Lessons from a local history of domestic heating in the UK

Open access available here

Published online today by Energy Research and Social Science

This article, which I co-authored with Dr Lenneke Kuijer, uses detailed analysis of historical change across infrastructures and practices reveals processes underpinning increasing demand for heat in UK homes. It draws on archive work, oral histories and focus groups as part of our work with the DEMAND research centre. Highlighting how phenomena including spatial differentiation within the home, processes of automation and the emergence of novel practice fuelled demand for heat, it demonstrates how a focus on patterns of practice reveals new insights into energy demand, including new insights for contemporary energy policy.

Open access available here

Continue reading “Lessons from a local history of domestic heating in the UK”

Commission on travel demand in Leeds

Engaging discussion on understanding travel demand and the possibilities for anticipating it’s futures in Leeds today. Flattered to be one of a great, diverse selection of speakers at this inaugural meeting of the Commission, at the Institute of Transport Studies. The mix of people, from policy and third sector as well as from across academic disciplines and approaches made for varied positives and productive differences. Discussion showed the commissioners have their work cutout, but also plenty of ideas and evidence to work with.

Can practice theory help to effect social change?

new-pub-imageI had a great time at the New Practices for New Publics workshop in Sheffield today. I shared the speaker list with David Evans and with Margit Keller, and was first in neat run of three talks taking different approaches to reflecting on practice theory and its capacity to inform processes of governing to effect positive social change. The three talks were followed by a lively discussion, with the three of us fielding some testing and at time trenchant questioning in productive ways. The workshop was the fourth in an ESRC funded series of events designed to bring together cutting edge thinking in social science with the experiences of civil society organisations, especially those in the community and voluntary sector.

There’s a video of my presentation here and my slides are available here

Roundtable conference in Autun, France – The urban nexus: infrastructures, politics and spatialities

autun
Dawn and Autun

A roundtable conference in the French town of Autun, organised by Olivier Coutard and Jochen Monstadt, was a great opportunity to push new thinking on urban infrastructures in relation to the nexus in cities. I delivered a paper, co-authored with Elizabeth Shove, developed from work in the DEMAND centre to engage with the urban nexus agenda. The paper sets out and seeks to work through the concept of ‘infrastructuration’ as a means of approaching the recursive relations between infrastructures of resource provision, and the everyday practices that constitute the demand for those resources. The paper should be going forward as part of a special issue submission to Urban Studies

AAG in San Francisco

SF
Dawn over the streetcar lines, on a morning run out to the Golden Gate Bridge

My first time at the global geographer’s annual jamboree, thanks to an invitation to contribute to a panel on Theorizing Mobility Transitions: Scales, Sites and Struggles, with Mimi Sheller, Tim Cresswell and Tim Schwanen. As I was headed over, I also co-organised a paper session with Rachel Macrorie, Reimagining ‘smart’ and low-carbon urbanism.

No more meters? A piece on The Conversation with Elizabeth Shove

capture
From The Conversation, No More Meters – follow links

Imagine never again receiving an energy bill. Instead, you could pay a flat fee for “comfort”, “cleanliness” or “home entertainment” alongside a premium for more energy-demanding TVs, kettles or fridge-freezers. This isn’t the stuff of science fiction – it’s emerging right now. Recent changes in technology and regulation are enabling the development of new ways to provide electricity and gas.

 

Read more at The Conversation – No more meters?

Conceptualising connections: energy demand, infrastructures and social practices

open access version here

In this paper we focus on the task of understanding and analysing car dependence, using this as a case through which to introduce and explore what we take to be central but underdeveloped questions about how infrastructures and complexes of social practice connect across space and time. I co-authored it with Elizabeth Shove and with Nicola Spurling and it was published in the European Journal of Social Theoryin 2015

open access | published version | cited by..  |

Continue reading “Conceptualising connections: energy demand, infrastructures and social practices”