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Susanne Bødker

Prototypes as Objects of Desire

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We set out to explore the role of prototypes as instruments of knowledge for HCI research. We pursue an epistemological inquiry on ‘how’ prototypes can be used when users, designers and researchers work in common on the development of future technological objects. First, we offer critical commentary on prototypes as instruments of knowledge by engaging with existing literature. Under-explored themes are developed to argue for approaching prototypes as objects of desire. Desires are different from needs and requirements and ought to be considered more directly in research prototyping processes. We identify five roles for prototypes as objects of desire for research and articulate four seeding dynamics that govern exploration of future use. These are exemplified through analysis of two cases where groups of people were working in common around designing interactive objects. We conclude that prototypes as objects of desire allow exploration of ‘yet-to-beknown’ shared technology beyond needs and requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year6 Jul 2020
Number of pages13
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Jul 2020

    Research areas

  • prototypes, prototyping, Desire, common artifacts, future use, seeding dynamics

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