Department of Design

INUSE - The Users and Innovation Research Group

Researches designer-user relations in sociotechnical change.
INUSE transition arena workshop - panorama of indoor space with groups discussing around whiteboards

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).

Professor Sampsa Hyysalo writing on a whiteboard displaying the murros areena toolkit

INUSE People

The current and former members of INUSE research group.

Department of Design
INUSE Research group exhibition space in a bright room with lighting tripods set up, some green branches and 5 people viewing.

INUSE Research Projects

Current and past projects of the INUSE research group.

Department of Design
Marttila, Botero & Hyysalo: Openness turn in co-design

INUSE Publications

Recent publications from the INUSE research group.

Department of Design
INUSE Transition arena toolkit; hexagonal paper cards in different colours

INUSE Resources

Resources from the INUSE research group.

Department of Design

News and Articles

DigiDecarbon-hanke tutkii digitaalisia kansalaisten energiayhteisöjä
Cooperation, Research & Art, University Published:

Academy funding: Future energy communities and energy self-sufficiency

The DigiDecarbon project explores citizens' digital energy communities.
Andrea Botero Cabrera
Appointments Published:

Finding the red thread between design research, science and technology and innovation

Industrial designer, Academy Fellow Researcher Andrea Botero Cabrera will take on the position of Associate Professor, New Frontiers in Design in Aalto University starting from August 2022.
Strategid Co-Design -kurssin opiskelijat tekivät ratkaisuehdotuksia Helsingin kaupungin muotoilutoiminnan vaikuttavuuden arvioimiseksi.
Cooperation, Studies Published:

Students develop tools for Helsinki to evaluate the impact of design

Aalto University’s Department of Design and the City of Helsinki initiated collaboration last spring to evaluate the impact of the City's design activities. The evaluation represents the first extensive survey of the City’s design projects and the benefits and challenges of those projects.


solar panels
Lectures and seminars

Digitalisation of energy communities: New modes of organising, business models and transition governance

Call for papers (DL 31.5.) for Digitally mediated decarbon communities project's final workshop where the focus is on the key aspects in community energy development.


 Andrea Botero

Andrea Botero

Research Group Leader

Research group email

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