’ research agenda for design for sustainability transformations (DfST) in the (post-)pandemic context. COVID-19 has made visible vulnerabilities, structural dysfunctions, inequalities and injustices across health, environmental, social, economic, provisional and political systems. In response to the crisis, rapid, adaptive, technological and social innovations have started to emerge across all levels of society, opening up a multiplicity of ‘alternative futures.’ This is an opportune time to address long-standing and urgent sustainability challenges in ways that move beyond the ineffective and business-as-usual approaches of ecological modernism. The authors used a co-creative process to identify ‘weak signals’ relevant to sustainability transformations. In alignment with the deep leverage points framework, the identified weak signals are presented under two main headings: first, social structures and institutions; and second, values, goals and worldviews. The deep leverage points form the basis of a research agenda on how DfST could contribute to sustainability transformations right now and in the longer-term.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStrategic Design Research Journal
Publication statusSubmitted - 15 Jul 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • sustainable design
  • transition design
  • sustainability transformations
  • weak signals
  • leverage points
  • sustainability science
  • design research
  • transdisciplinary research

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