Workshop: Ethno-engineering

How to work appropriately with technical practice innovations - enculturing skills for renewable energy.
29 Oct 2017
9:30 - 12:30
Lindisfarne Centre, St Aidan's College, Windmill Hill, Durham, DH1 3LJ

Workshop: Ethno-engineering


  • Ben Campbell, Environmental Anthropologist, and national coordinator of the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network
  • Jon Sumanik-Leary, small-scale renewables engineer, and Low Carbon Energy for Development Network
  • Jamie Cross, social anthropologist of development, University of Edinburgh

Aim of the workshop

The workshop will introduce participatory methods used to co-design a set of community innovation initiatives for applying renewable energy technologies in distinct use niches, which will have value and interest for local communities.

What will be going on in the workshop

Group work on small-scale renewables and ‘domestication’ of new pieces of technology in everyday life.

Gained skills

  • Planning for small-scale renewables: solar-electric cooking, and anaerobic digestion.
  • How to think about what people need to do for a new piece of technology to become ‘domesticated’ in everyday life.

Preparatory work

  • Think about one or two pieces of technology that have been successfully domesticated in your homes, or that have not even been taken out of their gift boxes, or ended up being given to a charity shop or otherwise disposed of. In each case think about why this happened.
  • See if you can locate any existing examples of solar cookers or small-scale anaerobic digestion in your locality.

Participants should bring:

  1. Photos of technology doing a good job and finding a place in people’s lives.
  2. Images of abandoned equipment, kit that is not fit for purpose.