ENABLING OBJECTS FOR PARTICIPATORY DESIGN OF SOCIO-TECHNICAL SYSTEMS
DS 68-7: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 7: Human Behaviour in Design, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Badke-Schaub, P.
Author: Broberg, Ole
Section: Human Behaviour in Design
The aim of this paper is to identify and explore the role of objects in participatory ergonomics design processes. The question in focus is: What characterizes objects in PE processes? First the concept of boundary objects is introduced as a starting point for investigating the role of objects. Second, findings of a search to identify objects in PE processes are reported. Third, objects fulfilling the requirements for boundary objects are placed in one of five categories. Fourth, empirical findings from two PE case studies in which objects played an important role are presented. Finally, based on a grounded theory approach, a characterization of objects in PE design processes is developed and a framework for how the use of objects in PE processes could be conceptualized is proposed. In conclusion, the concept of objects in PE processes is contextual, and the ergonomist or other design actor needs to actively consider their selection and the stage at which they are to be used.