2MW The wood fuel energy systems conceptual design metamodel- a novel approach to participatory design, contextualised to the case of Mozambique

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de Albuquerque Martins-RJ-2014-PhD-thesisThesis Ricardo Martins September 2014 (CID 00540438)15.82 MBAdobe PDFDownload
Title: 2MW The wood fuel energy systems conceptual design metamodel- a novel approach to participatory design, contextualised to the case of Mozambique
Author(s): de Albuquerque Martins, Ricardo Jorge
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: This research endorsed, built and tested a metamodel, the 2MW: a novel design tool to assist all knowledgeable actors on wood fuel (e.g. firewood users, charcoal makers, policy makers) in the participatory conceptual design of wood fuel energy systems (WES), i.e., in the process of co-conception, co-specification and co-modelling of WES. The 2MW relevance is twofold. First the 2MW fulfils a gap in the portfolio of design tools for WES. Second the conceptual design of WES is a fundamental concern since billions of people in “Developing Countries” (DCs) rely heavily on WES for energy needs; and the WES are mutually embedded within global priorities, including deforestation and poverty. In the context of this work, Mozambique, over 70% of the population rely exclusively on WES, and the charcoal business has an estimated value of 520million US$/year. Despite the documented drawbacks, the few available or applicable WES design tools simplify the WES complexity into a set of parameters to be optimised/simulated into normative and prescriptive tools, mostly computer based and designed exclusively by/for experts to facilitate the analysis/decision on the transition towards what are considered to be more sustainable, efficient and modern solutions. The 2MW represents a fundamental departure from this energy transitions paradigm in a number of interwoven aspects. Based on systems and design thinking the 2MW embraces WES as a complex design problem favouring full participation, reflective practice, learning, sensemaking and suitability to the intended users and contexts. Therefore, the 2MW is not a parametric simulation model, but a design metamodel made of 13 design elements, which make explicit what WES actors think about when they think about WES design. The 2MW is non-computer based and visually presented as 13 boxes drawn on paper or the ground suitable for low literacy and resource limitations in DCs. The 13 design elements have been derived through ontological analysis of relevant literature and semi-structured interviews with 131 pertinent actors in the WES in Mozambique and elsewhere and the 2MW has been extensively and intensively tested in 7 participatory design workshops conducted in rural and urban Mozambique involving over 50 persons covering a wide range of WES perspectives. The results consistently confirmed: 1) the 13 design elements are meaningful, sufficient and necessary intuitively easy to understand and interact, with 2) the 2MW is an effective, efficient, explicit and interactive common ground/language facilitating the debate, knowledge sharing, sensemaking and learning on participants’ terms (by-passing predefined normative and concepts); 3) the WES conceptual designs produced with the 2MW is creative, comprehensive, easily shared and meaningful. Finally, as an efficient and effective tool for WES participatory conceptual design the 2MW is potentially useful to complement other available design tools on wider and more integrated WES design, analysis and implementation.
Content Version: Open Access
Publication Date: Feb-2014
Date Awarded: Oct-2014
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/23294
Advisor: Cherni, Judith
Oxley, Tim
Sponsor/Funder: Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
Department: Centre for Environmental Policy
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy PhD theses



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