Mid-Range Transition Pathway Designs Toolset (MTPT)
Tatu Marttila, post-doctoral researcher, Satu Lähteenoja, doctoral researcher, Kaisa Savolainen, doctoral researcher, Department of Design, led by Sampsa Hyysalo, Professor of co-design, Department of Design, School of Art, Design and Architecture, Aalto University.
The need for energy transition pathways is urgent, but there is no one ‘silver bullet’ that can achieve this goal. Technological innovation alone won’t see us achieve a sustainable energy future. It is also about developing new regulations, new taxation mechanisms, new consumption patterns, new land use patterns, and a systemic approach. Methods for how to assess and decide on these complex factors require specific expertise.
Scenarios for change that can accommodate the insights and expertise of a plurality of voices are needed. Led by professors and researchers at Aalto University’s School of Art, Design and Architecture, the Mid-Range Transition Pathway Design Toolset (MTPT) can facilitate these voices, negotiating effective transitions. The typical timeframe for transition management work is 30-80 years. For the energy transition, this timeframe is too long. MTPT aims to address this by adopting a shorter, mid-range timeframe.
Rather than planning future pathways in a top-down manner, participants in MTPT workshops negotiate a vision and aims for the future together. With the help of magnetic elements that represent pathway steps on a metallic board with a timeline, participants with a wide range of expertise work together to identify obstacles to realising certain goals and ways of overcoming them. A digital counterpart built on the Miro platform is also available. While the digital experience may lose out on networking opportunities versus its physical counterpart, the digital board allows for more participants to work with the board itself simultaneously. In both cases, incorporating a wide range of expertise in co-design allows for the creation of realistic actions and targets to transition to climate neutral infrastructures.
MTPT underscores the fact that transitioning away from fossil fuels towards sustainable energy solutions means having to make choices across energy production and consumption. Changing the ways in which we produce, transmit and consume energy without fossil fuels, is not simply a question of changing the energy source, while still consuming at our current rate. A sustainable energy future will require governments, agencies, businesses, and everyone in society to rethink their consumption habits and everyday behaviour. MTPT can provide decision makers with the tools to make the best choices for a sustainable future.
Researchers: Tatu Marttila, post-doctoral researcher, Satu Lähteenoja, doctoral researcher, Kaisa Savolainen, doctoral researcher, Department of Design, led by Sampsa Hyysalo, Professor of co-design, Department of Design, School of Art, Design and Architecture, Aalto University.
Text: Peter Taggart
The Department of Design is a diverse community of competent, creative and responsible individuals. In design, we appreciate technical skill, social significance and artistic expression.