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A Design Archival Approach to Knowledge Production in Design Research and Practice

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


  • Søren Rasmussen
  • ,
  • Jonas Fritsch, IT University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Nicolai Brodersen Hansen, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands

In this paper, we develop the notion of design archives to understand how different forms of knowledge are systematically accumulated and shared in and across design processes. Drawing on philosophy and media theory, we present a working definition of design archives as more than documentation. Through an interview study, we investigate how various archives systematically inform design work and govern the way design processes are represented and reflected upon. The study provides insights into an abundance of tools used to access, record, store and share information. We highlight the difference between personal, shared, and public archives, different archival barriers for sharing, how prototypes act as (an)archival conduits of design potentials, and how information (and people) tend to get lost in the archives. Finally, we discuss how a design archival approach might help identify power relations in design while also facilitating a move from 'dead' to 'living' archives in design work.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 31st Australian Conference on Human-Computer-Interaction, OzCHI 2019
Number of pages11
Place of publicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication year2020
ISBN (electronic)978-1-4503-7696-9
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event31st Australian Conference on Human-Computer-Interaction, OzCHI 2019 - Perth/Fremantle, Australia
Duration: 2 Dec 20195 Dec 2019


Conference31st Australian Conference on Human-Computer-Interaction, OzCHI 2019
SponsorCurtin University, Edith Cowan University, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA), Perth Convention Bureau, University of Western Australia, UX Machines Pty Ltd

    Research areas

  • Design archives, Design knowledge, Design processes, Design research, Design theory, Digital support tools, Documentation

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