One of the most narrative installations in the Eco City Lab pavilion of the Saint -Étienne Design Biennale 2008 was FrançÃ§ois Jégou's Sustainable Everyday installation--a series of small LCD screens with an array of personal stories displayed on each. Here's François:
What are more sustainable ways of living? What would the daily life of a family, a student or a pensioner be like if all the sustainable initiatives, projects, and ideas presented at the Biennale International Design were available now in Saint-Ã‰tienne?
To try to answer this question, we asked some people from the French city to imagine themselves in a more sustainable society, to imagine their current life using solutions that reduce our impact on the environment and regenerate the social fabric around us.
Emma, Gabriel, Marie, Margot, Martin and Paul have brought us their "slice of the everyday" to inspire us and show us how we too can imagine ourselves living a more sustainable lifestyle.
The resulting series of images are like little 'photo-novels' which together present several solutions and a multi-faceted vision from the users point of view. These stories, told by Saint-Ã‰tienne residents and photographed in their kitchen or in the streets, are the kind of exercise of scenario co-design with users that we develop at Strategic Design Scenarios; in which visions are built up and visualised, creating tangible proposals for ways to transform our society and prompt the social conversation on our future. These visions are realist and pragmatic: they show solutions that already exists in Saint-Ã‰tienne, imminent projects or solutions that exist elsewhere. Together they form "hybrid realities" that are realistic enough to make us question our own lifestyles, but still sufficiently open-ended for us to be able to adapt them to our own lives. The very fact that visitors are not sure if they are reality or fiction means that they are likely to happen soon.
These visions also illustrate various promising scenarios for transition towards sustainable development: a 'quick scenario' based on developed public services offering standard and easy-access sustainable solutions; a 'slow scenario' based on "enabling systems", allowing 'amateurs' to improve their performance and achieve higher quality result; and a 'co-op scenario' based on collaborative networks and mutual assistance. Each of these three scenarios constitutes a different strategy to guide design for sustainable development.
Allan Chochinov is a partner of Core77, a New York-based design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts, and Chair of the new MFA in Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Allan lectures around the world and at professional conferences including IDSA, AIGA and IxDA, has been a guest critic at various design schools in including Yale University, IIT, Carnegie Mellon, Ravensbourne, RMIT, University of Minnesota, Emily Carr, and RISD. He has moderated and led workshops and symposia at the Aspen Design Conference, the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio, Compost Modern, and Winterhouse, and is a frequent design competition juror. Prior to Core77, his work in product design focused on the medical, surgical, and diagnostic fields, as well as on consumer products and workplace systems. He has been named on numerous design and utility patents and has received awards from The Art Directors Club, I.D. Magazine, Communication Arts, and The One Club.