"Timeframe, scopeframe ...dataframe & theory framed - the news that longitudinal multisite studies might hold for CsCw"

Sampsa Hyysalo

Abstract: The appropriate ways to engage with new technology depend on our understanding of technological change and its implications for work and organization. Unfortunately, the commonest ideas of how development and utilization of new technology relate have three key shortcomings. (1) Skipping over the typically drawn-out circulation of people, ideas, and technical efforts that goes into factually achieving a match between design and desire. As a part of this, (2) masking the often dramatic changes taking place in developer organizations in the course of development work. (3) Failing to address how new technology enters practices laden with existing instrumentation, routines, and visions of the future, and misrepresent what is involved in attempts to change the technical mediation in such relatively durable social formations. Sociotechnical approaches hold promise to remedy these, yet their yield may remain compromised insofar as they are deployed in compartmentalized fashion and resort to a mode of "patch-up theory building". This concern arose in the course of now 15 year long research avenue currently called "biographies of artifacts and practices approach". This approach means research set-ups that span both development and uses of the same technology and studies them on multiple sites and scales of analysis, from minute interactions to decades of development. In conducting research within this approach it occurred, time and again, that temporal and spatial framing of a given substudy offered results that closely matched those that other studies with similar spatio-temporal framing had produced. These happy results, were, however, in all cases questioned as soon as the research engagement was kept going through time, there was change in the study site, or the granularity of our research efforts was expanded or narrowed. In short, these studies suggested that spatio-temporal framing, a seemingly innocent and practical research matter, had profound consequences for the kind and type of findings that emerge and for the implications they held. In studies related to technology, work and organization, the spatio-temporal framing effect may be even stronger the often rehearsed issues of methodology and theory choice issues.

I will lay out this argument by walking through some our the research journeys in new Health ICTs (Hyysalo, 2010), in Social Media (Johnson & Hyysalo, 2012) and in Enterprise systems (Johnson et al, forthcoming; Pollock & Hyysalo, forthcoming). I then outline the guideposts for conducting sociotechnical analysis that the biographies approach suggest. In doing so, I outline some of the novel findings that emerge from our studies. These findings throw new light to questions of agency, learning and designer-user relations in socio-technical change; how these evolve and change shape in the course of the drawn out circulation between developers and users. Both sets of findings question theorizing based on spatially and temporally limited "snap-shot" studies as the only or even core mode of theorizing about sociotechnical systems. Some alternatives and balancing ideas are suggested.

Hyysalo, S (2010). Health Technology Development and Use: From Practice Bound Imagination to Evolving Impacts. London: Routledge.

Johnson, M & Hyysalo, S. (2012). Lessons for participatory designers of social media: long-term user involvement strategies in industry. Proceedings of the 12th Participatory Design Conference: Research Papers - Volume 1 ACM: New York, NY, USA (Pp 71-80).

Johnson, M, Mozaffar, H, Campagnolo, G. M., Hyysalo, S. and Pollock, N, Williams, R (forthcoming). The managed prosumer: Evolving knowledge strategies in the design of information infrastructures Information, Communication and Society.

Pollock, N & Hyysalo, S (forthcoming) The Business of Being a User: The Role of the Reference Actor in Shaping Packaged Enterprise System Acquisition and Development. MIS Quarterly.

Sampsa Hyysalo is Associate professor in co-design at the Aalto School of, Art, Design and Architecture and a Senior Researcher at the Aalto University School of Economics, Helsinki Finland. Sampsa's research and teaching focus on user involvement in innovation and the co-evolution of technologies, practices and organizations. He received his Ph.d in Behavioral Sciences in the University of Helsinki and holds a Docentship in information systems, specialising in user-centered design. In INUSE he is in charge of and works in all subprojects. His most recent books are "Health Technology development and use: From practice-bound imagination to evolving impacts" (Routledge, 2010, New York) and Käyttäjä tuotekehityksessä—Tieto, tutkimus, menetelmät. (Taideteollinen korkeakoulu, 2009, Helsinki). (User in product development—Knowledge, research, methods). Sampsa was awarded Academy of Finland 2010 price for Social Impact of Research.

