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Department of Planning

PhD defence by Kristen Skelton



08.12.2017 kl. 13.00 - 16.00


The thesis is a result of an Industrial PhD project in collaboration with the Department of Development and Planning at Aalborg University and the former Environment, Health and Safety Division Function at Siemens Wind Power A/S.


The introduction of environmental aspects into design processes, commonly referred to as ecodesign, was introduced in the 1970’s as a business strategy for improving the environmental performance of products, services and technologies. However, former research indicates that adoption challenges remain prevalent and continue to be the focus of investigation. A predominant focus on technical tools and formal procedures is presumed to be the key challenge that correlates to a subordinate focus on social practices and change management. From a pragmatic research tradition, this study seeks to provide a better understanding of how environmental aspects can be integrated in a company that designs, manufactures and services wind turbines. The central research question explored is:

How can ecodesign be cultivated in Siemens Wind Power in a way that incorporates both formal procedures and social practices?

The conceptual principles of EĢtienne Wenger’s communities of practice are used as a theoretical foundation to highlight the importance of involving different stakeholder to create situated learning opportunities around environmental concepts, and also to demonstrate practical measures and considerations on how to cultivate ecodesign practice communities. A design-based research framework is used to articulate how the research is performed and the analysis is divided into three parts, including six manuscripts for academic journals. Based on a continuous process of translation, sensemaking and interaction, an ecodesign procedure was developed, constituting the primary contribution. Additional outcomes include a series of environmental product declarations (EPDs) and a research note for WindEurope. The dissertations findings are especially relevant for the learning of environmentally oriented practices.


Professor Johannes Brezet, Aalborg University (Chairman)

Associate Professor Niki Bey, Technical University of Denmark

Professor Ursula Tischner, econcept, Agency for Sustainable Design


Professor Arne Remmen, Department of Planning, Aalborg University


Associate Professor Mette Mosgaard, Department of Planning, Aalborg University


The department will host a reception after the defence in room 3/2.349 where all are welcome!
Please register your participation no later than December 4th at https://doodle.com/poll/5gm5ut2k4esuchsa


Free of charge


Department of Planning


Rendsburggade 14, room 3/2.349, 9000 Aalborg

Registration Deadline

04.12.2017 kl. 00.00