An activity theory framework for industrial design

Desai, Gaurang (2008) An activity theory framework for industrial design. Journal of Design Research, 7(3), pp. 304-316.

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Ethnography has gained wide acceptance in the industrial design profession and curriculum as a means of understanding the user. However, there is considerable confusion about the particularities of its practice accompanied by the absence of an interoperable vocabulary. The consequent interdisciplinary effort is a power play between disciplines whereby the methodological view of ethnography marginalises its theoretical and analytical components. In doing so, it restricts the potential of ethnography suggesting the need for alternative methods of informing the design process. This article suggests that activity theory, with an emphasis on human activity as the fundamental unit of study, is an appropriate methodology for the generation of user requirements. The process is illustrated through the adaptation of an ethnographic case study, for the design of classroom furniture in India.

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ID Code: 26645
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Activity Theory, Industrial Design, Ethnography, Design Research , Furniture Design
DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2008.024197
ISSN: (Online) 1569-1551 (Print) 1748-3050
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Australasian CRC for Interaction Design (ACID)
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Inderscience Enterprises Limited.
Deposited On: 05 Aug 2009 00:49
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2010 16:48

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