Many of today’s most pressing challenges, whether climate change, the future of health systems, or global economic disparities are deeply interrelated with our (in)capacity to change current infrastructures and govern socio-technical change. Infrastructures are contested political terrains: they shape the way we communicate, how we move, how we lead our everyday lives; they are interlaced with political and economic power relations and they produce certain inclusions and exclusions.
In my research I am interested in infrastructural change particularly in the field of energy systems - the introduction of renewable energy technologies, sustainable and energy efficient buildings, or the transformation of electricity grids. A particular focus of my work is on cities as a specific context of socio-technical change and on the increasing integration of information and communication technologies in infrastructures as it is often expressed through labels of smart - smart grids, smart cities, smart homes.
I study the change and transformation of energy systems and infrastructures as a socio-material practice and have a special interest in the role of users, households and civil society organisations in shaping change but also in how they become configured in particular ways through different governance strategies.
Questions in this context are:
- How does our way of dealing with the challenge of climate change and sustainability shift social relations and power structures?
- How do new socio-technical assemblages emerge and become institutionalised and others becoming unstable?
- How do we attempt to shape transformative change of infrastructure systems and how successful are these strategies?