Designing to Bring the Field to the Showroom through Open-ended Provocation
Janet Kelly, Stephan Wensveen


Engaging formats are required to communicate designerly understandings of field studies to a broader audience within organisations. Here we present a case where the format of an exhibition, consisting of a collection of open-ended provocative design concepts, has been used to disseminate knowledge and to engage two medical device manufacturers in the results of field studies that involved what we have described as the ‘pre-users’ of their devices, people who are not yet using the devices but are on trajectory to do so in the future due to the progression of a chronic medical condition. We go into detail with examples that show how the concepts in the exhibition reflect understandings from the field and were designed to provoke new ways of looking at the field. We elaborate on how the exhibition as a whole, rather than presenting ultimate solutions, mapped out a rich and complex landscape for design, and make an initial evaluation of it based on responses from visitors from the organisations. The discussion revolves around what can be achieved through open-ended provocation in this kind of format and what needs to be taken into consideration when designing in this way.

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