2nd online event for the T(h)inker community

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesKey-note speaker and plenary lectures at conferences


The process of design in the push and pull of sociomaterialities. Keynote speech. ow do divergent, competing and collaborating human and non-human actors - the socio-materialities - present at any educational setting affect the process and outcome of a design process? How do the affordances of the technology being developed interact with these socio-materialities present in the setting? Usually our attention is on the final outcome of a design process, while the trials and tribulations designers and researchers face during the process of design are faded out of the picture as irrelevant. It is this mundane minutiae that this presentation delves into.
In this presentation we will focus in detail on one instance of technology design, the development of a prototype for use in archaeology teaching. The presentation draws upon a longitudinal ethnographic case-study of Ensemble (2008-11), an interdisciplinary research and technology development project between education and computer sciences (see Rimpilainen 2012). We will examine how a prototype for a Data Aggregating Document (DAD), a piece of semantic educational software, emerged through interdisciplinary practices engaged by the Ensemble, and how the socio-materiality of the archaeology setting and the affordances of the semantic technologies mutually affected the technology development process. We will also see how the designers often worked at the “mercy” of the socio-materialities involved in the process, and guided by them, rather than the other way round. Theoretically the presentation pertains to the broad field of sociomaterial theories (Pickering 1995) and Actor-Network Theory (e.g. Law 2004, Latour 1987, Latour 2005, Mol 2002).
Period26 Mar 2014
Event typeSeminar
LocationGermanyShow on map


  • Design, ethnography, participatory design, Actor-Network Theory, Educational Research