Stefanie Egger, stefanie.egger (at)



Design Research and Science and Technology Studies sometimes have a lot in common: Both try to take into account people and things at the same time instead of looking only at one of the two. An important question in both fields is how socio-technical constructs are shaped.

From urban planning to devising everyday objects to creating a digital landscape – one of the most important challenges for designers today is to help create a more sustainable world. Engineers, designers and architects of all fashion conceive of and create the technical world we are surrounded by. However, looking only at the world of artifacts – the technical world – has severe limitations for those who want to promote shifts towards sustainability. We design the things, but we design for humans. So we need concepts and thinking tools that help us to combine the technical and the social world. Intertwining findings from Design Research activities and Science and Technology Studies may be vital for sustainable design and can be fruitful for STS research too.

This special session wants to strengthen connections between Design Research and Science and Technology Studies and at the same time challenge technically focused approaches to design. The session especially welcomes papers and presentations addressing one of the following questions: How can designers encourage more sustainable behavior? Bearing in mind that users and objects configure each other, how can we take into account these processes of co-configuration regarding sustainable design? How can STS perspectives help designers to implement sustainable products and practices?

All types of research tackling sustainability design issues as well as challenging frameworks of meaning and contexts of practice, and presentations connecting research in STS and design are welcome in this session.