ENACTING DESIGN: UNDERSTANDING CO-DESIGN AS EMBODIED PRACTICE

Kirsikka Vaajakallio

Abstract


A growing number of researchers and designers share the ambition to involve diverse groups of actors in design activities. While new approaches arise continuously, there is a need for studies to explore in detail what happens among the participants during collaborative design sessions. The article presents an account of interaction between two participants in a specific co-design session in order to better understand how co- design emerges through the embodied practice evolving between the participants. The analytical perspective chosen, employing interaction analysis of the video-recorded interactions and the re-drawing of bodily gestures, focused the analysis on how the design evolved rather than on what is designed. Thus, the aim of this article is to give a better sense of co-design as an evolving practice, not to present a new kind of co-design method. The analysis leads to the observation that co-constructing artefacts is integral to interaction as an embodied practice and furthermore that the emerging design is acted out and stabilized in the evolving practice without necessarily involving traditional modes of representation such as sketching by drawing. The findings shed light on the richness and expressiveness of bodily interaction in co-design in evolving situations, building a common design language, and assigning meanings to props in the dialogue.


Keywords


co-design, props, interaction

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