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LIVING LAB: user‐driven innovation for sustainability

Christa Liedtke (Research Group “Sustainable Consumption and Production”, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Wuppertal, Germany)
Maria Jolanta Welfens (Research Group “Sustainable Consumption and Production”, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Wuppertal, Germany)
Holger Rohn (Research Group “Sustainable Consumption and Production”, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Wuppertal, Germany)
Julia Nordmann (Research Group “Sustainable Consumption and Production”, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Wuppertal, Germany)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 6 April 2012

5214

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to summarize and discuss the results from the LIVING LAB design study, a project within the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union. The aim of this project was to develop the conceptual design of the LIVING LAB Research Infrastructure that will be used to research human interaction with, and stimulate the adoption of, sustainable, smart and healthy innovations around the home.

Design/methodology/approach

A LIVING LAB is a combined lab‐/household system, analysing existing product‐service‐systems as well as technical and socioeconomic influences focused on the social needs of people, aiming at the development of integrated technical and social innovations and simultaneously promoting the conditions of sustainable development (highest resource efficiency, highest user orientation, etc.). This approach allows the development and testing of sustainable domestic technologies, while putting the user on centre stage.

Findings

As this paper discusses the design study, no actual findings can be presented here but the focus is on presenting the research approach.

Originality/value

The two elements (real homes and living laboratories) of this approach are what make the LIVING LAB research infrastructure unique. The research conducted in LIVING LAB will be innovative in several respects. First, it will contribute to market innovation by producing breakthroughs in sustainable domestic technologies that will be easy to install, user friendly and that meet environmental performance standards in real life. Second, research from LIVING LAB will contribute to innovation in practice by pioneering new forms of in‐context, user‐centred research, including long‐term and cross‐cultural research.

Keywords

Citation

Liedtke, C., Jolanta Welfens, M., Rohn, H. and Nordmann, J. (2012), "LIVING LAB: user‐driven innovation for sustainability", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 106-118. https://doi.org/10.1108/14676371211211809

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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