Public facility design for sustainability: Participatory action research on household recycling in Hong Kong

Kin Wai Michael Siu (Corresponding Author), Jia Xin Xiao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


While many researchers have pointed out that public design can increase users’ sustainable practices, how to achieve good public designs is challenging. To explore the current public design barriers and solutions to household recycling in Hong Kong, our research group, in collaboration with two Caritas Community Centres, adopted participatory action research, including questionnaires, interviews, non-participant observations, collaborative workshops and on-site iterative prototyping process, to carry out a research project. In this project, local residents, recyclers, property management officers and cleaners in five public rental housing estates were recruited to voice their views on public design for recycling. Through the results of the spiral design exploration conducted at Sai Wan Estate, this study demonstrates the validity of action research to promote the participatory design for recycling. The paper concludes with a discussion of some barriers to and experience with applying these methods to improve the practice in the context of high-rise living environments. It also provides experience and insights into action research in public design for designers, researchers and policy makers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-468
Number of pages21
JournalAction Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Participatory action research
  • community participation
  • household participation
  • public design
  • recycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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