Constitutive Tensions of Transformative Research
Infrastructuring Continuity and Contingency in Public Living Labs
Living labs and Reallabore are policy attempts to provide infrastructures for societal transformation towards sustainability. They attempt to do so through facilitating experimental modes of societal learning and innovation in inter- and transdisciplinary environments. We suggest that building and maintaining such infrastructures includes simultaneously relying on continuity by following conventions of knowledge production and allowing for contingency as a resource for surprise. Both are necessary, inevitably prompting a “constitutive tension”. Based on a pilot study of two living labs on urban mobility in Austria, we ask how specific labs inscribe continuity and contingency into their infrastructures. Our analysis shows that the living labs attempted to connect to diverse communities, providing a source for contingency. At the same time, however, we observe a tendency to mitigate contingency when the production of outcomes is at risk. Based on the discussion of this exploratory case study, we reflect upon the transformative potential of living labs.
- 2023-09-15 (2)
- 2023-03-29 (1)
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Copyright (c) 2023 Andrea Schikowitz, Sabine Maasen, Kevin Weller
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