Beyond Behaviour Change current projects.
Work / life ecologies: lifestyles, sustainability practices, Sustainable Urban Precincts Project (SUPP), 2015-2017
This project aims to understand staff and students' broader lifestyles as part of a work-life ecology, occurring across a range of spaces, both physical and virtual. Of particular focus is the relatedness of these practices to the consumption of energy and water resources, and the opportunities for integrating sustainability into these in a holistic way. In this respect, the research recognises that RMIT is embedded into a range of socio-technical systems that extend beyond it's own 'carbon footprint'. This requires novel and innovative ways of understanding how resource use straddles the boundaries of RMIT as a social institution, digital hub, and urban space.
The project will identify and describe a range of everyday practices that are amenable to being investigated in this way, and attempt to identify potential avenues for shifting these practices to less resource intensive configurations.
Automating the smart home, ARC DECRA, 2015-2018
Home automation technologies are expected to achieve reductions in household energy costs and consumption. However, there has been no systematic investigation of the ways in which they are being incorporated into everyday life. This three-year project will be the first Australian investigation of how automated technologies are being incorporated into household practices, and the expectations they promote, sustain and transform. The study will produce important new knowledge about how to study and understand the effects of ambient and automated technologies in everyday life and their potential impact on energy consumption.
Embedding sustainability in food practices: Investigating spaces of food provisioning and consumption for students at RMIT city campus
As large scale participants in food provisioning and consumption practices, academic institutions like universities have a crucial part to play in food sustainability transitions. As a part of the RMIT Sustainable Urban Precincts Project (SUPP) this PhD project is investigating how the eating practices of the students are shaped by the spaces provided by the university and how they may be steered towards more sustainable directions. Using ethnographic and visual methods, the study uses the formal and informal spaces of food consumption and provisioning in and around RMIT’s city campus as key focal points. The study aims to determine if sustainability transitions and interventions can be designed using the knowledge of how practices of food provisioning and consumption in these spaces interact with or intervene in the eating practices of students.
Constructions and practices of ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ meat: implications for meat consumption and the treatment of animals, 2014-2017
Reflecting the ethical turn in consumption, meat promoted and labeled as ethical, humane and/or sustainable has emerged as an apparent solution to increasing concerns.
These include the environmental, health and animal welfare impacts of factory-farmed meat.
In this PhD research, Paula is using discourse analysis and interviews/observations with producers and consumers of this meat to explore how it is constructed as being ethical and sustainable and how it interacts with existing meat practices. The research will provide insights into the likely implications of ethical and sustainable meat in terms of addressing the impacts of the system that it claims to challenge.
Horsham Catalyst Housing Evaluation, Department of Human Services, 2013-2015
The Victorian Government’s Department of Human Services has engaged the Beyond Behaviour Change research team to undertake an evaluation of a sustainable housing project in Horsham (rural Victoria).
The focus of the research is on four public housing units built to best practice environmental sustainable design principles. The units are intended to lower utility bills, improve indoor comfort and provide greater resilience to predicted climate change impacts. The evaluation project aims to inform future policy development at the DHS.
The rise of ethical consumption in Australia: from the margins to the mainstream, ARC Discovery, 2013-2015
This nationwide project is the first of its kind to examine the rise and impact of ethical consumption in Australia.
Through engaging with consumers, retailers and producers, the project’s findings are enabling the development of policy and industry frameworks aimed at the promotion of more ethical and sustainable ways of consuming.
Selandra Rise, VicHealth, 2010-2015
Selandra Rise is a master-planned housing estate in Melbourne’s south-east designed to promote the health and wellbeing of residents.
The estate is being built by Stockland, with input from the Planning Institute of Australia, the Victorian Growth Areas Authority and the City of Casey. Interviews and a survey are being used to understand the lived experience of Selandra Rise residents over time, focusing on studying ‘healthy’ practices. The project is funded through a VicHealth Research Practice Fellowship awarded to Cecily Maller.