The University as an agency of change

How can universities quickly pursue practical solutions to the environmental concerns of our age?


Working cooperatively across schools/institutions/organisations/communities/individuals to develop ideas and actions that nourish the living planet.

Sustainable Interaction Design

How can the digital be re-made sustainable?

Environment and bio-diversity

How do we build thriving living systems that support us?

Health, well-being, society

Re-connecting with nature for physical and mental health. Support for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Artists and makers

Ecologically-inspired artworks and inventions.

To visit contact us:


Hasten Slowly: Developing an interactive sustainability storytelling chair (2020)
Callum Egan, Andrew O’Dowd, Neil Fyffe
2020 ACM Workshop: Computing Within Limits, Bristol, UK

The Lions’ Gate: Towards a permaculture-inspired blended space (2019)
Callum Egan, Richard Thompson, Andrew O’Dowd
2019 ACM Workshop: Computing within Limits, Lappeenranta, Finland

Sustainable HCI: Blending permaculture and user-experience. (2017)
Callum Egan, David Benyon
Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference Companion Publication on Designing Interactive Systems Pages 39-43
ISBN: 978-1-4503-4991-8

Permaculture as a foundation for sustainable interaction design and UX. (2017)
Callum Egan, David Benyon, Richard Thompson
Proceedings of British HCI 2017 – Digital Make-Believe, Sunderland, UK

Texts in the Merchiston campus library available for loan:

  • Teaming with microbes : the organic gardener’s guide to the soil food web / Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis ; foreword by Elaine Ingham., Portland, Or. :, Timber Press, 2010., 9781604691139, ISBN
  • Plants for a future : edible & useful plants for a healthier world / Ken Fern., Hampshire, England :White River Junction, VT :, Permanent Publications Distributed in the USA by Chelsea Green Pub Co, 2000., 9781856230117, ISBN
  • Silent spring / Rachel Carson ; introduction by Lord Shackleton ; preface by Julian Huxley ; with a new afterword by Linda Lear., London :, Penguin Books in association with Hamish Hamilton, 2000., Penguin classics, 9780141184944, ISBN
  • Ancient Futures : Learning from Ladakh / Helena Norberg-Hodge., London, Vintage/Ebury (A Division of Random House Group), 2000, 9780712606561, ISBN
  • Do it Yourself 12 Volt Solar Power / Michel Daniek., Permanent Publications, 2016, 9781856232425, ISBN
  • The transition companion : making your community more resilient in uncertain times / Rob Hopkins., Totnes :, Transition, 2011., 9781900322973, ISBN
  • The permaculture city : regenerative design for urban, suburban, and town resilience / Toby Hemenway., White River Junction, Vermont :, Chelsea Green Publishing,, 2015, 9781603585262, ISBN
  • The Permaculture Garden / Graham Bell., Permanent Publications, 2004, 9781856230278, ISBN
  • Permaculture design : a step-by-step guide / by Aranya., Hampshire, England :, Permanent Publications, 2012., 9781856230919, ISBN
  • Cradle to cradle : remaking the way we make things / William McDonough & Michael Braungart., London :, Vintage,, 2009, 9780099535478, ISBN
  • The earth care manual : a permaculture handbook for Britain & other temperate climates / Patrick Whitefield., East Meon, Hampshire, UK :, Permanent Publications,, 2011, 9781856232791, ISBN
  • Mycelium running : how mushrooms can help save the world / Paul Stamets., Berkeley :, Ten Speed Press, c2005., 9781580085793, ISBN
  • Timeless way of building / Christopher Alexander., New York, Oxford University P, 1987, Center for Environmental Structure Series, 9780195024029, ISBN

Other key texts

The Practice of the Wild
Snyder, Gary

The Permaculture Garden
Bell G
Permanent Publications

Telecommunication Networks: Economy, ecology, rule
Cubitt S
Theory Culture and Society, 2014, 31(7/8) 185–199

Wayfinding: A conceptual framework
Passini R
Urban Ecology (1981)

Where The Action Is
Dourish P
The Foundations Of Embodied Interaction (2004)

Re-Space-ing Place : “Place” and “Space” Ten Years On
Dourish P (2006)

Sustainable interaction design
Blevis E
Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems – CHI ’07 (2007)

Responsibilities and Implications: Further Thoughts on Ethnography and Design
Dourish P
Proceedings of the 2007 conference on Designing for User eXperiences (2007)

A Cautious Prometheus? A Few Steps Toward a Philosophy of Design (with Special Attention to Peter Sloterdijk)
Latour B
Design History Society (2008)

Nourishing the ground for sustainable HCI: considerations from ecologically engaged art
DiSalvo, C., Boehner, K., Knouf, N. A., & Sengers P
Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM. (2009)

The new world of the anthropocene
Zalasiewicz J Williams M Steffen W
Environmental Science and Technology (2010)

HCI and environmental sustainability: the politics of design and the design of politics
Dourish P
Proceedings of the 8th ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems . ACM. (2010)

Making food, producing sustainability
Hirsch T Sengers P Blevis E
Proceedings of the 28th of the international conference extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems – CHI EA ’10 (2010)

Mapping the landscape of sustainable HCI
DiSalvo C Sengers P Brynjarsdóttir H
Proceedings of the 28th international conference on Human factors in computing systems (2010)

What if sustainability doesn’t work out?
Tomlinson B Patterson D Pan Y
Interactions (2012)

Retrofitting the Suburbs for the Energy Descent Future
Holmgren D (2012)

Sustainably unpersuaded: How Persuasion Narrows Our Vision of Sustainability
Brynjarsdottir H Håkansson M Pierce J
Proceedings of the 2012 ACM annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems – CHI ’12 (2012)

Collapse informatics: augmenting the sustainability & ICT4D discourse in HCI
Tomlinson B Silberman M Patterson D
Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on human factors in computing systems (2012)

Collapse informatics and practice
Tomlinson B Blevis E Nardi B
ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (2013)

Exploring sustainability research in computing
Knowles B Blair L Hazas M
Proceedings of the 2013 ACM international joint conference on Pervasive and ubiquitous computing – UbiComp ’13 (2013)

A sustainable design fiction: Green practices
Wakkary R Desjardins A Hauser S
ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI) (2013)

Next Steps for Sustainable HCI
Silberman M Nathan L Knowles B
Interactions (2014)

Anthropology at the Time of the Anthropocene – a personal view of what is to be studied
Latour B
Distinguished lecture at the AAA meeting in Washington (2014)

Spaces of Interaction, Places for Experience
Benyon D
Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics (2014)

What have we learned? A SIGCHI HCI & sustainability workshop
Silberman M Nathan L Blevis E
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems – Proceedings (2014)

Rethinking plan A for sustainable HCI
Knowles B Blair L Coulton P
Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems – CHI ’14 (2014)

Plant Guild Composer : An Interactive Online System to Support Back Yard Food Production
Norton J Burke S Tomlinson B
Chi’14 (2014)

Ecological Perspectives in HCI: Promise, Problems, and Potential
Blevis E Bødker S Flach J
Extended Abstracts of the ACM CHI’15 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2015)

Expanding the Boundaries: A SIGCHI HCI & Sustainability Workshop
Clear A Preist C Joshi S
Extended Abstracts of the ACM CHI’15 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2015)