SD: Participatory Design and Prototyping
This thesis topic is related to the group’s research on social sustainability, more precisely understanding and demonstrating how new ways of working with prototypes and design outcomes in participatory design (PD) processes can empower and voice users.
As technology continues to integrate itself in our daily professional and personal lives, one of our growing challenges as designers and researchers is to ensure that both design processes and design results offer socially inclusive and equal opportunities for all people – before use, during use, and after use.
Enabling participants through prototyping
Our research focuses on voicing end-users in the design of technology, e.g., welfare technology, by exploring new ways to use prototyping as part of participatory design processes; both in how we use prototypes to engage participants in decision-making during the design process itself as well as how we can use design results from participatory design processes to enable democratic participation.
Open for different groups of participation
Our work has involved two main groups of users over the past years: older adults and people with intellectual disabilities. As such, we have experience working with these two groups of participants in particular. Still, the thesis topic is open to involving other user groups as well if desired by the master student.
The role of prototypes
You do not have to be interested in prototyping yourself, but the thesis will include lab activities and design workshops where we will work with prototypes as part of ongoing PD processes or with design outcomes as results of finished PD processes. If you want to learn more about prototyping and work with people who have experience designing technical prototypes, this thesis topic will be perfect for you!
Collaboration on lab activities and design workshops
The students who want to work on this topic will collaborate closely with the ongoing research efforts and design lab activities of faculty and Ph.D. students in the research group. We include students in existing or new meetings, workshops, and collaborations with internal and external partners. In addition to lab activities, there will be structured reading groups and prototyping workshops organized by faculty and PhDs affiliated with this thesis topic.
Suited for student groups
This thesis topic is suited for students who want to work as part of a larger group of both faculty, PhDs, and students, and is also interested in having students who will want to write their thesis together. We have very positive experiencing with students working together in parts, or all, of their thesis work, which has proven to be extra helpful in situations involving practical work, e.g., prototyping, fieldwork, and workshops.
This thesis can be written in English or Norwegian.