Bosse Westerlund


my publications


Thesis: Design Space Exploration


co-operative creation of proposals for desired interactions with future artefacts

Thesis for a doctor of philosophy,
Defense: 2009-11-06, 10.00, sal F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26,
Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, Stockholm.
Opponent: Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders, (The Ohio State University)
Grading committee: Kristina Höök, Sara Ilstedt Hjelm, Bo Helgeson.

Comments, review and prize:

Link to fulltext:

Thesis abstract:

The words in italics are correct and should be read instead of the incorrect printed ones.

page 29, 2nd paraph, "...Arts and Crafts Movement", but should be arts and crafts tradition

page 120, middle: ... Argyris and Schön's theory (1974).

page 124 first paragraph: end of third sentence is clearer like this: ...tends to promote consensus and the reduction of possibilities, not diversity.

page 124, 8 lines from bottom: The quite common focus on goals and requirements ...

Regarding the concept ‘lived experience’:
page 129 I write:
Experience: The English word experience works as translation for two rather different concepts in Swedish. ‘Upplevelse’ which is experience in conjunction with activities at amusement parks, games, dancing, etc. ‘Erfarenhet’ which is the knowledge created over time and sometimes referred to as lived experience.

Now I have learned that in some philosophical discourse the concept ‘lived experience’ referes to ‘upplevelse’ [1] and ‘life experience’ or simply ‘experience’ refers to ‘erfarenhet’ [2].
But I have also learned that the text works as it is for native English reading people although now in hindsight I should probably simply have used ‘experience’.



Videos: Video 1 and Publication 3 is available here. Other videos are available on the DVD that is included in the printed version of the thesis.
The main menu of the DVD is at the bottom of the screen:
1 Reality-based video protoyping
Video prototypes 2-7         Video prototypes 8-13



This thesis critically reflects on co-operative design workshops that I have conducted. The basic method used in these workshops draws on the participants’ embodied knowing. In the over twenty workshops that are analysed here a wide range of participants have been involved: family members, employees, persons with disabilities, and other stakeholders like manufacturers, service providers and civil servants. The topics have varied, but they have mostly been related to ICT products and services. Most of the workshops were conducted within various research projects.

In order to analyse this diverse range of workshops I use several different theories and concepts. I articulate and analyse the design aspects of the activities by using established design theories and concepts. The conceptual tool design space, meaning all possible design proposals, is used for understanding the design process. I also use theories from other fields in order to analyse three different aspects of the workshops: the participants’ activities, the designers’ responsibility, and the process. To analyse the way that the participants co-operatively create knowledge, theories of interpersonal actions are used; to analyse the work done by the designer/conductor, theories of frames are used; and to analyse the process, the theory of actualisation and realisation is used.
During the workshops the participants co-operatively make scenarios, props and video prototypes in order to create proposals for desired interactions with future artefacts.

Contributions include accounts of critical situations during the workshops and suggested strategies for dealing with them. Some implications are relevant to the design field in general, for example the importance of a process where the participants trust each other, learn from each other and work effectively with difficult issues by creating multiple proposals that facilitate understanding of the design space. I also offer arguments about why it is better to see activities, props and prototypes as mainly constitutive rather than as only representative.

Video prototypes on DVD and seven publications are included in the thesis.

Design process, co-operative design, participatory design, prototype, video prototype, attention, industrial design, design space, prop

Comments on the thesis:
Mette Agger: QUIT THE TERM ‘REPRESENTATION’ IN DESIGN WORK…‘representation’-in-design-work…/

On Kangeri:Forskning som visar på nyttan av involverande designprocesser!

A review
In Design Research Journal #1.10 there is a review of the thesis on page 56. Design Research Journal is published by SVID.

2010 års Designforskningspris, som delades ut under Design Research Day den 18 november, gick till Bo Westerlund för avhandlingen Design Space Exploration – co-operative creation of proposals for desired interactions with future artefacts. Och motiveringen löd:

I doktorsavhandlingen Design Space Exploration – co-operative creation of proposals for desired interactions with future artefacts utvecklar Bosse Westerlund, på ett nydanande och för designpraktiken synnerligen relevant sätt, möjligheterna med och genomförandet av kreativa workshops i tidiga skeden av designprocesser med olika slag av användare och intressenter. Arbetet bygger på erfarenheter från och reflektion över ett tjugotal workshops inom ramen för olika svenska och internationella forskningsprojekt. Flertalet har varit inriktade på produkter och tjänster inom informations- och kommunikationsområdet och flera har också gällt personer med olika typer av svårigheter. Utifrån dessa erfarenheter av en aktiv medverkan från berörda människor i grundläggande och tidigt idéskapande har Bosse Westerlund även gett viktiga bidrag till förståelsen för och utvecklingen av brukardriven design och innovation samt till designteori i allmänhet.


2020-01-20 - – no cookies, no tracing