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TILLBLIVELSER: En trasslig berättelse om design som normkritisk praktik
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Product and Service Design.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3386-2144
2017 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The increasing awareness of norm-critical perspectives (in society, academia and industry) brings with it the need to develop methods to ensure they can be implemented in practice. This thesis discusses how the role of design contributes to and maintains norms, and shows how design as a norm critical practice has great potential to bridge the gap between theory and practice in norm-critical work. This potential lies in using design as a peda-gogic tool that can concretize and make understandable what would otherwise be perceived as complex, unclear or remote. The thesis pays special attention to the role of artefacts in the creation of the stories of the world. The discursive design thing is introduced as a tool to visualize norms and to create discussion. The three-dimensional, physical thing exposes us to a more diverse experience of norms than when we just address them in words or pictures.The empirical work in this thesis stems from five research projects that differ from each other and were carried out under varied conditions. The projects have tackled a range of problems and power relationships. However, together they draw a complex picture of how norms arise, overlap and constantly change over time, place and space – and how design can be used to support or disrupt this process.By revisiting the projects, it becomes clear how the researcher’s position and actions (or non-actions) shape the norm development process. This results in an insight that meaning can not be construc-ted from an outside perspective, but is a constant ”becoming” that occurs in an entanglement of relationships arising between different bodies, both human and non-human. As a norm critical perspective implies paying attention to power relationships, it also assumes a power critical approach to the production of meaning extracted from the norm-critical work, and that we – as researchers and designers – take responsibility for our prevail by highlighting our own bodies and gaze.The thesis therefore proposes the concept of diffraction as an approach to the production of meaning in norm critical design practices. A diffractive approach enables an understanding of how the production of meaning occurs in various coincidences, but also how our own interventions shape the story. It opens up to the realization that parallel narratives are possible and thus becomes a tool to break away from the linear understanding framework and offer an exploration of alternative thought patterns. A diffractive approach to the production of meaning is thus also a tool to pro-mote increased creativity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017.
Series
TRITA-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2017:01
National Category
Design
Research subject
Machine Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-202361ISBN: 978-91-7729-277-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-202361DiVA, id: diva2:1076067
Public defence
2017-03-10, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20170222

Available from: 2017-02-22 Created: 2017-02-21 Last updated: 2017-03-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Visualising gender norms in design: Meet the Mega Hurricane Mixer and the drill Dolphia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Visualising gender norms in design: Meet the Mega Hurricane Mixer and the drill Dolphia
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Design, ISSN 1991-3761, E-ISSN 1994-036X, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 85-94Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article highlights how a gender perspective can be performed by design as critical practice. Two common household appliances - a drill and a hand blender - were used as a starting point. Inspired by Derrida's term deconstruction, the product language of the tools was analysed and then switched in two new prototypes: the hand blender Mega Hurricane Mixer and the drill Dolphia. The prototypes were shown at exhibitions and lectures. The comments by the audience show that a switching of product language entails that their relationship to the artifact itself also changes. Overall, the elements, which previously had been perceived as 'lacking transparency', were now visible. For example, the drill was identified as a "drill for women" and considered inadequate for drilling, and the mixer revealed needs and functions that the traditional mixer did not satisfy. This implies that design should not only be seen as 'final products' but as a part of a social process that takes place between the user, the artifact and the norms of society. By switching the product languages it was possible to highlight how gender values are connected to each design and each artifact. This means that the design of the artifacts around us is not fixed, but can be renegotiated and situated in time, place, and context.

Keywords
Design practice, Gender system, Gendered product language, Social context
National Category
Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-116156 (URN)000313074600007 ()2-s2.0-84871971270 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20130118

