Perspectives on Cooperative Design
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
The cooperative design approach, which research and practice have proven to be successful in several ways, is based on understanding users and their contexts through a variety of methods. This approach of working closely together with the users, however, is not the same thing as letting the users decide themselves what to design. Rather it means that designers in an interdisciplinary research team, working in close collaboration with the users, will use their design skills and collected knowledge about the users to produce good designs. Though cooperative design has proven successful, there are ways in which it could be improved.
Cooperative design derived as a result of criticism about the lack of focus on users in the design process. In this sense, cooperative design has been the critical view, whereas socio-cultural perspectives such as gender, values and power relations have been either suppressed, deliberately or not, or not taken into consideration to the full extent that they could be. In contrast, three important elements of cultural studies research are meaning, identity and power. Research in this field examines the relationship between people and context, and between cultural and social practices, as well as on forces that change or preserve power structures. One aim of this thesis is to emphasise the importance of these issues within cooperative design.
The focus of my thesis is to, through a phenomenological approach and a critical view of the different cooperative design projects I have participated in, discuss issues that have either been part of the projects’ structure, or have been imposed on the projects by circumstances that perhaps could not be foreseen. Three main issues that need further investigation to understand how they affect the design process are discussed: language and meaning, the individual in the group-oriented activities of cooperative design, and finally power relations and structures. I use myself as the subject through which the socio-cultural and critical viewpoints are shown. My aim is to show that there are aspects of the individual researcher in the cooperative design process that impact the design space and design.
Through a critical discussion of the projects and related issues, this thesis argues that the cooperative design process can involve data and methods that we do not always know how to handle. As a result, we can miss important aspects of the research or end up in difficult dilemmas. Therefore, we need to better understand on what grounds we make design decisions in the cooperative design process, investigate what effect the individual has in group-oriented design processes, and examine how culture, language and power structures guide us and how we use methods such as triangulation. I believe that researchers need to evaluate our cooperative design process from the outside, with the goal of improving these processes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2007. , vi, 96 p.
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2007:13
Cooperative design, design process, culture, individual, intersectionality, power structure, triangulation
Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4495ISBN: 978-91-7178-757-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-4495DiVA: diva2:12540
2007-10-11, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 23, KTH, Stockholm, 00:00 (English)
Roberstson, Toni, Professor
Sundblad, YngveLantz, Ann
QC 201005192007-09-212007-09-212012-03-21Bibliographically approved
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