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Susanne Bødker

Prototypes as Objects of Desire

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review



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
Title of host publicationDIS 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference
Number of pages13
Place of publicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication year2020
ISBN (electronic)978-1-4503-6974-9
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventACM conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 6 Jul 202010 Jul 2020


ConferenceACM conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS)

    Research areas

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

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