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Marianne Graves Petersen

Politics at the interface: A Foucauldian power analysis

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At the birth of participatory design, there was a strong political consciousness surrounding the design of new technology, the design process in particular, establishing a rich set of methods and tools for user-centered design. Today, the term design has extended its scope of concern beyond the process of design and into how users interact with the designed product on a day-to-day basis.
This paper is an attempt to call to attention the need for a new set of methods, attitudes and approaches, along with the existing, to discuss, analyze and reflect upon the politics at the interface. By presenting a critical analysis of two design cases, we elicit the importance of such an agenda and the implications for design in doing so. We use the Foucauldian notion of power to analyze the power relationships in these two cases and to articulate the politics at the interface. We conclude by emphasizing the need for furthering this agenda and outlining future work.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2010
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Research areas

  • Politics, interface design, power, gender, transgender, Foucault, critical analysis

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