Research Projects

The Life and Afterlife of Digital Devices in Academic Research

Institutional procurement processes and waste planning can have great impact in the shift towards sustainable practices by encouraging socially responsible and environmentally friendly technology options as well as supporting the proper disposal of digital devices. Yet digital devices purchased for research purposes often fall outside of traditional procurement processes. Furthermore, while the sustainability of digital devices is well-researched in the field of sustainable human-computer interaction (HCI), such institutional processes in relation to sustainable HCI remain underexplored.

This project examines these gaps in sustainable HCI research and in university procurement through a visual and mixed-methods research study of technology procurement and the end of life of digital devices at SFU. This project investigates how faculty members decide on their technology purchases and what considerations are made for the end of life of the technology. Our goals are to develop SFU-specific recommendations based on the current practices and issues uncovered during research, generalized findings relevant to the HCI community, and a compelling visual narrative to communicate these issues to a broader audience.

Research Team

  • Reese Muntean, PhD student, School of Interactive Arts and Technology

Reese Muntean is a PhD student in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology and a member of the Making Culture Lab at SFU. Her doctoral work examines how virtual reality and 360° video can be used to support cultural and environmental sustainability. She has collaborated with communities in Canada and Thailand, as well as with the United Nations, to create images and interactive installations to communicate values, cultural knowledge, and complex environmental issues. 

  • Kate Hennessy, Assistant Professor, School of Interactive Arts & Technology
  • Todd Mann, Facilities Coordinator, Facilities Services
Reese Muntean