Theory Instruments as Tangible Ways of Knowing
JESSICA SORENSON Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark METTE GISLEV KJÆRSGAARD Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark JACOB BUUR Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark MARY KARYDA Department of Sociology and Environmental Economics, University of Southern Denmark AYŞE ÖZGE AĞÇA Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark While ethnographers and the data they produce already play a role in affecting industry practices, there is potential to integrate anthropological ways of seeing and knowing into a shared transdisciplinary design praxis. In a series of design research experiments, we have taken a pragmatic and playful approach to physicalizing theory. The result is a set of ‘Theory Instruments’ that transform theory into tangible interaction. Theory Instruments scaffold knowledge production by encouraging new ways of seeing organizations, products, users, and the relations between them....
Anticipating Connectivity in (UX) Design Practices: Reframing Challenges by Introducing Theory Cards
METTE GISLEV KJÆRSGAARD Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark WAFA SAID MOSLEH Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark JACOB BUUR Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark JESSICA SORENSON Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark This paper presents a design anthropological study with User Experience design departments from five large companies in Denmark, ranging from manufacturers of medical equipment through toys to control systems for industrial infrastructures. We explore the challenges they face as products, services, and user research are increasingly connected. Our research shows that current methods, development processes, and organizational structures do not sufficiently support User Experience design teams in dealing with emerging design and organizational challenges that follow from increased digitalization. As a result, UX designers are struggling to anticipate the future of product interaction,...
Physicalizations of Big Data in Ethnographic Context
JACOB BUUR Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark SARA SAID MOSLEH Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark CHRISTINA FYHN NIELSEN Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark With the Big Data hype, making digital data accessible and relatable for non-data experts is becoming an increasing challenge. In this paper we suggest Data Physicalization as a novel approach to facilitate conversations with collaborators about the meaning of data. While this challenge has been approached with data visualizations before, we propose that Data Physicalizations can bring stronger engagement and even more depth to the data than visualizations can offer. Based on four design examples, we investigate how data, when made physical, can be used to instigate valuable reflections between field researchers and non-data experts, and can serve as a platform for design. In all cases we worked with Data Physicalization to enhance our own understanding of the field, to engage collaborators in sense-making, and to...
Ethnography as Design Provocation
JACOB BUUR and LARISA SITORUS In this paper, we present our experience in sharing ethnographic material with engineers that have a very different perception of technology and the role of its users. Rather than convey ‘findings’ in a rational argument, we have experimented with formats where the role of the ethnography is to provoke engineers to reframe their perception of new designs. Based on four design encounters (workshops) from two different design projects completed in industry, this paper looks at the ways in which the ethnographic material provokes design. We use video transcripts and conversation analysis to learn more about this mechanism of provocation....
Ethnographic Findings in the Organizational Theatre
JACOB BUUR and ROSA TORGUET In the quest for engaging ethnographic insight in organizations on a more fundamental level than mere ‘innovation drivers’, theatre offers ways of triggering a change in conversations through emotional engagement. This paper discusses the impact of using theatre with professional actors to convey the outcome of ethnographic ‘user studies’ to industry and academia. In a project on indoor climate control with five company partners, the field studies brought about controversial findings, like ‘Indoor comfort is what people make’ – as opposed to something fully controlled by technology and ‘provided’ to inhabitants. We explore how theatre improvisation can convey such findings and thus support the provoking role that ethnography may play in organizations. Based on the study of two theatre sessions, we will articulate the importance of balance between playful and serious, of explorative discussion, and of supportive event planning and space layout to achieve audience engagement....