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Susanne Bødker

Setting the stage: workshops and group interaction

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapterResearch

  • Department of Computer Science
  • Department of Information and Media Studies

In the Autumn of 1984, my colleague Pelle Ehn and I went on a trip to the United Stated to discuss our experiences from Denmark and Sweden with involving workers in the design of computer systems. By the i had been working together with "end users" and trade unions for a decade, but I was still considered an outsider at my university: Working with end users was not "academic", and doing design instead of controlled experiments was considered "unscientific." The people we visited in the U.S. were not mainstream computer scientists, either. But the interest we encountered, as well as the discussions we had, convinced us that designing cooperatively with end users was woth pursuing, not only in a Scandinavian setting. it had something to offer system designers who wanted computers to improve people's work, and it had a lot to offer end users, who generally don't get the chance to be actively involved in the design process.

Morten Kyng


In the Fall of 1986, I was invited to Aarhus University, Denmark to teach a course on system development. Packed deep in my baggage, along with the chaos of traveling with my children and my dog, was the fear of not finding a textbook that could begin to explain the excitement of creating computer systems. This wasn't a new fear. Like all teachers of the art and would-be sciences of system design know, this problem unwraps itself every semester. And having worked for years as a computer system consultant, I knew that the endless range og "how-to" books could never fill the void between the rich experiences of practitioners and the inquisitive world of students eager to begin building their own experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign at work : Cooperative Design of Computer Systems
EditorsMorten Kyng, Joan Greenbaum
Number of pages15
PublisherLawrence Erlbaum Associates
Publication year1991
ISBN (print)0-8058-0611-3
Publication statusPublished - 1991

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