Out of control: Reframing sustainable HCI using permaculture

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Scopus citations


Sustainable HCI research is often framed in terms of correction and control, such as designing persuasive technology to encourage individual behavior change or to optimize energy consumption. But as others have argued, correction and controlbased approaches detach sustainable HCI from the sociotechnical realm, e.g., by oversimplifying the complexities of the social world and how they participate in unsustainable practices. Many agree that the sustainable HCI community needs to move beyond persuasion and behavior change-but how? In this paper, we introduce an alternative to the control paradigm. We turn to the philosophy of permaculture, which emphasizes working with nature rather than against it, as the control model does. Specifically, we present our fieldwork in contemporary agriculture in Taiwan, which experiments with permaculturebased approaches to agriculture, blending ancient traditions of farming with cutting edge technologies and philosophies. This work demonstrates how permaculture philosophy's alternative to the control model creates potential openings and new framings for sustainable HCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 Workshop on Computing within Limits, LIMITS 2018
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450365758
StatePublished - May 13 2018
Event2018 Workshop on Computing within Limits, LIMITS 2018 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: May 13 2018May 14 2018

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference2018 Workshop on Computing within Limits, LIMITS 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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