Mediated action, through the use of images in participatory design processes.
One of the newest fields in the design research method is co-design (Engholm). Here the users/participants are co-creators in the design process. The focus is on interdisciplinary work and the competence of design is spread out among many players. In co-design processes the users often use different types of artefacts that can serve as sketching material. It can be different types of material, in which ideas and needs can be quickly produced and shown to the rest of the group. Besides the sketching material, the reciprocal exchange of views and perspectives is one of the most important aspects of participatory design processes. Research into the development of new design methods has rarely focused on what happens in situations where several people engage in conversations, gestures and forms of thoughts and ideas through the use of mediational means (Wertsch). It is the intention of this research project, to examine what happens in the interaction between individuals and mediational means in design processes where no designer should be creatively generative. The research question addresses what happens in collaborative processes when people use images as mediational means. That question is based on the idea that images can do something special in terms of sketching material in the creative collaborative process. The theoretical point of departure is that the project examines design processes as learning processes (Schön) and will therefore try to understand the design process in a learning perspective. Here, drawing on Dewey‘s understanding of learning as a process where knowledge is developed in an interaction between preunderstanding and practical testing in the form of theories and models. With Dewey, creativity is understood not as an activity reserved for the particularly creative, but as an activity everyone uses in everyday life. In Dewey‘s understanding is relational and relationship to the object and the other is the precondition for all knowledge. Trying to recognise the other‘s perspective, is, with Dewey, a basic prerequisite for our understanding of the world. The function of the image, in this context, is seen as a mediating mean as described by Wertsch. On the basis of Vygotsky, Wertsch describes how learning is closely linked to the actions a tool allows us to make. The progress of understanding is examined by looking at the progress being made in the mediated action, not only the progress being made in the agent‘s mind. The dialogical perspective is understood as an interaction between centrifugal and centripetal forces as seen by Bakhtin. The field will be explored through video recordings of users developing new solutions through the use of images. The data material is analysed, inspired by the approaches of conversation analysis and ethnomethodological analysis. (Pomerantz and Fear. Goodwin. Raudaskoski)