Available from: 2013-01-18 Created: 2013-01-16 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Becoming the Energy AWARE Clock: Revisiting the Design Process Through a Feminist Gaze
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Becoming the Energy AWARE Clock: Revisiting the Design Process Through a Feminist Gaze
2013 (English)In: Experiments in Design Research / [ed] Eva Brandt, Pelle Ehn, Troels Degn Johansson, Maria Hellström Reimer, Thomas Markussen, Anna Vallgårda, Köpenhamn: The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools Architecture, Design and Conservation , 2013, p. 258-266Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the border between technology and design (form giving) from a feminist perspective. Looking at the energy system and how it has been integrated in the household, we want to address the underlying structures that have been built into the ecology of electrical appliances used in daily life, preserving certain norms that could be questioned from both a gender and a sustainability perspective. We have created an alternative electricity meter, the Energy AWARE Clock, addressing design issues uncovered in an initial field study. In this paper, we will make parallels to these issues. We also use feminist technoscience studies scholar Donna Haraway’s theory of the cyborg in order to clarify useful concepts that can be derived from feminist theory and that can act as important tools for designers engaged in creative processes. From our own experience with the Energy AWARE Clock this approach has great potential for questioning and rethinking present norms within sustainability and gender, from the viewpoints of design research and design practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Köpenhamn: The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools Architecture, Design and Conservation, 2013
Keywords
design, interaction design, FTS, energy, research trough design, gender
National Category
Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-123892 (URN)978-87-7830-316-5 (ISBN)
Conference
Nordic Design Research Conference. Expressions, knowledge, critique. June 9-12, 2013, Malmö and Copenhagen
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Note

QC 20130712

Available from: 2013-06-19 Created: 2013-06-19 Last updated: 2017-02-21Bibliographically approved
3. The Androchair: Performing Gynaecology through the Practice of Gender Critical Design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Androchair: Performing Gynaecology through the Practice of Gender Critical Design
Show others...
2017 (English)In: The Design Journal, ISSN 1460-6965, Vol. 20, no 2, p. 1-19Article in journal (Refereed) [Artistic work] Published
Abstract [en]

This paper highlights the important role that design plays when it comes to women’s overall experi- ences of ther gynaecological examination. It exempli es how the examination can become renegotiable through the practice of a critical design. We will re ect this in the design of the contemporary gynaecological examination chair (GEC). We used women’s experiences as a starting point for the design of an Androchair (a conceptual male equivalent of the GEC), in order to make the experiences critically visible. Inspired by the view of the gynaecolog- ical examination as a performance where the Androchair is represented as a prop and was placed on a stage as a discussion object during a public seminar. The Androchair allowed for both critical and multiple readings of the GEC and through that, the gynaecology examination at large. Moreover, it stimulated a discussion about alternative ideas towards achieving a more positive experience. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2017
National Category
Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-202358 (URN)10.1080/14606925.2016.1261510 (DOI)000396663900003 ()2-s2.0-85008319035 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20170224

Available from: 2017-02-21 Created: 2017-02-21 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
4. Att synliggöra det osynliga: Design som aktör i jämställdhetsarbete
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att synliggöra det osynliga: Design som aktör i jämställdhetsarbete
2014 (Swedish)In: Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap, ISSN 1654-5443, E-ISSN 2001-1377, Vol. 35, no 1, p. 28-47Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research points to the need for developing methods to change established gender orders and converting gender perspectives into practical action. Based on a gender equality project at the Centre for Health Technology Halland (HCH), this article discusses the potential of critical design as an agent within the framework of gender equality work and work for change. The project worked with critical design as a tool for making visible what a gender perspec- tive can mean in the context of one’s work, in this case health technology. It resulted in a conceptual prototype called the Androchair – a medical chair designed for men but based on women’s experiences of the gynaecological chair. The aim of the article is to study and discuss the significance of including a prototype, that is an object, in the gender equality work of an organisation. Special focus is placed on whether, and in that case how, a prototype can influence notions of gender and gender equality in relation to one’s own area of work. The empirical data consists of qualitative interviews with staff at the HCH. Actor-net- work theory is used to interpret the data. The analysis shows how the Androchair raises questions of power, needs and interpretative prerogative in relation to what one does in one’s work. Furthermore, it does this to a greater extent than more conventional ways of conveying knowledge about gender equality (such as academic texts, statistics and PowerPoint presentations). Physical objects are perceived of as making gender and gender equality issues more tangible. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Högskolan i Halmstad, 2014
National Category
Design
Research subject
Art, Technology and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-202360 (URN)
Projects
ORIGO
Funder
VINNOVA
Note

QC 20170224

Available from: 2017-02-21 Created: 2017-02-21 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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