Title: The New Production of Users: Changing Innovation Collectives and Involvement Strategies

Date: 20 April, 12.30-13.45
Venue: Ravelijn, RA 1247
Speakers: Prof.dr. Nelly Oudshoorn


In this lecture I will present the new book on the role of users in innovation that will be published by Routledge in May: The New Production of Users: Changing Innovation Collectives and Involvement Strategies edited by Sampsa Hyysalo, Torben Elgaard Jensen, and Nelly Oudshoorn. The volume is an anthology that focuses on a crucial topic in science and technology studies and its interaction with the study of innovation: the role of users in technological change.

Behind the steady stream of new products, technologies, systems and services in our modern societies there is prolonged and complicated battle around the role of users. How should designers get to know the users’ interests and needs? Who should speak for the users? How should designers collaborate with users and in what ways may users take innovation into their own hands?

The New Production of Users offers a rare overview of these issues. It traces the history of designer-user relations from the era of mass production to the present days. Its focus lies in elaborating the currently emerging strategies and approaches to user involvement in business and citizen contexts. It analyses the challenges in the practical collaborations between designers and users, and it investigates a number of cases, where groups of users collectively took charge of innovation.

In addition to a number of new case studies, the book provides a thorough account of theories of user involvement as well and offers further developments to these theories. As a part of this, the book relates to the wide spectrum of fields currently associated with user involvement, such as user-centered design, participatory design, user innovation, open source software, co-creation and peer production.

During the lecture I will present some of the interesting insights developed by several contributors to the book.