Constitutive Tensions of Transformative Research: Infrastructuring Continuity and Contingency in Public Living Labs

Andrea Schikowitz, Sabine Maasen, Kevin Weller

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Living labs and Reallabore are policy attempts to provide infrastructures for societal transformation towards sustainability. They attempt to do so through facilitating experimental modes of societal learning and innovation in inter- and transdisciplinary environments. We suggest that building and maintaining such infrastructures includes simultaneously rely on continuity by following conventions of knowledge production and allow for contingency as a resource for surprise. Both are necessary, inevitably prompting a’constitutive tension‘. Based on a study of two living labs on urban mobility in Austria, we ask how specific labs inscribe continuity and contingency into their infrastructures. Our analysis shows that the living labs attempted to connect to diverse communities, providing a source for contingency. At the same time, however, we observe a tendency to mitigate contingency when the production of outcomes is at risk. Based on the discussion of this exploratory case study, we reflect upon the transformative potential of living labs.

Seiten (von - bis)60-77
FachzeitschriftScience & Technology Studies
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 29 März 2023

ÖFOS 2012

  • 509017 Wissenschaftsforschung