Department of Design

From Do-it-yourself to Do it ourselves (2020-2023)

A participatory design intervention for youth empowerment and energy commons.
DIY-DIT-youth-energy- A solar panel powered cart at a school yard
A Solar panel installation at a highschool in Helsinki (2019)

Young people are one of the key stakeholders of climate justice. However, they are largely excluded in shaping collective endeavors to tackle climate change both in academia and real-world situations. Particularly, low-carbon energy transition discourses that are dominated by technological and adult-centered perspectives/practices tend to underestimate the youth’s power and commitment to social change. Recognizing this challenge and the urgency of empowering young people to engage in climate actions, the research develops and optimizes a set of participatory design interventions. By employing pragmatic methods, primarily action research and triangulation, this research aims to change students’ perception and behaviors on renewable energy toward commons.

The study also evaluates the long-term effects of the intervention at the students’ school communities to identify the most effective approaches, tools, and principles possible for youth empowerment and their community-based actions on renewable energy. The findings of this research will benefit students and educators, and contribute to the growing literature on collective actions on climate change. Ultimately this research will identify the value of ‘a designerly way of knowing’ to address the socio-material-technological matters and achieve a just transformation towards a sustainable future.

Funding: KONE Foundation



Goeun Park
INUSE Research Projects
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