Roundup: Ted Cruz hates digital sustainability; LIMITS conference; Bela Lugosi's Dead
Right-wing media inventing outrage about digital sustainability
Obviously ridiculous and fake, but a reminder of the new front in climate denial - arguing not on science, but on “personal freedom”. How dare “they” take your gas stove or your coal-burning server-farm?
A good Heated article on fearmongering.
Limits Conference 2023
Computing within Limits is an academic conference but it looks like they try to keep it accessible to the layperson.
contemporary computing research is intertwined with ecological limits in general, and climate- and climate justice-related limits in particular
Abstract registration deadline: March 17, 2023, 11:59pm AOE
Here are some relevant-looking talks from previous years:
OmniFood - Exploring the possibilities of a consumer system with ubiquitous access to data about the food we eat
Challenging the image of the altruistic and flexible household in the smart grid using design fiction
‘This is a solar-powered website, which means it sometimes goes offline’: a design inquiry into degrowth and ICT ( about Solar.lowtechmagazine)
New European Bauhaus Compass
Bauhaus: an approach to art that seeks to unify individual artistic vision with the principles of mass production and emphasis on function. Or, “important boxy buildings from the 1930s, plus really cool posters” (me, before researching this).
The New European Bauhaus (NEB): “connecting the European Green Deal to our living spaces and experiences.”
NEB has a very nice report/framework document with well-illustrated examples of how to use techniques. Lots of emphasis on participatory design to get to sustainable design solutions that work for communities.
A look at their values:
aesthetics, quality of experience and style, beyond functionality
sustainability, from climate goals, to circularity, zero pollution, and biodiversity;
inclusion, from valuing diversity and equality for all, to securing accessibility and affordability.
I used to think Bauhaus meant “cold and austere”. Not so:
On the individual level, sustainability depends critically on compassion, empathy, unity, creativity, and the ability to shift paradigms.
Too many frameworks & manifestos are made of good intentions and fluff. But this framework comes with self-assessment tools with specific lists of measurable criteria, adding much-needed rigor to the process.
Their project list doesn’t include purely digital projects, but it’s adaptable.
The basic sustainability ambition in the Compass is concerned with conventional features like the ability to preserve or prolong usability, and the next level considers the entire system of a project. The highest ambition is to regenerate and reconnect to nature.
“Preserve or prolong usability”: not something we’ve talked about as much at SustainableUX. I’d translate this as building digital services that people want, and with a long view on maintainability. So much digital work is endlessly recreated because fashion, “not invented here”, and zombie capitalism.
(Via Rachel Coldicutt)
SustainableUX is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.