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Guiding technologists in México : testing theories of sustainable technological design development to create better design guidelines in a Mexican context

Solis Paredes, Lucia LU (2017) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20171
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Technological development has been used to improve human conditions over time, but has in the process created detrimental impacts on the environment. As political forces shift the focus of technology to solve sustainability-related problems, much faith is put into that technologists will change the way they conduct their work so they create technologies that are more sustainable. Given the lack of an operationalised definition for sustainability, technologists do not know what this change of focus implies for them. Deciphering these implications is important for technologists in México, where a transition to sustainable energy systems is demanded by national directives, but also, where salient social problems are faced, as large part of... (More)
Technological development has been used to improve human conditions over time, but has in the process created detrimental impacts on the environment. As political forces shift the focus of technology to solve sustainability-related problems, much faith is put into that technologists will change the way they conduct their work so they create technologies that are more sustainable. Given the lack of an operationalised definition for sustainability, technologists do not know what this change of focus implies for them. Deciphering these implications is important for technologists in México, where a transition to sustainable energy systems is demanded by national directives, but also, where salient social problems are faced, as large part of the population lives in poverty.
By testing theories that claim to explain the design process of creating sustainable technologies, this research seeks to define a set of guidelines that technologists can follow to incorporate aspects of social and environmental sustainability in their work. By analysing the guidelines against case studies of current technologies developed in México, the research aims to find some challenges technologists may face when trying to pursue the guidelines and to shed light on actions that may help to achieve them.
The guidelines created follow the concepts of development social sustainability for the social aspects, and criteria to meet strong sustainability for some of the environmental aspects. They suggest that first, technologists have to set an objective to their designs, considering the problem of poverty in México. Then, they have to rely on renewable materials and energy if possible. Additionally, they have to achieve their designs have good functionality when compared to other alternatives, so they are accepted by the public. The analysis of case studies shows that one of the main challenges technologists could face is to substitute non-renewable materials with renewables. It is shown that further research in pure science and applied science of renewable materials could be a good strategy to overcome the problem. The analysis also shows that universities may contribute to raise awareness of social problems in students and professors in technology-oriented fields by creating links of collaboration between them and
organisations that work to solve social problems. (Less)
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author
Solis Paredes, Lucia LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
sustainability science, technology, eco-efficiency, sustainable engineering, theory testing, case study
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2017:025
language
English
id
8916225
date added to LUP
2017-06-21 16:06:53
date last changed
2017-06-21 16:06:53
@misc{8916225,
  abstract     = {Technological development has been used to improve human conditions over time, but has in the process created detrimental impacts on the environment. As political forces shift the focus of technology to solve sustainability-related problems, much faith is put into that technologists will change the way they conduct their work so they create technologies that are more sustainable. Given the lack of an operationalised definition for sustainability, technologists do not know what this change of focus implies for them. Deciphering these implications is important for technologists in México, where a transition to sustainable energy systems is demanded by national directives, but also, where salient social problems are faced, as large part of the population lives in poverty.
By testing theories that claim to explain the design process of creating sustainable technologies, this research seeks to define a set of guidelines that technologists can follow to incorporate aspects of social and environmental sustainability in their work. By analysing the guidelines against case studies of current technologies developed in México, the research aims to find some challenges technologists may face when trying to pursue the guidelines and to shed light on actions that may help to achieve them.
The guidelines created follow the concepts of development social sustainability for the social aspects, and criteria to meet strong sustainability for some of the environmental aspects. They suggest that first, technologists have to set an objective to their designs, considering the problem of poverty in México. Then, they have to rely on renewable materials and energy if possible. Additionally, they have to achieve their designs have good functionality when compared to other alternatives, so they are accepted by the public. The analysis of case studies shows that one of the main challenges technologists could face is to substitute non-renewable materials with renewables. It is shown that further research in pure science and applied science of renewable materials could be a good strategy to overcome the problem. The analysis also shows that universities may contribute to raise awareness of social problems in students and professors in technology-oriented fields by creating links of collaboration between them and
organisations that work to solve social problems.},
  author       = {Solis Paredes, Lucia},
  keyword      = {sustainability science,technology,eco-efficiency,sustainable engineering,theory testing,case study},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Guiding technologists in México : testing theories of sustainable technological design development to create better design guidelines in a Mexican context},
  year         = {2017},
}