Abstract and Keywords
Humans beings in the 21st century face significant social and global change. Ever-evolving digital technologies are increasingly embedded in the material, economic, and socio-cultural milieu; while global crises in climate change present challenges to human and global security and resilience. Social science and human-computer interaction research has investigated how digital systems might help to understand current environmental changes and intervene in the problematic human relationships to scarce resources of the natural world. This chapter reviews research contributions of sustainable human-computer interaction (HCI) and the social sciences on human consumption of resources most crucial to human life: water, energy, and food (WEF). Briefly outlining the current and ongoing evolution of digital technologies particularly concerned with embedded urban digital infrastructures in “smart” and automated technologies and the Internet of Things, it then touches on the scope and scale of the simultaneous environmental challenges posed by population growth and urbanization. It introduces sustainable HCI as one approach that directly addresses both trends. The chapter then outlines the most significant approaches that have informed the development of “sustainable HCI,” and reviews important empirical contributions underpinning the developing interdisciplinary research in the field. It outlines the current understanding of household resource use and considers how developing digital technologies might support domestic resource conservation and mitigate intensive domestically based resource consumption. The chapter closes with observations on the shifting relationships (and sustainable HCI research into them) that might constitute future ways of being in a sustainable digital age.
Keywords: domestic resource conservation, domestic resource consumption, domestically based resource consumption, environmental challenges, household resource use, social science, sustainable HCI, sustainable human-computer interaction
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