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Redström, Johan, Professor
Publications (10 of 20) Show all publications
Redström, J. & Wiltse, H. (2019). Changing Things: Innovation through Design Philosophy. In: Academy for Design Innovation Management Conference 2019: Research Perspectives in the Era of Transformations. Paper presented at Academy for Design Innovation Management Conference 2019: Research Perspectives in the Era of Transformations, London, UK, June 18-21, 2019. London: Loughborough University,
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Changing Things: Innovation through Design Philosophy
2019 (English)In: Academy for Design Innovation Management Conference 2019: Research Perspectives in the Era of Transformations, London: Loughborough University, , 2019Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Digital networked technologies are currently at the forefront of contemporary innovation, driving changes in sociotechnical practices across industrial sectors and in everyday life. Yet technical innovation has been outpacing our capacity to make sense of these technologies and the fundamental changes associated with them. This sense-making enterprise is the focus of our current research in developing a design philosophy for changing things. We describe a conceptual framework developed around the concept of things as fluid assemblages to investigate and articulate what is going on with things, and how their development might be (re)directed toward preferable futures. Specifically, we here examine the important role of design philosophy in innovation, using the conceptual framework developed as a way to point toward potential sites for innovation in the current sociotechnical landscape. The line of investigation we pursue suggests that doing philosophy should become a central part of innovative design practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Loughborough University,, 2019
Keywords
design, innovation, design theory, design philosophy, computational, fluid assemblages
National Category
Design
Research subject
design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-161428 (URN)
Conference
Academy for Design Innovation Management Conference 2019: Research Perspectives in the Era of Transformations, London, UK, June 18-21, 2019
Projects
Design Philosophy for Things That Change
Funder
Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, 2017.0058
Available from: 2019-07-08 Created: 2019-07-08 Last updated: 2019-07-09Bibliographically approved
Redström, J. & Wiltse, H. (2018). Changing things: the future of objects in a digital world. London: Bloomsbury Academic
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Changing things: the future of objects in a digital world
2018 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Many of the things we now live with do not take a purely physical form. Objects such as smart phones, laptops and wearable fitness trackers are different from our things of the past. These new digital forms are networked, dynamic and contextually configured. They can be changeable and unpredictable, even inscrutable when it comes to understanding what they actually do and whom they really serve.

In this compelling new volume, Johan Redstrom and Heather Wiltse address critical questions that have assumed a fresh urgency in the context of these rapidly-developing forms. Drawing on critical traditions from a range of disciplines that have been used to understand the nature of things, they develop a new vocabulary and a theoretical approach that allows us to account for and address the multi-faceted, dynamic, constantly evolving forms and functions of contemporary things. In doing so, the book prototypes a new design discourse around everyday things, and describes them as fluid assemblages.

Redstrom and Wiltse explore how a new theoretical framework could enable a richer understanding of things as fluid and networked, with a case study of the evolution of music players culminating in an in-depth discussion of Spotify. Other contemporary 'things' touched on in their analysis include smart phones and watches, as well as digital platforms and applications such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018. p. 181
Keywords
design, design theory, philosophy, philosophy of technology, digital, things, objects, fluid assemblages
National Category
Design Philosophy Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152785 (URN)9781350004351 (ISBN)9781350004344 (ISBN)9781350004337 (ISBN)
Funder
Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, 2017.0058
Available from: 2018-10-24 Created: 2018-10-24 Last updated: 2019-01-15Bibliographically approved
Göransdotter, M. & Redström, J. (2018). Design Methods and Critical Historiography: An Example from Swedish User-Centered Design. Design Issues, 34(2), 20-30
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design Methods and Critical Historiography: An Example from Swedish User-Centered Design
2018 (English)In: Design Issues, ISSN 0747-9360, E-ISSN 1531-4790, Vol. 34, no 2, p. 20-30Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Design history tends to focus on designers and design outcomes, primarily objects. In contrast, historical accounts and analyses of designing are rare. This paper argues for the need of design histories that also address the origins of our design methods with respect to contexts, values and ideas in order to understand what these actually bring to the contemporary design situation. To illustrate what such a historical approach to design methods might bring, we present a study on the origins of Scandinavian user-centered design. In particular, we discuss the Home Research Institute's (HFI) development of methods for investigating and reforming everyday life and domestic work in mid-1940s Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MIT Press, 2018
Keywords
design methods, design history, user-centered design, industrial design, Scandinavian design
National Category
Design History
Research subject
design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146799 (URN)10.1162/DESI_a_00483 (DOI)000428944100003 ()
Available from: 2018-04-27 Created: 2018-04-27 Last updated: 2018-10-11Bibliographically approved
Mazé, R. & Redström, J. (2018). Schwierige Formen. Hamburg: Adocs Verlag
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Schwierige Formen
2018 (German)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [de]

