On Tuesday 10th February, the Disruption Project held a joint workshop with the AHRC “Material Cultures of Energy” project at Birkbeck College in London.
The aim of the workshop was to take stock of current approaches to disruption, to reflect on methodologies and to think about insights for attempts to change how we live. The various scales of disruption (temporal, spatial, planned/unplanned; novel/repetitive) were used as a way into this multi-faceted subject.
Questions were asked about what disruptions can reveal about the workings of infrastructures and the importance of particular habits or practices in people’s lives. Individuals’ and institutions’ experiences of disruption as a practical, emotional and moral event, were discussed and what these can tell us about the degree of flexibility and expectations of a “normal life”. The overall aim was to gather insights from the research for practitioners thinking about managing disruption in the future, and how and when disruption is seen as a threat to established systems and daily routines, and when as a catalyst for change and innovation.
In the course of the day, the discussion of these different scales and dimensions was linked to the perspectives of practitioners (from DECC, Defra, TfL and Climate UK) who are confronting disruption with a final session bringing together the insights from disruption for our understanding of “normal” life and the potential for change.