More than Human Centred Design


Communicating Sustainable Consumption and Production in 360° Video

  • Reese Muntean, Simon Fraser University, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
  • Alissa N. Antle, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
  • Kate Hennessy, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
  • Corresponding email(s): rmuntean@sfu.ca
  • Project webpage
  • Research group webpage
  • ACM DL Link: Associated Paper or Pictorial

SCP in 360°: Sustainable Consumption and Production in 360 Degrees is a series of 360° videos aiming to make sustainable consumption and production understandable and engaging to a wider audience. Produced in collaboration with the United Nations One Planet network, the series of six 360° videos looks at the work of each of the programmes in the One Planet network. Each video is roughly five minutes in length and situates the viewer on the ground in the midst of each programme’s sustainability efforts. Researchers conducted a visitor study in situ during the videos’ exhibition that explored whether the videos might help viewers feel for, or better understand sustainability. In contrast to research on empathy in VR, our study suggests that 360° video supports participants in feeling compassion towards the situations viewed and understanding the context and complexity of sustainability solutions.

Follow the links below to watch SCP in 360° (Videos are best viewed in a head-mounted display, on a smart phone via the YouTube app, or on a computer with an up-to-date web browser):

  • Sustainable Food Systems in Costa Rica
  • Sustainable Lifestyles and Education in Armenia
  • Sustainable Buildings and Construction in Nepal
  • Consumer Information in Chile
  • Sustainable Tourism in South Africa
  • Sustainable Public Procurement in the Netherlands
  • Who is the target audience and why design for them? The SCP in 360° video series was intended to be showcased at the 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, during which year Sustainable Development Goal 12 (and thus the work of the One Planet network) would be highlighted. This presented an opportunity to showcase the work of the network to a diverse mix of ministry officials, employees in various UN agencies, and public tour groups. It was also important to us that people to understand what sustainability solutions actually looked like on the ground, given that the general public and even policy makers and UN staff may have limited opportunities to see what sustainable consumption and production looks like in action or to visit project sites.

    What were the challenges or limitations encountered in this project? The production of SCP in 360° included several constraints that impacted our creative decisions and the final outcome of the videos. These included our tight production schedule and our documentary style approach. In our efforts to be sustainable in our filming practices, we kept a nimble crew of two of our core production team traveling to most shoot locations. The time in each location was limited to a maximum of four filming days, which meant that we had to complete our preproduction planning over conference calls and email exchanges. It also meant that more collaborative filming processes with the community had to be shortened (for example, rather than reviewing footage and scenes together with those involved, we would only have time for one or two takes). This production schedule also meant that we did not have enough time to shoot dedicated footage for a 2D version of the films for research purposes.

    What are the opportunities and next steps for this project? As described in our paper more fully in our paper, one of our research questions looked at how 360° video might impact how much people care about sustainability. Given the context in which we ran our study (at HLPF, where people already care a great deal about sustainability), we were limited as to how well we could gauge the impact of 360° video on people’s feelings about sustainability. We also did not study the impact of overall exhibit context of the videos on the experience of study participants. This may have had an impact on the experience by priming participants to think about sustainability solutions, as participants generally experienced the One Planet network exhibit within the context of HLPF before putting on the VR headset. Some researchers have been exploring pre-VR entryways to help prepare users for their experiences, and perhaps a pre- or post-VR intervention could aid in reflection and integration of 360° sustainability experiences specifically or experiences in environment environments more generally. We plan to address these issues in future studies.