Design findet an einem ambivalenten Ort statt und pendelt zwischen den Anliegen det Kultur und des Kapitals. Als eine Art Kritik von innen erforscht kritisches Design, worum es im Design geht – wie es sich zum Markt verhält, was unter "gutem Design" verstanden wird und wie Gestaltung und die Entwicklung von Technologie funktionieren. Schwierige Formen diskutiert die operativen und intellektuellen Grundlagen einer erneuarten kritischen Praxis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hamburg: Adocs Verlag, 2018. p. 65
Series
Studienhefte Problemorientiertes Design ; 8
National Category
Design
Research subject
design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152782 (URN)978-3-943253-23-8 (ISBN)
Available from: 2018-10-24 Created: 2018-10-24 Last updated: 2019-01-16Bibliographically approved
Redström, J. (2017). Making design theory. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Making design theory
2017 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Tendencies toward "academization" of traditionally practice-based fields have forced design to articulate itself as an academic discipline, in theoretical terms. In this book, Johan Redström offers a new approach to theory development in design research – one that is driven by practice, experimentation, and making. Redström does not theorize from the outside, but explores the idea that, just as design research engages in the making of many different kinds of things, theory might well be one of those things it is making.Redström proposes that we consider theory not as stable and constant but as something unfolding — something acted as much as articulated, inherently fluid and transitional. Redström describes three ways in which theory, in particular formulating basic definitions, is made through design: the use of combinations of fluid terms to articulate issues; the definition of more complex concepts through practice; and combining sets of definitions made through design into "programs." These are the building blocks for creating conceptual structures to support design. Design seems to thrive on the complexities arising from dichotomies: form and function, freedom and method, art and science. With his idea of transitional theory, Redström departs from the traditional academic imperative to pick a side — theory or practice, art or science. Doing so, he opens up something like a design space for theory development within design research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017. p. 171
Series
Design thinking, design theory
National Category
Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-142161 (URN)978-0-262-03665-8 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-11-24 Created: 2017-11-24 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Lindh Karlsson, M. & Redström, J. (2016). Design Togetherness, Pluralism and Convergence. In: Peter Lloyd and Eric Bohemia (Ed.), Proceedings of DRS 2016: Design + Research + Society : Future-Focused Thinking. Paper presented at Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27-30 June 2016. (pp. 4029-4044). London: Design Research Society, 10
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design Togetherness, Pluralism and Convergence
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of DRS 2016: Design + Research + Society : Future-Focused Thinking / [ed] Peter Lloyd and Eric Bohemia, London: Design Research Society , 2016, Vol. 10, p. 4029-4044Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We describe an inquiry into how we relate to each other in design, as we design. In particular, we are interested in to what extent, and in what ways, we acknowledge diversity in knowledge, experience, and skill. We have conducted a series of project courses within design education to make students explore different ways of doing design together. Our findings point to two main tendencies: towards cultures of pluralism, of coming together as who we are; and cultures of representation, of coming together as what we are. This points to important issues related to how methodology and process structure the way we perceive and relate to each other. Indeed, in a disciplinary methodological framework ultimately oriented towards convergence and the making of a final design, how do we evolve and engage with that which must not converge to a single point but where difference and diversity must be acknowledged?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Design Research Society, 2016
Series
Proceedings of DRS 2016 International Conference: Future-Focused Thinking, ISSN 2398-3132 ; 10
Keywords
Design Practice, Design Theory, Design Methodology, Design Education
National Category
Design
Research subject
design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-126964 (URN)
Conference
Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27-30 June 2016.
Available from: 2016-10-24 Created: 2016-10-24 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Göransdotter, M. & Redström, J. (2016). Kitchen choreographies: Homes, things and modern movements. In: : . Paper presented at Design and Time. Design History Society Conference. Middlesex University, London..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Kitchen choreographies: Homes, things and modern movements
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Thinking of things in relation to users and use, there is always some kind of action involved in the usage of things (or interaction, as contemporary design would have it): an action that happens in time and over time, and that more often than not involves movement.  This paper investigates how time – seen in relation to the physical dwelling, the objects in it and the people living there, using things – have been the basis for proposing new designs for things and homes, literally new practices of “modern movements”, in the homes of 1940s Sweden.

