Dan Podjed
26 Oct 2019
13:30 - 16:30
Undervisningsrom 1


Time: 13:30 – 16:30

Location: Undervisningsrom 1

The workshop is facilitated by:

  • Dan Podjed, an Applied Anthropologist from Slovenia and Executive Advisor of Applied Anthropology Network

Aim of the workshop

  • To show how ethnography can be used to design innovative solutions for improvement of waste management and promotion of sustainable practices in cities. Global “heap of rubbish” is growing at an alarming rate. According to the World Bank, global solid waste will rise from 3.5 million tons per day in 2010 to 6 million in 2025. Over the course of a lifetime, a person produces a staggering amount of waste, on average 600 times her or his body weight. Each person in Europe currently produces, on average, half a ton of household waste alone, of which only 40% is reused or recycled. Hence, we need new solutions to reduce production of waste, change our current practices, and influence the existing consumption patterns.


  • In the first part of the workshop, participants will be involved in an ethnographic study, which will be carried out in a micro-location in Oslo. By “digging through trash” and doing participant observation in the city, participants will get familiar with “garbology” to understand the local waste management practices and to be able to make a comparison with other socio-cultural contexts. In the second part of the workshop, the participants will get familiar with the 4 steps of the people-centered approach (1. Identification, 2. analysis, 3. Interpretation, 4. testing) to design ethnography-based solutions for supporting more sustainable waste-related practices in urban areas.


  • No preparations needed

Suggested preparatory readings:

Getting familiar with some basic works on “garbology” (recommended, not necessary):

Douglas, Mary. 1966. Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concept of Pollution and Taboo. Routledge & Keegan Paul.

Evans, David. 2014. Food Waste: Home Consumption, Material Culture and Everyday Life. Bloomsbury Academic.

Humes, Edward. 2013. Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash. New York: Avery.

Nagle, Robin. 2013. Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Shove, Elizabeth. 2003. Comfort, Cleanliness and Convenience: The Social Organization of Normality. Oxford: Berg Publishers.

Strasser, Susan. 1999. Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash. New York: Metropolitan Books.

Thompson, Michael. 1979. Rubbish Theory: The Creation and Destruction of Value. New York: Oxford University Press

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