Between the Tag and the Screen - Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i ...

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Between the Tag and the Screen - Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i ...

B E T W E E N T H E T A G A N D T H E S C R E E Ninteraction designers, as subjects, interpret materials in their activity. Bothapproaches hold the design activity as inherently social. However, the latterapproach allows us to focus on industrial and interaction designers' subjectiveperspectives that may later be placed in a wider context of collaborativedesign.In this approach, industrial and interaction design practitioners' activity isseen as co-existing with the overarching design activity shared by manyparticipants. In this cooperation, I suggest the design practitioner, due to hisor her particular approaches to the design situation, offers importantcontributions to the overarching design process. This work directs attentionto how to support the industrial and interaction design practitioner’s materialorientedactivity so as to strengthen his or her contribution to the shareddesign process.This shows that SR-RFID technology as material may be seen from differentperspectives, for instance as a mediator of a multidisciplinary process or as amediator of industrial and interaction designers’ activity. Althoughconnected, these two perspectives of SR-RFID are different, and might begoverned by different motives, goals and conditions.Linking individual and collective activitiesStetsenko (2005) discusses the importance of the flow between individualand collective activities. She addresses these as co-evolving and, as such,inherently bound to each other. This is crucial for design practices and allowsfor a theoretical understanding of how individuals function in collectiveactivities. Inside activity theory, such analysis seems underplayed, as manyefforts are focused on shared approaches alone.For instance, Bertelsen (2000) takes up designing as a heteropraxial activity,stating that it involves multiple participants with different backgrounds.Bødker (1998) poses a similar view, seeing designing as a cooperativepractice and defining design as the creation of something new. By doing so,she embraces a common usage of the term that is broader than the context ofthe traditions related to design practitioners. Hyysalo (2002) uses a tighterfocus by addressing product design as it can be analysed through activitytheory. However, Hyysalo’s analysis is also directed toward cooperativework as the dominant interest.Granted, designing can be seen as, and mostly is, a shared activity. However,the dynamics between the subjective agency and the cooperative activity, asshown by Stetsenko (2005), needs more attention in activity theoryapproaches to designing. This is because the industrial and interaction designpractitioner has particular intentions, interests and skills in the shared processof designing that need to be supported in their own right.42

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