The home and its’ everyday things and practices has over the years emerged as a research theme  within design history as well as in other disciplines. Relationships between dwelling, architecture and the ideals of modern living manifest in floor plans and city plans have been explored, as have the styles and aesthetics of things and buildings. Relationships between people and everyday things and environments have opened up for research into how things and people reciprocally build both meanings and practices, as well as how design scripts actions and behaviours. Many studies focus on the kitchen: its’ physical design, the objects related to it and – not least – the (mainly women’s’) work and values associated with it. The Frankfurt kitchen in the late 1920s, for example, has become almost a standard example of how ideas of rationality and modernity were brought into the equation of solving problems of low (or non-existent) standards of housing to address issues of economy in planning and building. Such examples also illustrate interests in scripting new behaviour specifically in the kitchen; behaviours that extended also to the home, and on a larger scale to life and society in general within the modern movement.

In the process of forming the Swedish welfare state, ‘the home’ was central both as a metaphor and as an area of reform and rethinking. In parallel to the planning and building of rational housing to address the appalling housing situation in Sweden, there were similar concerns for planning, education and reform of how homes were actually used and inhabited. A focal point came to be the kitchen, where the movements and actions of women were investigated systematically and scientifically with the threefold aim of improving the building standards, finding the best design of kitchen utensils and equipment, and determining the best ways of working, acting and moving around in the kitchen. In this paper, studies of housework and household objects made by the Hemmens Forskningsinstitut (HFI, ‘The Home Research Institute’) in the late 1940s forms the basis of an analysis of the relationships between things in use and users in action, and how notions of rationality and repetition, optimisation of motions and methods, brought from industrial contexts came to define also what makes sense in a home.

