Activity as the Ultimate Particular of Interaction Design

Högre seminarium i medieteknik med Annika Waern

Annika Waern (foto: Mirjam Palosaari Eladhari)
  • 29 November
  • 13.00 – 15.00
  • MD338 (Closed corridor, please be in time or announce your presence to Mirjam Palosaari Eladhari)
  • There will be fika

In the turn towards practice-oriented research in interaction design, one of the most important proposals has been the emphasis on the ’ultimate particulars’ produced by design, as embodiments of design knowledge. In current HCI research, those particulars are almost always taken to be ‘things’ – artefacts or singular systems. We argue that this emphasis may have come at a cost that can be described as a loss of identity; interaction design research was never primarily concerned with the design of artefacts, but with how humans act and interact with each other with and through artefacts. We propose a complementary perspective by looking at design projects and traditions where the ‘ultimate particulars’ can be considered to be activities rather than things. The article is concerned with how knowledge needs to be articulated in the scholarly engagement with such design practices. We argue that engagement with activity-centric design gets design research one step closer towards understanding salient contemporary design practices and what Buchanan calls ‘environmental design’.

About Annika Waern

Annika Waern, professor in Human Computer Interaction at Uppsala University, is a research through design scholar, focussing on the design of game and play in the physical world. Her work includes seminar work on pervasive game design, but also work on the design of public play installations for children and play installations in science centers.