Murmuration as metaphor for sustainable innovation processes
Paper in proceedings, 2018
The construction industry stands before an extensive and essential transition towards sustainability; however, the configuration of the innovation processes that lead to such transition is unclear. In this paper, the concept of murmuration, i.e. the collective behaviour of starlings, is introduced as a metaphor for sustainable innovation processes in construction. The murmuration metaphor captures the flowing, ever-changing non-structure that characterises innovation processes within sustainable construction. This conceptual hypothesis is based on an empirical observation, and the potentials of the metaphor are explored at two interdisciplinary workshops with actors from the Danish construction industry. The empirical validation shows that the murmuration metaphor can generate a useful framework for understanding and discussing sustainable innovation processes in construction. Furthermore, murmuration can be a fruitful addition to the understanding of the societal transition towards sustainability as an elaboration of the niche-to-regime processes emphasised in the Multi-Level Perspective.