The Activity Theory As a Framework to Describe and Analyze Design Communication

By Chrysi Rapanta.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the design research literature, most of the models proposed to describe design are prescriptive rather than descriptive. This results in the construction of design rationales not necessarily corresponding to the design reality and subsequently not helpful for the designers to improve their communication. The use of the Activity theory as a base for codifying, qualifying and analysing the cognitive actions that emerge between designers and other designers and/or artefacts emerges as an alternative option. The goal of this paper is to provide an overview of the methodological frameworks built using that theory and to propose modifications in order to provide a basis of Design Analysis the nearest possible to the reality of the designers.

Keywords: Activity Theory, Case-Study, Methodology, Design Analysis, Ergonomics

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.407-416. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.163MB).

Chrysi Rapanta

Phd Candidate, NewMineLab, Faculty of Communication Studies, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland

My background is Cognitive Psychology with special research interests in Cognnitive Ergonomics, Argumentation and Creativity. Since April 2008 I am member of the Red-ink (Rethinking Education in Knowledge Society) Doctoral School and I collaborate with the NewMineLab (www.newminelab.org) of the University of Lugano, Switzerland. My current research project is focused on the communication processes in design teams, with a special interest in eLearning design.

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