Sheida Amiri-Rigi, Despina Christoforidou


The spatio-temporal scale of design for sustainability has come full circle. What started within a technology-oriented global outlook, later evolving into a people-oriented and local view on change, now urges for a holistic, broad extent and multilevel design for sustainability. This paper enquires into the theories of social change that govern different approaches within the field, and positions the adhesion of socio-technical system innovation and transition design to classical modern theory, against an emergent design paradigm anchored in practice theory. By drawing on the literature of the field and comparing various models, a conceptual framework is suggested where "practice" serves as an alternative scale. In broadening the scope of analysis in design, this frame of thought can solve the inherent incompatibility of geographical, jurisdictional and institutional hierarchies as vessels to conceptualize the complex and dynamic processes through which social change is (can be) brought about.

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