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 Nprocess. However, tools are not neutral but have agencies (Kaptelinin &Nardi, 2006) embedded in them and drawn from the intentions of the peoplewho initially developed them.In realizing that all tools have agency, the question facing the designer iswhether this agency is relevant for the future motives the design activity isdirected toward. For instance, technology might point toward particular typesof transformations that may not make sense for the current motives thedesign is directed toward. Likewise, it is possible that user research pointstoward motives not relevant for the artefact types to be created in the designprocess. This contradiction between inherent agencies in the world and theagencies of possible future activities needs to be resolved through the processof designing.Vygotsky differentiated between technical tools that help people affect thingsand psychological tools (signs oriented toward affecting people) (Kaptelinin& Nardi, 2006). He also differentiated between psychological tools asphysical (maps, for instance) and symbolic systems that may be internalisedby a subject.It is possible to interpret traditional materials as both physical andpsychological tools. They are both used in the production of user-orientedartefacts, and the material may be interpreted as a piece of informationdescribing the material properties. The conceptual material I have presented,however, is only a psychological tool allowing the planning of artefacts anddoes not have the dual character of traditional materials. It may be considereda sign that can be communicated among designers through socialcommunication or mediated through physical or digital means. Importantly,the conceptual material could be internalised by the designer so as to make itavailable for the designer when designing.Bertelsen introduces the concept of design artefacts (2000). These mediateacross the many dimensions of design activity, most notably construction,conceptions and collaboration (Bertelsen, 2000, p. 17). He describesconstruction as the productive relation between the designing subject and theobject of design; conception as the dialectical relation between the designingsubjects and the historically developing activity and cooperation as therepresentational relation between subjects involved in design. The conceptualmaterial may be seen as one such design artefact. Thus, the conceptualmaterial mediates production, conception and collaboration of designs.However, the attention in my work is particularly oriented toward theconception dimension of designing because of the importance creativedevelopment has in the design of experiences.Although, particularly in the production of software codes, the gap betweenproducing designs (plans and specifications) and realising them (usableartefacts) is overlapping, there is still a process dealing with conception of86

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