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ICED 11
Papers

Design as Sensemaking: An Autoethnography on the Early Phases of Product Development

Design as Sensemaking: An Autoethnography on the Early Phases of Product Development

Year: 2014

Section: Design theory and practices

Editor: Miko Laakso, Kalevi Ekman

Author: Ilkka Kettunen

Series: NordDESIGN

Institution: University of Lapland, Finland

Section: Design theory and practices

Pages: 480-489

ISBN: 978-1-904670-58-2

Abstract

This paper provides an autoethnographic account of my personal journey through the early phases of a design process in a product development project that took place in an SME company. I reflect on my story as a design manager of a small team of designers by using Karl Weick’s theory of sensemaking and its properties as a methodological and theoretical perspective. The main themes of the paper are the identity construction of designers, pursuit of plausibility rather than accuracy, and producing part of the environment the designers face. I conclude with a definition of socio-historical practices that are the culmination of the everyday sensemaking efforts of a designer: construction of equality, discussion about a brief, incubation, drawing, presentation, construction of workspace, collective composition, claiming ownership of a concept, retention, handing over a concept, and storytelling.

Keywords: Design process, professional organizations, sensemaking, autoethnography

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ds conferenceNordDesign 2014 at Aalto University Design Factory Espoo, Finland August 27th – 29th 2014

In the area of innovation, design and product development we quite often seem to know that something works in practice, but might lack understanding on the theoretical foundations. Many of the topical issues related to design, development, and innovation that seem to be regarded as “common knowledge” within the industry, are insufficiently founded from the theoretical perspective. On the other hand, results of academic research are often insufficiently disseminated to the industry. We are calling...

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Special Interest Group (SIG)NordDesign

Enhancing a Nordic approach to product development in industry, education and research...

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Keywords
SIG Workshop - March 2013 - 1