Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sustainable Solutions in Complex Spaces of Innovation
by Nogueira, André Martins, Ph.D., Illinois Institute of Technology, 2019, 264; 27548171
Abstract (Summary)

Even though the interconnectivity between human activities and the integrity of ecological systems has long been recognized, the development of design practices that account for such interconnectivity can be considered relatively new. As such, contemporary institutions and their arrangements were not designed accordingly to their potential to promote sustainable and equitable flows of different types of resources; they lack the capability and structure to operate in the speed and scale in which humans are dynamically interacting with themselves, and with the natural environment. As the world has passed the 7.5 billion mark, such a condition is generating unintended socio-ecological-technical consequences being empowered by the fast-changing technology industry. New lenses and models for understanding the connectivity of social, ecological and technical systems underlying contemporary institutional arrangements are required to advance expertise in redirecting the flow of different types of resources for the sustainability of these systems. However, how humans perceive systems is largely framed by who is included in the discussion and the experiences and interests that they bring to bear. Even though there will always be a discrepancy between what is perceived, and the actual system at play, there are greater opportunities to expand such perception by drawing more deeply on systems thinking and the notion of resources. This dissertation advances design knowledge in the pursuit of bridging the gap between theoretical discourses and the pragmatism necessary to intervene socio-ecological-technical dynamics by exploring how designers might embed principles of sustainability into choice-making processes for innovation, and it proposes a new approach through which designers can advance their practices in enabling more sustainable flows of resources.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Teixeira, Carlos
Commitee: Ashton, Weslynne, Whitney, Patrick, Weil, Denis
School: Illinois Institute of Technology
Department: Institute of Design
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 81/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Design, Sustainability
Keywords: Design, Distributed complexity, Flows of resources, Infrastructure, Prototyping, Sustainability
Publication Number: 27548171
ISBN: 9781392613382
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