Unmaking Waste:  Transforming Production and Consumption in Time and Place (May 2015, Adelaide Australia)

Dates: 21-24 May 2015
Location: Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour, University of South Australia, Adelaide
Website: www.unmakingwaste2015.org
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 17 October 2014

Waste is created when we no longer value something we create, possess or use. Barriers to prematurely discarding goods and resources have steadily fallen in recent years. Easy credit, low prices, instant online access, and a 24 hour promotional media all reinforce an expanding consumerism.

While much effort has gone into researching and implementing successful technical strategies for reducing waste and emissions, accelerating rates of consumption are undermining these efforts. It is clear that we need new systems-based approaches to reduce this excess consumption, including the excesses of our ‘waste-making’, to generate a more sustainable circular economy.

This conference invites participants to explore new approaches to reduce the speed, volume and impacts of ‘waste-ready’ global consumerism.

It will be organised around four themes:

1. Engaging Values and Innovative Practices Most advertising and marketing seeks to make us aware of what we lack, especially in the eyes of others. How can we steer our values towards a more ‘custodial’ use of things, places and experiences?

2. Engaging Communities through Social Innovation The dark side of consumerism is poverty and exclusion, where social capital is eroded, and the individual’s capabilities frustrated. How can we engage those currently these ‘wasted’ groups?

3. Engaging Design for Reuse Reuse can subvert the fetish for the new, and shift attention to what remains useful in the long term. In what ways and through what means can design for reuse be harnessed to transform consumerism?

4. Redesigning Urban Systems for Low Carbon Living We need a technologically integrated approach to reduce the impact of our waste and emissions. How can technology be used to shift community expectations and wasteful social practices?

These ideas will also be explored in a linked design exhibition, a workshop, and a PhD student poster session.

Confirmed Keynotes: Professor Stuart Walker, Lancaster University and Professor Susan Strasser, University of Delaware.

Abstract Submissions should be no more than 400 words (max). Abstracts will be peer reviewed and all submissions will receive a written response from the Conference Organising Committee by November 7th 2014. The authors of successful abstracts will then be invited to submit a full paper by January 16th, 2015. All papers will be double-blind peer reviewed. Accepted papers will be published in an online conference proceeding volume with an ISBN number. A selection of the best papers will be resubmitted to the authors for revision for inclusion in an edited volume, to be published in late 2015.

About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil.

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