DI Webinar – Michael Stead

Designing Sustainable Technological Futures: The Repair Shop 2049 & Other Adventures

It estimated that by 2030 there will be over 25 billion active Internet of Things devices worldwide, while the zettabytes of data being generated through our interactions with so-called ‘smart’ technologies is increasingly contributing to ICT’s overall carbon footprint which now accounts for around 4% of global CO2 emissions. Although emerging technologies can help us to make better sense of the world and offer important breakthroughs for many sectors like healthcare, transport and manufacturing, our rapid embracement Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and related innovations is also leading to the depletion of precious natural resources, rising carbon emissions and mountains of obsolete technology. To explore these challenges, this talk will present a series of design research projects that apply novel design futuring methods including Design Fiction and Experiential Futures to illustrate how the environmental impacts arising through the greater adoption of ‘smart’ data-driven technologies can be made more visible, engaging and potentially actionable to publics, policy makers and industry.



Michael Stead is Lecturer in Sustainable Design Futures at Lancaster University’s design lab ImaginationLancaster. His current research critically and creatively explores the growing environmental and social challenges and opportunities that so-called ‘smart’ technologies including IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Digital Fabrication present for achieving sustainability goals like the Circular Economy and Net Zero 2050.


Running Order

16.00 – Welcome by John Vines & Susan Lechelt

16.10 – Talk by Michael Stead

16.40 – Q&A

17.00 – End

Online via Zoom or Inspace