BRAM LIEVENS

Contributed Articles

Human Sensemaking in the Smart City: A Research Approach Merging Big and Thick Data

ANNELIEN SMETS imec-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel BRAM LIEVENS imec-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel This paper aims to contribute to the debate on the integration of ethnography and data science by providing a concrete research tool to deploy this integration. We start from our own experiences with user research in a data-rich environment, the smart city, and work towards a research tool that leverages ethnographic praxis with data science opportunities. We discuss the different key components of the system, how they work together and how they allow for human sensemaking....

Walking the Interface: Uncovering Practices through ‘Proxy Technology Assessment’

JO PIERSON, AN JACOBS, KATRIEN DREESSEN, ISABEL VAN DEN BROECK, BRAM LIEVENS and WENDY VAN DEN BROECK This paper describes the method of “proxy technology assessment”, which implies the formalisation of using current technological objects available on the market to generate a richer understanding of future everyday life practices with new media technologies. First, the theoretical framework grounded in theories of social constructivism and domestication is being outlined. Here the concept of “users as innovators” is placed at the centre. Next the concept and the method of proxy technology assessment is presented and elaborated. The results of a recent case study on mobile television on a handheld device are used to illustrate this method. In conclusion we reflect on the possibilities of the integration of the insights gained with this method in the design loop....

Configuring Living Labs for a ‘Thick’ Understanding of Innovation

JO PIERSON and BRAM LIEVENS The paper examines the living lab as an approach within communication studies for examining the naturalistic involvement of users in ICT design, based on ethnographic principles. First a more precise definition of the living lab is presented, indicating the epistemological background. Next the different phases of our living lab configuration are elaborated, illustrated by a research project on a handheld electronic reading device (e-paper). Finally we discuss the value of this approach for companies involved in ICT research and design. In the conclusion also the advantages on product development level and social level are indicated....