Material Means... 'Re-Representing' - Important Explicit Design Activity

  • Mette Agger Eriksen
Keywords: Physical Representations, Material Means, Interdisciplinary collaboration, Design work, 'Re-Representing'.


Based on various practical experiences from several interdisciplinary and participatory design (PD) sessions and research projects the paper exemplifies and argues, like many others, that physical working materials - Material Means - can encourage engaging ways of collaborating during intense interdisciplinary and participatory design work. However, the paper rises the question what the Materials really Mean. As an initial analytical framework the terms 'Materials', 'Materializing', 'Materialized' and 'Re-Representing are used to briefly distinguish and discuss different types of 'Material Means' used during 3 different types of activities e.g. Working with User insights, Mock-ups and Scenarios and Key Issues. Yet challenging, from a designer's perspective, the paper argues that most of the 'Materialized outcomes also need to be exposed to activities of explicit 'Re-Representing' to seriously get an ongoing life within an iterative design process.
Exploratory Papers - Session (2): The Place of Materials in PD