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Johannes Stripple

Johannes Stripple

Associate Professor | Senior Lecturer | Principal Investigator BECC

Johannes Stripple

Assembling a Zero-Waste World : From situated to distributed prefiguration


  • Ekaterina Chertkovskaya
  • Jacob Hasselbalch
  • Johannes Stripple

Summary, in English

The concept of prefiguration is drawing increasing interest as a lens to study the collective dynamic and transformative potential of alternative organizing. We introduce an analytical distinction between two modes of prefiguration. Situated prefiguration emphasizes affective bonds and direct struggle taking place in bounded organizational spaces, while distributed prefiguration manifests in wider socio-spatial formations. While situated prefiguration has been studied substantially, distributed prefiguration has so far not been adequately theorized. To conceptualize more spatially dispersed forms of prefiguration, we approach prefiguration from a relational perspective, drawing especially on assemblage thinking, which reveals a different way of thinking about how prefigurative practices are spatially organized. We demonstrate different socio-spatial forms of prefiguration in action through an empirical investigation of the zero-waste phenomenon. Our empirical material is built on site visits to zero-waste stores, interviews with zero-wasters and conventional retailers and online sources related to zero-waste. We find that zero-waste stores transcend situated prefiguration by being part of a zero-waste assemblage that aims to radically transform the food and retail system through distributed prefiguration.


  • Environmental and Energy Systems Studies
  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year





Organization Studies

Document type

Journal article


SAGE Publications


  • Business Administration
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Prefiguration
  • zero-waste
  • alternative organizing
  • assemblage
  • plastic
  • retail




  • Plastics in a circular society: Alternative organising beyond resource efficiency


  • ISSN: 1741-3044