Keywords
design history, everyday life, kitchen, time, things
National Category
Design History History of Ideas
Research subject
design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-129257 (URN)
Conference
Design and Time. Design History Society Conference. Middlesex University, London.
Available from: 2016-12-21 Created: 2016-12-21 Last updated: 2018-06-09
Pawar, A. & Redström, J. (2016). Publics, Participation and the Making of Umeå Pantry. International Journal of Design, 10(1), 73-84
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Publics, Participation and the Making of Umeå Pantry
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Design, ISSN 1991-3761, E-ISSN 1994-036X, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 73-84Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper is about the making of Umeå Pantry, a public participatory art festival performance on matters of concern regarding local food production. Participatory projects have been criticized for the way that researchers harness the creative outputs of collaborative work while safeguarding the underlying power structures. In addressing such critique this project focused on design’s relational and socio-political form rather than the value-added object of design. We argue that a public orientation, as in the case of Umeå Pantry, involves a critical enquiry and reflexive approach, which goes beyond participatory design within institutional boundaries and that there is a need for informal tactics to navigate this open public space. Thus, the paper argues that public participatory design needs to rethink its sensibilities and aim for a greater emphasis on the relational and socio-political underpinnings of a project. Articulating notions such as an open program, movement, relational exchanges and infrastructure, we are trying to find out more about what it takes to prototype new participatory design practices engaging with public matters of concern.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Journal of Design: , 2016
Keywords
Food Production, Participatory Design, Publics, Social Design, Social Innovation
National Category
Design
Research subject
design; Food and Nutrition; sustainability; Aesthetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-129471 (URN)
Available from: 2016-12-30 Created: 2016-12-30 Last updated: 2019-07-22Bibliographically approved
Lindh Karlsson, M. & Redström, J. (2015). Design Togetherness. Paper presented at Design Ecologies. Challenging anthropocentrism in the design of sustainable futures, Stockholm, June 7-10, 2015. Nordes (6), 1-10
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design Togetherness
2015 (English)In: Nordes, ISSN 1604-9705, no 6, p. 1-10Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While science typically approaches complexity through analysis, that is, by unpacking a complex whole into distinct and more manageable parts, the challenge of design is typically to do the opposite; to resolve often contradictory issues and bring together a meaningful whole. We think that there are more to forms of doing design together than our current terminology allows us to articulate. In particular, we want to explore if there are forms of design doing that open up for a kind of bringing together that is qualitatively different from collaboration, in the same way as the meaningful whole design deals with is something qualitatively different than a combination of parts coming out of an analysis. To learn more about doing design together in design education, we have done a series of experiments with multi disciplinary teams. Analysing the results using Arendt’s distinctionbetween work and action, we suggest that there is a difference between collaborative design where people come together as what they are, and a kind of design togetherness where people come together as who they are. In conclusion, we argue that design education might need to revisit its artistic and methodological foundations with respect to participation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nordes: , 2015
Keywords
Industrial Design, Design Education, Design Explorations, Design Theory.
National Category
Design
Research subject
industrial design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-105406 (URN)
Conference
Design Ecologies. Challenging anthropocentrism in the design of sustainable futures, Stockholm, June 7-10, 2015
Available from: 2015-06-23 Created: 2015-06-23 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
Redström, J. & Wiltse, H. (2015). On the multi-instabilities of assembled things. In: : . Paper presented at Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) 2015, Denver, Colorado, 11-15 November 2015.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the multi-instabilities of assembled things
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

One of the key features of a postphenomenological account is its attention to the multistability of artifacts and the many variations that are possible in use. In other words, any given artifact can be perceived and appropriated in a vast number of ways. Recognition and analysis of these multistabilities counters technologically-deterministic readings of artifacts that might see them in the more narrow light of intended use cases and dominant narratives around particular kinds of (technological) progress. It thus helps to ward off reductive approaches that can risk misunderstanding or not seeing what technologies actually do in the world in various contexts, and it does this by pointing to the rich variety of predispositions and possibilities that creative human beings bring to their engagements with the world.

However, in addition to the possibilities around use, and especially when dealing with contemporary technologies, there is now what might be seen as another kind of destabilizing dynamic that is inherent in the technologies themselves. Many of the technologies that we now interact with on an everyday basis are digital products and services that are dynamic and unique in many ways—not only in the interactions and uses they support, but also in their very constitution as things assembled and made available for use. We here outline an account of the multi-instabilities of dynamically-assembled contemporary digital things, suggesting that such a framing and analysis is required in order to understand their character and the many roles they play in the world.

Keywords
philosophy of technology, postphenomenology, multistability, fluid assemblages
National Category
Design
Research subject
design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-112445 (URN)
Conference
Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) 2015, Denver, Colorado, 11-15 November 2015
Available from: 2015-12-07 Created: 2015-12-07 Last updated: 2019-01-15Bibliographically approved
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