INUSE - The Users and Innovation Research Group
What do we do?
Our studies examine the new ways by which design and use become interrelated and the potential that approaches that explicitly focus on this interrelation have for more equitable and sustainable change. In so doing we engage in participatory design, codesign, open and user innovation, open design, peer knowledge creation, user communities, citizen science, knowledge coproduction and user knowledge in organizations. Much of our design spaces are expanded into years or even decade long lines of research. Whilst short term interventions have their place in our repertoire, they are often not enough to change things or for understanding how designer–user relations can be reconfigured and what are the implications of doing this.
Our interest in users, and not just designers, is rooted in their important – and often underestimated- roles in sociotechnical change. Users adjust technology, invent new uses, innovate new practices, products and services, and perform many other activities that shape the paths that new technology takes. We study how they do so and experiment with new ways by which designer–user relations can be organized and orchestrated.
INUSE research is multidisciplinary simply because users’, consumers’, customers’, prosumers’ and citizens’ engagement with design and technology projects is studied in a range of fields. Our main points of reference reside in design research, (particularly human centred design and participatory design) innovation studies (particularly user innovation research and sustainability transitions research) and in Science & Technology Studies (particularly in social shaping of technology and practice theories therein).