Abstract We present and reflect upon the role that ‘provotypes’ played in a design research project aimed at understanding differing perceptions of indoor climate environments. Research issues focus on the potential of participatory innovation within a wider system of building components and controls that determine indoor climate. A central issue in relating perceptions and experiences of indoor climate to wider structures and systems is finding ways of supporting company, university partners and users to imagine possibilities instead of certainties in terms of innovation potential. Whereas, researchers and industry partners working in the field of indoor climate emphasize identifiable, measurable, parameters of comfort and focus their efforts on engineering products and systems based upon behavioural models, as researchers interested in the notion of participatory innovation, we engage with the improvisatory capacity of people involved in the course of their everyday activities as a resource of possibilities. Our aim thus is to explore how differing perceptions of environment, play with and against each other during collaborative practices of designing indoor climate systems and products. This involves opening up pathways within wider structures and systems for improvisation, at the same time finding ways of negotiating openness and closure with materials. How then do design materials support partial understandings of indoor climate between researchers, users and company partners in situated contexts of learning? What role do design materials play in helping researchers and users make sense of the intangible qualities of perceiving indoor climate? and How do partial understandings and sense making gained through material investigations build a relation between practices of designing and using?
Design and Anthropology, 2012, p. 121-134
Keywords Provotypes; improvisation; different ways of designing; participatory innovation
Main Research Area:
Anthropological Studies of Creativity and Perception