Fluidity and legitimacy: Designer as Minor Scientist

Aysar Ghassan, M. Blythe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

In the field of Human Computer Interaction, user experience research has been characterized in two camps, model-based and design-based. These groups have contrasting approaches to measurement and evaluation. Through spotlighting the areas of ‘reduction’, ‘re-prioritising’ and ‘following’, we argue that the model-based and design-based camps can be constructed in terms of the philosopher Gilles Deleuze & the psychotherapist and semiotician Felix Guattari’s royal science and minor science respectively. Via focusing on the commonly-used ethnographic method termed ‘cultural probing’, we argue that the relationship between Deleuze & Guattari’s philosophies of science provide insights into the nature of legitimacy within contemporary Human Computer Interaction research practice. Parallels exist between Deleuze & Guattari’s philosophies and the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss’s concepts of bricolage and engineering. Design-based user experience research practitioners use the notion of bricolage to contextualize their practice. We find flaws with the use of Levi-Strauss’ philosophies of science in qualitative investigation for we argue his description of bricolage has been misinterpreted by influential researchers in this community. Rather than employing Levi-Strauss’ concepts, we propose that Deleuze & Guattari’s idea of flux is key to enabling the Human Computer Interaction community to contextualize trends and shifts in debates in user experience research practice. Accordingly, this paper calls for a re-evaluation of the use of bricolage as a means of contextualizing qualitative research practice and provides original insights into how the philosophy of technology is framed.
Publisher Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Design Philosophy Papers on 17 Dec 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14487136.2016.1246832  

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-78
JournalDesign Philosophy Papers
Volume14
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2016

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research practice
legitimacy
philosophy of science
interaction research
psychotherapist
experience
interaction
science
evaluation
community
qualitative research
engineering
trend
Group
philosophy

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Design Philosophy Papers on 17 Dec 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14487136.2016.1246832

Keywords

  • Deleuze and Guattari
  • royal science
  • minor science
  • Levi-Strauss
  • bricolage
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • user experience research

Cite this

Fluidity and legitimacy: Designer as Minor Scientist. / Ghassan, Aysar; Blythe, M.

In: Design Philosophy Papers, Vol. 14, No. 1-2, 17.12.2016, p. 59-78.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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