"Envisioning the collaborative work of the future: spaces, tools, experiences. From user observation to design strategies"

Marco Susani

Abstract: The work environment seems to have lost its ability to innovate. Most of the innovation introduced in work practices in the last 10 years were actually developed, launched and tested in the consumer environment. Mobile devices, operating systems, and interaction paradigms were born in the consumer space and only later have 'invaded' the work place. New social practices like grassroot collaboration and social networking also developed in the 'everyday life' and are now pervading the work environment. The work environment, the tools used, even the architectural space of the office, didn't change as much as it was expected, in spite of the large amount of ethnographic analysis, and of qualitative and quantitative research that revealed major transformations in the work practices. It may be worth questioning why the 'circle of seduction', the virtuous cycle that links new desires with new solution to fulfill them, has worked so well in the consumer space and struggles to show results in the work market. An answer can come from understanding better some of the most effective models of innovation, and recognizing the importance of developing future visions and scenarios to anticipate solutions, prototype them, and test them. I will present examples of potential opportunities of innovation related to the collaborative work-place, in three different domains: 1. The space of collaboration, a hybrid physical/digital space that catalyses collaboration; 2. Tools for collaboration, a multiplicity of interactions to manage both artifacts and relationships; 3. Experiences, high level ecosystems to support the 'collaborative organism' in all its aspects, from memory to knowledge sharing to future planning.

Bio: Marco Susani is a design consultant based in Chicago. He is co-founder and partner of Koz Susani Design, where he is responsible of the disciplines of Experience Design, Interaction Design and Strategic Design. Among his recent projects are a concept for the office space of the future, an Experience Vision for Allstate, second largest insurance company in USA, the Experience Design of NextTV, and a 'cloud-TV' tablet app with MIT MediaLab in USA. His main interest is in combining high technology with emotional design, aesthetic sensibility with strategic thinking, and to use his design vision to drive toward a more human future. He designed for companies like Motorola, Philips, Panasonic, Seiko, Olivetti, 3M, NTT Japan, Zumtobel, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Tokyo Gas, Toshiba, Apple, Logitech, Nestle', Unilever, Telecom Italia, Mediaset, bTicino, Fontana Arte. Prior to Koz Susani Design he has been VicePresident of Experience Design and Director of Advanced Concepts in Motorola, he pioneered Interaction Design research at DARC studio (Domus Academy Research Center), head of Industrial Design at Sottsass Associati, and designer at Olivetti. He established the Interaction Design course at Domus Academy in Milan, has been on the advisory board of Domus Academy, of the Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, Italy, and of the New School of Design in San Diego, has been Visiting Professor and External Examiner at the Royal College of Art in London, and Professor of New Media at the University of Siena's Department of Communication Science. He co-authored the books "Auras of Knowledge" (Liguori Edizioni), "Interface Design" (Domus Academy Edizioni), "Seamless Media (NTT Japan), "The Solid Side" (Philips Design), "Service Design" (Koeln University), "Presence, New Media for Older People" (Netherlands Design Institute), and wrote articles for the magazines Domus, Interni, ICC Japan, Axis Japan, and FP Japan. He gave keynote speeches, lectures and seminars at "COOP 2012", (Marseille), "Alldesign" (Istanbul), "Doors of Perception" (Amsterdam), "Ars Electronica" (Linz), "Mobile HCI" (Salzburg), "Scope" (Wien), Les Atelier (Paris), Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), RMIT Melbourne (Australia), Hochschule der Kunst (Berlin), RCA (London), "Designing Futures" (Australia), MIT MediaLab (Cambridge), and AIGA (Boston), Center for Creative Studies (Detroit).




Supported by

Interaction Design Foundation