Social Sustainability in Design: The Window as an Interface for Social Interaction

  • Gaia Scagnetti
  • Federico Casalegno
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8528)


The way people organize the space of their house is strongly related to their local culture. In the process of designing a sustainable home not only is fundamental to make architectural choices toward an environmental and economical sustainability but it is also imperative to pay attention to the process of integration in the local cultural environment. This paper presents the results of an ethnographic research that informs and understands the implementation of a Sustainable Connected Home prototype. The paper demonstrates how the local context and the social sustainability discourse could provide impetus to technological innovation for sustainable design. It also provides a framework for future discussions on the definition of social sustainability in the context of design interventions.


Architectural design design research innovation case study/studies social sustainability qualitative research 


  1. 1.
    Baines, J., Morgan, B.: Sustainability Appraisal: A Social Perspective. International Institute for Environment and Development, London (2004)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barron, L., Gauntlett, E.: Model of social sustainability. Housing and Sustainable Communities Indicators Project. Western Australian Council of Social Service, Perth (2002)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bastide, R.: Mémoire collective et sociologie du bricolage. L’Année Sociologique 21(3), 65–108 (1970)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bramley, G., Dempsey, N., Power, S., Brown, C.: What is ‘social sustainability’and how do our existing urban forms perform in nurturing it. In: Planning Research Conference, Bartlett School of Planning. University College, London (2006)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Colantonio, A.: Social sustainability: a review and critique of traditional versus emerging themes and assessment methods. Loughborough University, Loughborough (2009)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Colantonio, A., Lane, G.: Measuring Social Sustainability: Best Practice from Urban Renewal in the EU. EIBURS Working Paper Series (January 2007)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Csikszentmihalyi, M., Halton, E.: The Meaning of Things: Domestic Symbols and the Self. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (October 30, 1981)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Elkington, J.: Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business. New Society Publishers (September 1, 1998)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Future, C.: The Brundtland Report. United Nations World Commission (1987)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    G.V.R.D., The Social Components of Community Sustainability: A Framework. TAC Social Issues Subcommittee, Vanvouver (2004)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gasparatos, A., El-Haram, M., Horner, M.: The argument against a reductionist approach for assessing sustainability. In: International Conference on Whole Life Urban Sustainability and its Assessment, SUE-MoT Conference Proceedings Glasgow, UK, pp. 27–29 (2007)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Keenan, T.: Windows: of vulnerability. The Phantom Public Sphere 5. Unversity Minnesota Press (1993)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lilley, D.: Design for sustainable behaviour: strategies and perceptions. Design Studies (2009)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Littig, B., Griessler, E.: Social sustainability: a catchword between political pragmatism and social theory. International Journal of Sustainable Development 8(1), 65–79 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lyndon, D., Moore, C.W.: Chambers for a Memory Palace. The MIT Press, Cambridge Mass (1996)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Manzini, E.: Design for sustainability. How to design sustainable solutions. Sustainable Design (2006)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    New design knowledge. Design Studies 30(1), 4–12 (2009)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    McKenzie, S.: Social sustainability: towards some definitions. In: Magill. Hawke Research Institute Working Paper Series (2004),
  19. 19.
    von Meiss, P.: Elements of Architecture. Van Nostrand Reinhold International, London (1990)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mitchell, W.J., Casalegno, F.: The Connected Sustainable Home (2008),
  21. 21.
    Sinner, J., Baines, J., Crengle, H., Salmon, G., Fenemor, A., Tipa, G.: Sustainable Development: A summary of key concepts. Ecologic Research Report 2 (2004)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Telhan, O., Casalegno, F., Park, J., Kotsopoulos, S., Yu, C.: Interaction Design with Building Facade, Cambridge, MA (January 25, 2010)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaia Scagnetti
    • 1
  • Federico Casalegno
    • 1
  1. 1.Mobile Experience LabCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations