Operationalizing theory to combine theoretical and practical knowledge
Following theoretical ideas all the way through a design process to examine how we can combine theory with practical and empirical knowledge to find new spaces for design
A lot of research within HCI, ID and PD is based on philosophies and theories that were not originally written in the context of technology. Throughout time, members of these research communities have elicited structures, concepts, models, and defined frameworks and scaffolds intended to help both researchers and practitioners by guiding the design process. Theories have traditionally been used for various purposes, including to suggest how to structure our knowledge and how this applies to our methodologies, as well as informing different types of criteria for evaluation and analysis.
As we design for more and more complex scenarios and societal challenges, seminal theories can be adapted, repurposed, or expanded to better inform current and future design processes. By working from theoretical constructs and operationalizing them in a design process, we can create new spaces for prototyping, participation, evaluation, analysis and communication of outcomes.
This master thesis should explore how theory-driven design implications can be applied as the basis for a design processes that can later combine theory with empirical and practical experience to elicit implications for future design processes. The goal is to draw on the strength of both theoretical and practical knowledge to find new trajectories and spaces for facilitation of design and included activities such as data gathering, prototyping, evaluation, and analysis.
The exact nature and scope of the problem area can be further discussed with the supervisor. Besides 3 recently completed master theses, we currently have 2 master students writing a thesis on a related topic. The goal is to continue our small supervision and discussion groups across 4th and 5th year students. This master thesis can be written by 1-3 students. Students can write their whole thesis together, selected chapters together, or just collaborate with activities and write separate theses. More information can be presented upon request.