Transition and Social Practices

  •  Christa Liedtke    
  •  Marco Hasselkuß    
  •  Melanie Speck    
  •  Carolin Baedeker    


Against the background of environmental problems arising from the growing extraction of natural resources and resource depletion, achieving a sustainable development is an indispensable challenge in the twenty-first century. In this article we want to show how socio-technical and product-service innovations can change social practices – the routine doings in everyday life – and, thus, support transition of socio-technical systems. We introduce theoretical considerations on how social practice theories and the framework of the Multi-Level Perspective in transition research can be linked to better understand transition processes from a micro-macro-link perspective. We then present cases based on desk research in the field of practices in bathing, heating and nutrition to show how these have changed over the past decades. Building on this, examples of concepts for sustainable product-service-design in these areas are introduced as leverage points to change social practices in everyday life. These have been developed in research projects or design student seminar works, respectively. We argue that this implies sustainable product-service-systems should be developed in a user- and actor-integrated framework, such as Sustainable LivingLabs. The integration of users and other stakeholders into participatory co-creation processes enables tailored solutions that take actual routines and dependencies seriously into account.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.