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Energy Resilient Everyday

Visions for a Daily Life with Limited Electricity

Swedish Energy Agency

Designing for the Future

Imagine a future with a completely fossil-free energy system combined with extreme weather. In such a future, access to electricity will not be entirely reliable. At the same time, our daily lives, with constant connectivity, are more dependent on electricity than ever before. This scenario was the starting point of the research project "Design för en energiresilient vardag," a collaboration between Chalmers, RISE, and Boid, which explored what a good everyday life could look like when access to electricity is limited.

Photo: Daniel Engvall

Boost box that lights up with a crank to get energy

Think daily routines instead of crisis

Power outages in the future don't have to be a crisis, but can be a natural part of your daily life. In that case, the emergency kit can't be hidden in a closet but needs to be close at hand in everyday life, always ready. Boostbox, a prototype we developed for user testing, is just that - a lamp, speaker, and radio with a large built-in battery. When the power goes out, you can still perform essential tasks even with appliances that require more power, such as a kettle or blender. If the battery runs out, you can crank up the Boostbox to generate more energy for the most essential needs.

Energy kit

Food is an important part of creating a good everyday life. Not only for nourishment but also for keeping spirits up and socializing. But for some, it might be important to eat precisely at 6 o'clock. Or perhaps it doesn't feel like a real meal if it's not hot?

We tested how different households can practice cooking energy-resilient meals with an "Energy kit," a meal kit with ingredients and recipes for five meals that require little or no electricity to prepare. Many of the food items also keep well without refrigerator or freezer.

The Energy kit was developed in collaboration with Hanna Olvenmark from "Portionen under tian" (Portions under Ten).

Photo: Daniel Engvall

Unplugged

Within the research project, we designed, curated and built the exhibition "Unplugged" at the Design Museum Rian in Falkenberg and the Form/Design Center in Malmö. There, we showcased the ideas and prototypes resulting from the research. For example, visitors were invited to what at first glance appears to be a completely ordinary kitchen. However, some details in the interior and products suggest that something is different; visitors encountered an alternative everyday life in a kitchen adapted for when access to electricity is not reliable. We want to provoke thoughts on how we prepare ourselves to become more energy-resilient, both in our own homes and together with others.

Photo: Daniel Engvall

Become more energy-resilient

Download our energy-resilience puzzle and reflect on how you can better prepare yourself to lead a good life in the future.

With the help of our recipes, you can also practice cooking delicious food regardless of whether there is a lot or little electricity.

Photo: Daniel Engvall

Want to know more?

Contact Katharina Merl, design researcher at Boid. The project now continues with our new project Nog!? - A design exploration of sufficient and fair energy use. Additionally, the project team is seeking additional funding to further develop the Boostbox, so that our results can benefit everyone.

The project is part of the Swedish Energy Agency´s research and innovation program "Design for an Energy-Efficient Everyday Life," which finances interdisciplinary research combining energy research with design and behavioral science. SVID coordinates the program.

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