Research Project

Designing for energy-efficient and sufficient domestic consumption practices


With the growing concern for the environment, smart home technologies are becoming increasingly popular as a means to promote sustainable living. However, current approaches often fall short of encouraging users to change their daily routines and adopt more eco-friendly practices. This Ph.D. project aims to explore the potential of using human-computer interaction (HCI) techniques, including gamification, design thinking, human-centered design, explainable AI, and business informatics, to address this challenge. The primary objective of this research is to identify consumption practices and domestic routines with a significant CO2 footprint and explore opportunities to embed smart technologies that foster and become integral parts of future energy-efficient and sufficient routines. This project will use participatory design methods to create domestic rearrangements and tools for eco-routinization that are tailored to individual users’ needs and lifestyles. The goal is to develop a sustainable interaction design approach that scripts CHT, fosters low-energy outcomes, and supports energy-efficient and sufficient consumption practices. To achieve these objectives, this project will conduct a classification of consumption practices and domestic routines concerning their socio-material structure and their CO2 footprint. It will also generate a list of strategies and measures to change socio-material structures that foster eco-friendly routines. Design case studies about practice-based eco-design will be developed, and a grounded theory will be established on the appropriation of eco-design in daily life. Finally, this project will conduct appropriation studies, investigate spill-over and rebound effects, and validate the findings on living lab participants and virtual lab data, including load comparison with the UN’s sustainable development goals 2030 agenda.

Expected Results
The expected results of this project include a better understanding of the barriers to sustainable living, the development of new HCI approaches to overcome these barriers, and the creation of innovative smart home technologies that encourage users to adopt more eco-friendly practices. The findings of this project will be relevant to a wide range of stakeholders, including policymakers, smart home technology designers, and individuals seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. Ultimately, this research has the potential to transform the way we interact with technology in our daily lives and promote a more sustainable future.

Hosting Institution: University of Siegen

Supervision:  Prof. Dr. Gunnar StevensProf. Dr. Volker Wulf


Published on ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing

Developing games is time-consuming and costly. Overly clinical therapy games run the risk of being boring, which defeats the purpose of using games to motivate healing in the first place. In this work, we adapt and repurpose an existing immersive virtual reality (iVR) game, Spellcasters, originally designed purely for entertainment for use as a stroke rehabilitation game—which is particularly relevant in the wake of COVID-19, where telehealth solutions are increasingly needed. In preparation for participatory design sessions with stroke survivors, we collaborate with 14 medical professionals to ensure Spellcasters is safe and therapeutically valid for clinical adoption. We present our novel VR sandbox implementation that allows medical professionals to customize appropriate gestures and interactions for each patient’s unique needs. Additionally, we share a co-designed companion app prototype based on clinicians’ preferred data reporting mechanisms for telehealth. We discuss insights about adapting and repurposing entertainment games as serious games for health, features that clinicians value, and the potential broader impacts of applications like Spellcasters for stroke management.

Download: Link