DOMESTICATION AS DESIGN INTERVENTION.

SARA ROUTARINNE

Abstract


The article reports a study in which design prototypes where domesticated in different households in order to collect responses to them. These responses were then compared to the intentions that were articulated by the designers in a previous study, and embedded in the design of the design prototypes. The results indicate that some of the intentions were found whereas others were not. For example, the scenarios for use presented by the designers were not realized in actual use. Nevertheless, the more abstract intentions articulated for these prototypes were found. On the one hand, the results suggest that design prototypes act as domestication probes that provoke users and help them reflect upon their values, experiences and attitudes in a way not easily accessed by other means. On the other hand, the study illuminates the practices and procedures that people use in order to tame, i.e. make understandable, a material newcomer in a material environment. The results point out some of these folk methods. For example, 1) they understand a newcomer through creating links to historical and existing artifacts, 2) a newcomer may succeed because it makes sense socially, and 3) it may succeed because it finds a slot in the (eco)system of the household. On a more general level the article discusses the ways in which domestication may be used as a design intervention.


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