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  • 1.
    Davoli, Lorenzo
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Materializing infrastructures for participatory hacking2014In: DIS '14 Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Designing interactive systemsPages, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2014, p. 121-130Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents a design exploration of opportunities for opening up industrial infrastructures in order to make them supportive of more sustainable and locally adaptive configurations. Taking logistic services in a rural area as a case study, we describe a set of interventions in tracing and expressing their underlying functionalities to make them available as design material. The insights gained inspired the speculative design of a concept for a distributed and community-owned delivery network performed by drones. The case illustrates the potential that can be made available when opening up infrastructures for participative design interventions.

  • 2.
    Davoli, Lorenzo
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    van der Vleuten, Ruben
    Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.
    Hacking delivery systems: exploring design tools for user-led innovation in urban infrastructures2014In: Design’s Big Debates / [ed] Design Research Society, Umeå: Design Research Society , 2014, p. 1015-1029Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is an emerging set of needs in our post-industrial society that require a contextualsensitivity and local flexibility that traditional industrial infrastructures seem to lack. As a response, distributed small-scale forms of production and collaborative services are being developed, providing the foundations for more resilient and responsive infrastructures.Using urban freight delivery services as a case, this paper presents a possible approachto accessing and expressing the back end functioning of a large formal industrial urbaninfrastructure in order to make it accessible to bottom-up innovation. The postal servicehas been used as a test bed for two small hacking experiments using consumer and do-ityourself (DIY) electronics: a GPS and micro cameras. Data visualization and videos have been produced in order to materialize and share knowledge about the infrastructure and its qualities. By tracing its underlying functionalities, we aim to reveal otherwise hidden opportunities for design intervention that could become the starting point for participatory design processes aimed at bottom-up innovation in the context of industrial infrastructures.As such, this project aims at adding to the tools and materials available for such designpractices.

  • 3.
    Davoli, Lorenzo
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Wiltse, Heather
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Trojans & Drones: Materializing possibilities for transforming industrial infrastructures2015In: Proceedings of the 2nd Biennial Research Through Design Conference, Cambridge, UK, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Emerging post-industrial societal needs require the evolution of existing networks of industrial infrastructures toward more distributed and citizen-centered configurations. This opens up new questions regarding what design processes and practices are necessary to effect change within these systems that are often deliberately not accessible and open for design interventions. We here present a set of design explorations in tracing and materializing infrastructures in order to make them available for design and participation, taking logistic services in a remote rural

    area of northern Sweden as a case study and field site. A design concept consisting of a drone and drone postbox were used to speculate about the possibility of a community-owned delivery network operated by drones

    in synergy with existing infrastructures. We used these artifacts in staging participatory processes of imagination and experimentation in order to explore possible future configurations. The project provides an example of a possible framework for initiating and curating the transformation

    of industrial systems towards more open and locally adaptive forms and functions.

    In particular, it illustrates the rich potential and opportunities for design when it comes to ways of knowing and designing with the infra- structural—that which is usually hidden beneath the surface. 

  • 4.
    DiSalvo, Carl
    et al.
    Georgia Institute of Technology.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Watson, Matt
    University of Sheffield.
    Commentaries on the special issue on practice-oriented approaches to sustainable HCI2013In: ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, ISSN 1073-0516, E-ISSN 1557-7325, Vol. 20, no 4, p. 26-Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Göransdotter, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Design Methods and Critical Historiography: An Example from Swedish User-Centered Design2018In: Design Issues, ISSN 0747-9360, E-ISSN 1531-4790, Vol. 34, no 2, p. 20-30Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 6.
    Göransdotter, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Kitchen choreographies: Homes, things and modern movements2016Conference paper (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.

  • 7.
    Kuenen, Christoffel
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    The wickedness of design research practices: Methodological issues in bringing knowledge to expression through design2013In: Proceedings of the 5th International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference 2013, IASDR'13: “Consilience and Innovation in Design”, 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we review existing literature in design research to see to what extent it provides a basis for meeting the methodological challenges that we encounter in our own practice- based design research. Seemingly, much attention is given to describing the results and types of knowledge that design research may provide, the purposes those may serve and by what yardsticks those results may be evaluated. Another focal area seems to be the form(-ats) in which the results of design research are presented and disseminated. What is often missing, however, are detailed accounts of the roles that design practice plays that can be picked up and used by others doing design research. This is unfortunate, as it is often such methodological structures that we struggle with. The emergence of ‘design research practices’ entails something more than mere combinations of design practice and academic research. Research typically has the objective of knowledge production; practice has the objective of creating the right thing by solving a set of problems. Considered a ‘new’ kind of design practice, design research practice seems to be more about problem finding through the design and creation of things that bring knowledge to expression. Thus, the process by which it achieves this must be uncovered and articulated. 

  • 8.
    Lindh Karlsson, Monica
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Design Togetherness2015In: Nordes, ISSN 1604-9705, no 6, p. 1-10Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 9.
    Lindh Karlsson, Monica
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Design Togetherness, Pluralism and Convergence2016In: 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 (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?

