Participatory inquiry Collaborative Design
Abstract: This dissertation focuses on design sessions in which users and stakeholders participate. It demonstrates how material from field studies can be used in exploratory design sessions. The emphasis is on the staging and realization of experiments with ‘possible futures’. Using a design perspective I have worked with how field studies can contribute to design processes in which many parties collaborate. With a starting point in collaborative ‘sketching’ and creation of scenarios I have striven to create a meaningful way for design teams to adopt a practice perspective. The dissertation shows that there need not be any opposition between exploring ‘what is’ and envisioning ‘what can be’. The increase of computer technology in everyday life and the development making information technology become an integrated part of more and more everyday products has given rise to a need to find new ways of working in the process of designing. If it was ever possible to work in an isolated way on either digital or physical technology, this is no longer the case since development requires collaboration over these borders. In the same way, IT plays an increasing significant role in people’s everyday lives. User focus and user involvement have become commonplace. This calls for new ways of organizing the design process. The present dissertation meets this problem. I have participated in four projects in which exploring users everyday practices has become a meaningful design activity and a foundation for collaboration. The purpose of this dissertation is to shed light on the possibilities and the advantages offered by working design oriented with material from field studies. Furthermore, it strives to show how design sessions can be organized and carried out on a practical level and exemplifies with concrete projects. Special emphasis is given to the creation of and the inquiry into design material and the development and use of design games.
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