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Designing Environments for life

Dr Emilia Ferraro, St Andrews Sustainability Institute is one of the researchers who contributed towards this joint interdisciplinary research project, hosted by the Institute of Advanced Studies.

This programme proposed to develop a community of practice including academics, artists, architectural and design professionals as well as government, business and industry in order to understand how people perceive and shape the world around them through creative practices of designing, making, building and inhabiting.

The first aim of the programme was to rethink the concept of environment so as to situate the lived experience of engaging with our surroundings and secondly, reconsider the meaning of design in a world that is perpetually under construction by way of the activities of inhabitants. Thirdly, the programme questioned the tendency to attribute the creativity of design to innovation rather than improvisation - that is to the novelty of prefigured solutions rather than to the capacity of inhabitants to respond with flexibility and precision to ever-changing environmental conditions.

The programme ran for 4 months from September 2009. It included close collaboration with the Lighthouse in Glasgow and the Dundee Centre for Contemporary Arts who hosted a touring exhibition of art and design related to the themes of the programme.

For more information see

Jump to other Research Projects at SASI

More than GDP: Measuring What Matters

Designing the transition to sustainability: resourcing community resilience

Accounting for Biodiversity: Low carbon intellectual renewal

Craft and Sustainability

Designing Environments for life

Saving Energy at the Workplace

Sustainable Development Commission database