Living Labs pp 205-226 | Cite as

Design Participation in Sustainable Renovation and Living

  • Stella BoessEmail author


This chapter addresses resident participation in the renovation of sustainable housing. Such renovation efforts aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy waste from heat loss. Resident behaviour after renovation is a key factor. The residents may, for example, continue to keep windows open in winter even though there is now a ventilation system. Aligning renovation processes with the residents’ habits and preferences may therefore help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. No process framework currently exists that integrates resident participation with the renovation process. Design participation is a social design approach that seeks to support collaboration between the residents and the other stakeholders with design tools. This chapter shows how design participation reveals opportunities to innovate on the stakeholder process, as well as on technologies in the home. The examples arise from an education project in which design students collaborated with residents to address pre-, during and post-renovation needs as well as routine living. Each proposal reveals challenges and possibilities for the renovation process and for home technologies. The chapter maps the design participation examples onto the building management cycle and innovation issues in it. Overall, the examples reveal that there are still gaps to bridge between design participation thinking and the current participation and innovation processes in this field. While the latter tend to focus on agreements, being heard, and application of existing technologies, the examples presented here showcase the potential of exploration and joint discovery in promoting dialogue and innovation.


Design participation Sustainable renovation Social housing Collaboration 



Many thanks to the students Sofia van Oord, Rick Boellaard, Felix Marschner, Julia Mattaar, Anton Garrigue, Justus Kuijer, Staffan Till, Daniela Passa and Elske van den Ende for making their work available for this chapter. The pictures illustrating their projects are theirs. Thanks also Natalia Romero Herrera and Arnold Vermeeren for coaching the students and to Anna Pohlmeyer for the collaboration and allowing me to feature the work of two of her students, Felix and Julia, whose work responded to her brief on appreciation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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