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The method of photo-elicitation from a phenomenological perspective.
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation. (Innovation och Design (Design Inspired Innovation))ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0012-7127
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation. (Design och Visualisering)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7016-5578
2014 (English)In: Proceedings of 13th International design conference Design 2014, 2014, -58 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

There is a growing interest in the relation between workspace design and innovation. On the one hand, is the idea of designing an “innovation lab” that supports innovation. There are substantial financial investments involved when creating an innovation lab and there is evidence that such spaces can have short useful lifespan and some of them fail because they are not used as intended [Lewis and Moultrie 2005; Fayard and Weeks 2011]. On the other hand, workspaces can be altered by the users for short or long terms to support innovation activities. The users hence become spatial designers themselves. A gap exists in research on the underlying mechanisms, architecture, and dynamics by which organisations can create an environment supporting continuous improvements and radical innovation on both individual and organisational levels [Turner, Swart and Maylor 2013, Turner and Lee-Kelly 2013]. From design research we can contribute with a perspective on the underlying mechanisms and the dynamics in play in the area of workspace design and innovation. We can form the design research for the innovation labs, i.e. utopian specifically designed spaces for innovation, or the relationship between innovation, users and daily workspaces. We have chosen to acknowledge and study the complexity in relations between users, daily workspaces and innovation. Our hypothesis was that photo-elicitation could be a method to study that weave of complexity and research underlying dynamics.

In this article we discuss the method of the photo-elicitated interview (PEI), as a tool in human-centred design research with respect to context and workspace. A phenomenological perspective focus on the human experience, examine and clarify situations, events and experiences as they occurs spontaneously in daily life (Seamon, 2000). This article intend to provide background theories from phenomenology and examples from an empirical study to discuss if and how PEI is instrumental in getting information from interviewees about their relation to their workspaces and innovation. Although the phenomenological theoretical perspective is relevant and therefore used here to describe human relation to workspaces and discuss the method, our use of specific notions from phenomenology aims firstly to support the analyse of the method to inform design research, and is not intended develop the phenomenological concepts themselves.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. -58 p.
National Category
Humanities Other Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25358OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-25358DiVA: diva2:727749
Conference
13th International design conference Design 2014
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2014-06-23 Created: 2014-06-23 Last updated: 2015-11-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Spaces for innovation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spaces for innovation
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Rum för innovation
Abstract [en]

Workspace design, as an enabling factor in innovation, is an emerging topic for innovation and design research. However, little research has been done on users’ experience on workspaces for innovation in a manufacturing industrial context. The aim of the dissertation is to develop knowledge and understanding of workspaces for innovation from a user perspective.

The dissertation is based on studies done in four manufacturing industries and in one design and innovation consultancy, with a focus on the employees' experience of the physical space in relation to innovation. The research method used was the photo elicitation interview. The 31 participants made photographs that served as a basis for verbal interviews to communicate the relationship they experienced between their workspace and innovation. The analysis and the interpretation of the material, supported by information, cultural and phenomenological theoretical perspectives, intend to contribute to the current scientific discourse in innovation and design.

A pattern was found in the results. In the manufacturing industrial companies, the majority of workspaces that users described as supporting or hindering innovation were motifs showing aculture promoting innovation in small steps. Their examples were found to be in close similarity to what previous research describe as characteristics of exploitative innovation. In the design company, the most photographed motifs were workspaces and objects that supported different variations of what previousresearch defines as characteristics for a culture supporting radical, explorative innovation.

The dissertation presents results contributing to the research on ambidexterity, with focus on a possible coexistence between different innovation cultures. The results indicate that spatial differentiation creates possibilities for coexistence between the two innovation cultures. Six spatial characteristics were found in the descriptions of the workspaces related to the marginalised explorative culture in the manufacturing companies.

The dissertation discusses the possibilities of creating spaces for explorative innovation (SEIs) and space as a tool for innovation. An initial version of a support for design is presented.

Abstract [sv]

Att skapa en miljö där både radikal innovation och stegvisa förbättringar kan utvecklas, det vill säga en ambidextruös miljö, är en av de största utmaningarna för ett företag eller en organisation. En ambidextruös miljö är en stor konkurrensfördel, men kunskaperna om hur man utvecklar och bygger upp en sådan är begränsade. Detsamma gäller hur arbetsplatsen formges på ett sätt som stödjer olika innovationskulturer, både för radikal innovation och inkrementell innovation. Arbetsplatsen och dess relation till innovation från ett användarperspektiv är ett förbisett område inom forskningen.

Syftet med den här avhandlingen är att utveckla kunskap om vad den dagliga arbetsplatsen har för förbindelse till innovation från ett användarperspektiv. Avhandlingen bygger på fyra studier inom tillverkningsindustrin samt en studie på ett designföretag med fokus på medarbetarnas upplevelse av arbetsplatsen i relation till innovation. I intervjumetoden ingick att de anställda fotograferade sina arbetsplatser. Fotografierna användes sedan som underlag för intervjuer.

I resultaten fanns ett mönster: i produktionsindustrin var platser för ett ständigt förbättringsarbete också de platser som uppfattades stödja innovation. Undantagen var få. På designföretaget exemplifierade de flesta fotograferade och beskrivna miljöerna olika varianter på en radikal, utforskande innovationskultur. Resultatet visade att de platser som kunde tolkas tillhöra en kultur för radikal, utforskande innovation var artefakter i en marginaliserad kultur i de studerade industriföretagen. Resultatet indikerade att en samexistens mellan olika innovationskulturer i en kultur som domineras av exploaterande innovation (industriföretagen) möjliggjordes på individuell nivå av rumslig differentiering. Analysen av materialet pekar på sex karakteristika i beskrivningen av användningen och upplevelsen av platser som kan samexistera och stödja en kultur för radikal innovation i kulturer som domineras av inkrementell innovation: Täckmantelplatser, Gråzoner, Satellitplatser, Kameleontplatser,Tillfälliga platser och Anslutningsplatser. Dessutom visade resultatet att användare beskriver påverkan av flera modaliteter i sin upplevelse och förståelse av en arbetsplats som stödjer eller hindrar innovation.

Resultatet analyserades och tolkades med hjälp av tidigare forskning och begrepp från fenomenologi, informationsteori och kulturteori vilket bidrar till diskussionen om vad rum för innovation kan vara i den dynamik som uppstår i mötet mellananvändaren, den vardagliga arbetsplatsen och innovation. Som ett resultat av analysen presenteras i avhandlingen ett förslag till designsupport formulerat som inlägg i en diskussion kring hur arbetsplatsen kan stödja olika innovationskulturers samexistens. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eskilstuna: Mälardalen University, 2014
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 163
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25031 (URN)978-91-7485-155-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-09-26, Filen, Smedjegatan 37, Eskilstuna, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge FoundationVinnova
Available from: 2014-06-23 Created: 2014-05-23 Last updated: 2014-09-24Bibliographically approved

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