Expanding design space(s) : design in communal endeavours

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Doctoral thesis (article-based)
Degree programme
Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS, 85/2013

The present research inquires into the contemporary shapes and strategies of situated and participatory perspectives on design. It proposes a re-conception of the notion of design space to capture the wider interplay of possibilities, practices, and partly assembled technologies, as well as developing competencies and social arrangements that are the basis for ongoing design choices. In so doing, this work looks at the arrangements that evolved at the intersection of two design research engagements. The first engagement deals with the life project of an association of seniors developing an alternative housing arrangement with its related growing-old-together practices. In particular, the first case study draws on a mutual journey to design and develop what the community refers to as their everyday life management system or Miina, which helps them coordinate their daily joint practices. The second engagement looks at forms of active citizenship in the interactions of citizens both with each other and with officials in the city administration as these interactions are enacted through locative technologies. In this case, the research takes advantage of the collaborative design process for an online platform service, namely Urban Mediator, for sharing locative media content about the urban environment. The research highlights aspects that are relevant to the development of design approaches which do not only deal with designers and their design processes, but which can also deal with how both the things undergoing design and the design process itself are simultaneously embedded in existing everyday life arrangements. Drawing on work from different fields, especially Design Research and Science and Technology Studies, the design space framework introduced herein elaborates nuanced navigational aids for long term design engagement. The main purpose of this framework is to help recognize the inescapability of confronting collective design spaces and the relevance and potential that their explicit construction as collaborative endeavours can have in particular settings.
Supervising professor
Díaz-Kommonen, Lily, Prof., Aalto University, School of Arts, Design, and Architecture, Finland
Thesis advisor
Ehn, Pelle, Prof., Malmö University, Sweden
Hyysalo, Sampsa, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Design, Finland
design, collaborative design, participatory design, muotoilu, osallistuva suunnittelu, yhteissuunnittelu
Other note
  • [Publication 1]: Botero, A., Kommonen, K.-H., Oilinki, I., & Koskijoki, M. (2003). Co-Designing Visions, Uses, and Applications. In Electronic Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of the European Academy of Design. Techne - Design Wisdom, Barcelona, Spain: European Academy of Design / Universidad de Barcelona. (Full text of the publication is included in the PDF-file of the dissertation)
  • [Publication 2]: Botero, A., & Saad-Sulonen, J. (2008). Co-designing for New City-citizen Interaction Possibilities: Weaving Prototypes and Interventions in the Design and Development of Urban Mediator. In J. Simonsen, T. Robertson, & D. Hakken (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th Participatory Design Conference pdc08 (pp. 266–269). Bloomington, Indiana, usa: cpsr/acm. (Full text of the publication is included in the PDF-file of the dissertation)
  • [Publication 3]: Botero, A., & Kommonen, K.-H. (2009). Coordinating Everyday Life: the Design of Practices and Tools in the Life Project of a Group of Active Seniors. In Proceedings of the cost 298 Conference: The Good, the Bad and the Challenging (Vol. II, pp. 736 – 745). Slovenia: abs-Center and cost 298 Action. (Full text of the publication is included in the PDF-file of the dissertation)
  • [Publication 4]: Botero, A., & Saad-Sulonen, J. (2010). Enhancing Citizenship: the Role of In-between Infrastructures. In T. Robertson, K. Bodker, T. Bratteiq, & D. Loi (Eds.), Proceedings of the 11th Biennial Participatory Design Conference pdc10 (pp. 81–90). Sydney, Australia: acm. (Full text of the publication is included in the PDF-file of the dissertation)
  • [Publication 5]: Botero, A., & Hyysalo, S. (2013). Ageing Together: Steps Towards Evolutionary Co-design in Everyday Practices. CoDesign, 9(1), 37–54. (Full text of the publication is included in the PDF-file of the dissertation)
  • [Publication 6]: Botero, A., Kommonen, K.-H., & Marttila, S. (2010). Expanding Design Space: Design-In-Use Activities and Strategies. In D. Durling, R. Bousbaci, L.-L. Chen, P. Gauthier, T. Poldma, S. Roworth-Stokes, & E. Stolterman (Eds.), Design & Complexity: Design Research Society International Conference (p. 18). Montreal, Canada: drs. (Full text of the publication is included in the PDF-file of the dissertation)