Lunchtime Talk | Jake Barnes | How can we reduce the amount of energy we consume at work?

For the last two decades, reducing energy consumption has been tackled in one of two ways. Either as a technical problem requiring a material fix (e.g. more insulation to help stop energy escaping) or as a behavioural issue, requiring more ‘appropriate’ and ‘correct’ information to inform peoples’ decisions (e.g. ‘switch off the damn lights’). Both approaches have limitations. An alternative – which we have been exploring in a project with Devon County Council – is to look at the space between: how buildings (materials, infrastructures, flows etc) and people (including their expectations, practices, routines & cultures) interact. In this talk I will introduce our project and the various ideas that have been put forward as ways to reduce energy use. But beyond that, I would like to explore how we can use some creative thinking to engage more people in the approach and potential solutions.

Caution: this talk is not just hypothetical. Can you help us design a small playful exhibition to be held in November 2017? We have a small pot of money, about 6 weeks (from the date of the talk) and some ideas. Come along to contribute ideas and/or get more involved.