Preparing Students for (Inter-)Action with Activity Theory
Susanne Bødker, Clemens Nylandsted Klokmose
In this paper we explore recent developments in activity theoretical HCI with the purpose of preparing designers for action. The paper discusses two projects where students engaged in iterative design applying fundamental principles from Activity Theory. They had been introduced to these principles through the Human-Artifact Model and an iterative framework, where analysis of existing practice, design of the future artifact, hands-on prototyping and consolidation of use are important elements. In other words, they were given activity theoretical tools rather than being taught Activity Theory. Through these tools, we suggest, designers are equipped to act skeptically and systematically, supported by theory. Obviously, a design process with students cannot in every respect be compared to a real design process, yet this paper will discuss whether, through the model and framework, designers may become better prepared to act in design with theory, and with Activity Theory in particular.
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