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Copy of Test_improv

Test improv presentation

Sabrina Sauer

on 7 March 2011

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Transcript of Copy of Test_improv

Users as designers: the case of SensorLab

"Join in and be pleasantly puzzled" Sabrina Sauer Living Labs “a R&D methodology where innovations, such as services, products and application enhancements, are created and validated in a collaborative environment with real world settings. This human-centric approach considers humans as the source of innovation, not just as an object for testing and feedback”
Who are these users? How do users perform the role of designer in a Living Lab? Assignment: Design and build a
working pollution measuring prototype
that draws attention of people passing by How did they come up with their designs?
Not "real" designers, working in groups:
a collective effort They made use of different resources to make their design decisions The setting: assignment structure:
1. Brainstorm
2. Conceptualisation
3. Building
4. Testing
And possibilities of a mobile FabLab The available materials:
Sensors, balloons, toys, cardboard,
duct tape, inflatable sealion, foam, shovels
parachutes, pipettes, rope, glueguns, camera's Expert knowledge/practices:
Design and sensor experts from HvA and TNO
were part of each of the student teams and volunteered
information - if this was requested. Own background knowledge/practices of students:
- Ideas generated by i.e. references to building with Lego
- Associative thoughts about what draws attention i.e. a "Mario" moustache to make the
nose prototype recognizable; using a car to alarm people about car pollution. But also:
-Ideas about how they should proceed: with a mind map, starting with materials or with concepts Messy proces Suchman's "situated action" Courses of action "depend in essential ways on material and social circumstances" (2007:193) Plans as ordering devices that are emergent in practice Interplay of resources Improvisation Unforseen (Montuori, 2003) Music: virtuose and makeshift

Link to rules Anthropology (Ingold & Hallam):
Characterise creative process in terms of improvisation. Improvisation does not occur inside a situated frame, but constitutes this frame: Improvisation -> socio-material arrangements
- It is generative
- Relational
- Temporal Performance theory
Students all attuned or aligned to the resources in particular ways (i.e. focusing on the materials at hand, asking advice, disregarding the pre-set structure of the day), keeping a close watch on their design assignment.
Ideas came up in an interplay of resources, where ultimately, the shape of the prototype was connected not only to the (material) resources, but also to what the students presumed their audience (the people passing by) would recognize (a giant nose, a sealion "sniffing" the air, a car measuring air quality)

I think that especially the relational aspects of interplay of resources works to catch the messiness and say something about the "performance" of the designer role by the students. They continuously reposition themselves to the
resources, to create, relate and work within the time
limits afforded to them, as a collective. (This can be
referred to as the interplay, process of signification Their background knowledge/practices, essential to
Living Lab-projects, emerges as only 1 of the
resources used. Is it then not rather the "interplay" that
these labs should focus on?

Alternative thoughts: by creating the prototypes, the students
also become the producers of the public space

NEXT STEPS: See what happens when less lay users
engage in a similar prototyping project Goal:
Teach high school students about sensors via "Citizen Research" -
Let them become involved in collecting environmental data by building and using
working sensor prototypes Actor network theory How relationships assemble Order and disorder, translations Folstad (2008: 106) identifies two main purposes of Living Labs; to discover unexpected ICT uses and to evaluate or validate new products with users. “a goal-directed problem-solving activity” (Jones, 1981: 8) Design oriented assignment How the students create a prototype, of which they themselves are the future users. Making technologies is, in consequence, a practice of conŽguring new alignments between the social and the material that are both localized and able to travel, stable and reconfigurable, intelligibly familiar, and recognizably new. (Suchman, 2002) technologies-in-the-making afford an opportunity to
investigate the imaginative and practical activities through which sociomaterial relations are reproduced and transformed participatory forms of design emphasize the value of crossing professional boundaries and reworking relations of technology production (Suchman 1994). Within this developing theoretical frame, the prototype offers a perspicuous case of a performative artefact that works to align multiple, discontinuous social worlds. Like any technology, the prototype does not work on its own, but as part of a dynamic assemblage of interests, fantasies and practical actions, out of which new socio-material arrangements arise. Creative process between actors Thank you - Flow - "Csikszentmihalyi As a game: this interplay is an active process, a scenario of a situation that produces more than an “active reader”. The effect is akin to Barthes’s notion of the writer, or what he terms, the scriptor: “the modern scriptor is born simultaneously with the text, is in no way equipped”. Barad: "object and subject do
not pre-exist but emerge intra-actively" (2007, 88) Setting & context
Focus on assignment as it is contextually relevant to this particular set of activities, although context arises from the activities.
The assignment is a form of "rule" that is played with (Dourish's (2003) idea that practice unites action and meaning - it evolves and adapts Examples of how students interacted with the setting:
Differences between the groups


IMPROVISATION: they are experts of this
daily life improvisation

Question of adaptation:
so they play with this role of designer
Full transcript