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Practice-based design

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date1/01/2001
Number of pages1
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Event5th IEEE International Symposium on Requirements Engineering - Toronto, Ont, Canada
Duration: 27/08/200131/08/2001


Conference5th IEEE International Symposium on Requirements Engineering
CityToronto, Ont


Beginning in the late 1980s, a small cohort of anthropologists and computer scientists at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center developed an interdisciplinary research program concerned with the design and use of information technologies. Our projects over the years joined ethnographies of work and technologies-in-use with design interventions. This talk briefly reviews this program of research, illustrated with specific examples. Our ethnographic approach is exemplified in an early research project on information and communications technologies-in-use within a particular workplace. This project led, among other things, to a reconceptualization of what makes up an "information system" that informed all of our subsequent work. The latter turned increasingly to interventions aimed at exploring what I characterize here as practice-based design, combining elements of workplace ethnography and cooperative prototyping. These efforts are illustrated by a collaborative research and development project involving the transformation of a particular collection of documents - the project files of a civil engineering team engaged in designing a bridge - from paper to digital media.