About Karen's research

I am in the writing-up phase of my PhD thesis on the water demand of showering. Using mixed methods research, my research explores how to design and evaluate water saving programmes for the real world based on experience in university campus accommodation.

Using the Individual-Social-Material (ISM) toolkit, I co-designed and implemented a number of practice-based interventions that aimed to interrupt student showering routines by targeting hair-washing (and other bundled in-shower activities) by substituting all plastic-bottled in-shower products for a single unpackaged solid shampoo bar. I further explored the constituent elements of showering practice and how socially shared understandings, skills and physical infrastructure provide the script to determine routinised, habitual or automatic activities, that bypass individual rational choice.

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