Action Research for sustainability: co-creation overcoming fragmentation in multidisciplinary design teams
Paper in proceeding, 2020

Abstract. Sustainable transitions are challenging management and leadership in architectural practice. As means to overcome fragmentation and drive for sustainability, co-creation has become an emerging trend in construction management research and architectural practice. The early 'fuzzy' phase of projects has been identified as of great importance to integrate multi- disciplinary perspectives in the design. With action research in architectural practice, three perspectives of co-creation processes were explored to achieve an integrated sustainable design. The experiences are reflected upon, in-action and in retrospect, and through the FfC framework (Framework for Co-designing), the paper contributes with new insight on success/advantage of co-creation processes for sustainable design. Such advantages include the integration of multidisciplinary competences, the creation of stakeholder value and engagement in early phase construction. Further, action research, and especially Gestalt practice and theory, brought a new relational approach to co-creation processes in early design. The architect, in the new role as ‘knowledge-process designer’, shifts focus towards designing interaction instead of artefacts, and thus contributes to SDG 17-Partnerships. The contribution to practice was twofold; 1) a new digital participatory design tool; 2) an innovative sustainable design solution for urban resilience supporting SDGs 11-Sustianable cities, 3-Health, and 14-Climate.

gestalt practice co-creation

construction management

early phases

action research

multi-disciplinary collaboration


Elise Grosse

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Paula Femenias

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Design

IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science

17551307 (ISSN) 17551315 (eISSN)

Vol. 588 5 052060

Göteborg, ,

Subject Categories

Architectural Engineering


Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)




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