  • 10. Mazé, Ramia
    et al.
    Olausson, LisaPlöjel, MatildaRedström, JohanUmeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.Zetterlund, Christina
    Share this book: critical perspectives and dialogues about design and sustainability2013Collection (editor) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This is a critical time in design. Concepts and practices of design are changing in response to historical developments in the modes of industrial design production and consumption. Indeed, the imperative of more sustainable development requires profound reconsideration of design today. Theoretical foundations and professional definitions are at stake, with consequences for institutions such as museums and universities as well as for future practitioners. This is ‘critical’ on many levels, from the urgent need to address societal and environmental issues to the reflexivity required to think and do design differently.

  • 11.
    Mazé, Ramia
    et al.
    Aalto University.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Schwierige Formen2018Book (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.

  • 12.
    Pawar, Aditya
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Publics, Participation and the Making of Umeå Pantry2016In: International Journal of Design, ISSN 1991-3761, E-ISSN 1994-036X, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 73-84Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 13.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Form-Acts: a critique of conceptual cores2013In: Share this book: critical perspectives and dialogues about design and sustainability / [ed] Ramia Mazé, Lisa Olausson, Matilda Plöjel, Johan Redström, Christina Zetterlund, Stockholm: Axl Books, 2013Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 14.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Former för hållbarhet = Forms of Sustainability2014In: Metod − Process − Redovisning: Artiklar och rapporter om den fortsatta utvecklingen av konstnärlig forskning = Method - process - reporting : articles, reviews and reports of the ongoing development on artistic research / [ed] Torbjörn Lind, Stockholm: Vetenskapsrådet , 2014, p. 112-129Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Forms of sustainability was a study of how questions of sustainable development affect the way we view design: what it is and what it does. The design field is to a large extent about problem solving, with a focus on use and the user, and in practice not least about the needs of industry and society. as such, the basic perspective is typically to start by asking what design and designers can do for someone or something, what value design can create and provide. The purpose of this project is to some extent the opposite: instead of asking what design can do to establish a more sustainable society, we asked what impact the problems surrounding sustainable development might have on design. Underpinning this is a desire for a critical practice in design research, a way to work with the disciplinary development of the field through experimental design.

  • 15.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Making design theory2017Book (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.

  • 16.
    Redström, Johan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Wiltse, Heather
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Changing Things: Innovation through Design Philosophy2019In: Academy for Design Innovation Management Conference 2019: Research Perspectives in the Era of Transformations, London: Loughborough University, , 2019Conference 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.

  • 17.
    Redström, Johan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Wiltse, Heather
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Changing things: the future of objects in a digital world2018Book (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.

  • 18.
    Redström, Johan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Wiltse, Heather
    Indiana university.
    On the multi-instabilities of assembled things2015Conference paper (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.

  • 19.
    Redström, Johan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Wiltse, Heather
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Press Play: Acts of defining (in) fluid assemblages2015In: Nordes 2015: Design Ecologies, Stockholm: Nordes , 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although design continuously has been expanding its scope of concern and intervention from products to processes, experience, and entire product and service ecologies, ‘things’ remain central to how we think about design and use. but ‘things’ have changed. contemporary materials, technologies and contexts of design and use, we argue, now result in ‘things’ that need to be understood as fluid assemblages rather than traditional objects. these often combine a surface-level simplicity of use with dynamic, sophisticated, and hidden back- end complexity.

    In order to investigate these issues we consider a simple design case and how it has evolved over time and through technological developments: that of pressing play to listen to music. Noting the tendencies in the ongoing evolution, with focus on the simple design element of the ‘play’ button, we suggest that traditional distinctions between design and use are breaking down. coming to grips with the materials and ecologies of contemporary design practice thus requires the development of design theory and methodologies that allow us to articulate and bring into focus these significant new dynamics. 

  • 20.
    Wiltse, Heather
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Stolterman, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design. Indiana University.
    Redström, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
    Wicked Interactions: (On the Necessity of) Reframing the 'Computer' in Philosophy and Design2015In: Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology, ISSN 1091-8264, E-ISSN 1091-8264, Vol. 19, no 1, p. 26-49Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The digital computational technologies that over the past decades have come to be fully integrated into nearly all aspects of human life have varying forms, scales, interactive mechanisms, functions, configurations, and interconnections. Much of this complexity and associated implications for human experience are, however, hidden by prevalent notions of ‘the computer’ as an object. In this paper, we consider how everyday digital technologies collectively mediate human experience, arguing that these technologies are better understood as fluid assemblages that have as many similarities with the infra-structural as they have properties typical for objects. We characterize these aspects in terms of ‘wicked interactions,’ drawing on and adapting the classic theory of wicked problems in design discourse that has similarly consid-ered the complexity of interactions with and within other types of social infrastructure. In doing this we emphasize the need and the potential for building up connections between philosophy of technology and design discourse, with the hope that this might further the shared goals of understanding digital technologies and their consequences and determining how to act in relation to them and their design.

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