Practices and complex system change – talk at EC Joint Research Centre

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The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre is a daunting place to go to deliver a paper. The entrance to the enormous site resembles a border. A row of control cabins, each with an armed guard outside, check every vehicle. Anyone without the necessary permissions goes to a desk to handover ID in return for being checked as an expected visitor. On the way out another armed guard with a german shepherd dog scans your new visitor badge and checks it against your ID again.

My first visit there today was to kick off the two days of panel presentations and discussion at a JRC Exploratory Workshop, Energy Sustainability in the Transition to Renewables: Framings from Social Practices and Complex Systems Theories. The workshop aimed to bring together these two contemporary approaches to see how they could help policy – including through identifying further research needs – to confront the broader societal challenges of moving towards low carbon energy through deployment of renewables.

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Energy in the city summer school

 

CaptureTalking once again on understanding the relations between infrastructural change, changes to daily life, and their consequences for energy demand, this time as one of the contributors to the ‘Energy in the City’ Summer School at Leeds University. Working through the argument of a journal article recently back from review, and getting participants’ input into it, really helped push along my thinking on ‘infrastructuration’.  A full report of the event is here. Continue reading “Energy in the city summer school”

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

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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..  |

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