Yolande Strengers and Hannah Korsmeyer

Monash University
Healthy, safe and comfortable: Future scenarios for home air

Expectations for residential HVAC systems are changing in relation to people’s emerging concerns regarding extreme weather events, pathogens and impurities in indoor environments. In this keynote presentation, Associate Professor Yolande Strengers will trace historical expectations for comfort and air quality in Australian homes, and identify key trends that are leading to potential shifts. Drawing on a body of research spanning over two decades, including current future-focused research being conducted by the Digital Energy Futures team from Monash University in partnership with the energy industry, this talk will present a series of scenarios to think through possible lifestyles, practices and household relationships likely to shape the future of indoor air expectations. The scenarios will provoke reflection on householders’ changing relationships with home air, including their concerns regarding temperature-induced infant mortality, heat stressed pets, infection control, mouldy environments, indoor smoke, and home-based allergens. The talk will consider the implications for HVAC systems and net zero aspirations amid this dynamic context. 

About Yolande Strengers:
Yolande Strengers is Associate Professor of Digital Technology and Society in the Emerging Technologies Lab at Monash University. She leads the Energy Futures Research Program in the Lab, developing non-predictive speculations and scenarios for energy forecasting and demand management to guide policy and planning in the energy sector.

A digital sociologist and human-computer interaction scholar, Yolande works with qualitative and digital ethnographic methods to understand how people (and sometimes their pets) are incorporating new devices into their everyday lives and homes. Yolande's Energy Futures team investigates how these emerging technologies can contribute towards affordable, equitable and sustainable energy futures.

Yolande is the author of Smart energy technologies in everyday life (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013), and more than 50 journal articles, book chapters and conference papers. Before academia, she worked in the energy and sustainability sectors in communications and media roles.

About Hannah Korsmeyer:
Hannah Korsmeyer is a research fellow in the Energy Futures Research Program in the Emerging Technologies Research Lab at Monash University, which develops non-predictive speculations and scenarios for energy forecasting and demand management to guide policy and planning in the energy sector.

Building on a multidisciplinary background spanning science and design, she specialises in creative and participatory methods for bringing diverse perspectives together to explore possible futures – and their implications – to inform decision-making in the present.