Sampsa Hyysalo

Sampsa Hyysalo

Department of Design

Sampsa's interdisciplinary research spans design participation, science & technology studies, and innovation studies; focusing on designer-user relations in sociotechnical change.

This has meant empirical and theoretical research on how change happens in technoscientific contexts and how new technologies shape, and shaped by, everyday life and everyday work. His interest in designer – user relations has meant investigating how the use and design can be arranged alternatively and to what effects. This has over the years lead to engagement in participatory design, codesign, open and user innovation, living labs, open design, maker spaces, peer knowledge creation, user communities and citizen science. These engagements have been pursued both in descriptive studies as well as through interventionist design research. These have resulted in both new methods as well as better understanding on how different designer-user arrangements play out. 

Just as well, Sampsa has pursued the development of the biographies of artifacts and practices approach and the related theory building for two decades. The approach has opened new ways by which the contributions by different actors can be traced in the course of design, technology projects, innovation processes and wider sociotechnical change. In practice the approach has meant briding longitudinal ethnographic studies with historical analyses of sociotechnical change as well as bridging studies of technology development and its appropriation to organizational and institutional change processes.

Domain-wise the last decade of Sampsa's work has focused on renewable energy technologies, energy transition and citizen participation as well as developing means by which diverse experts and stakeholders can better participate in the steering of sustainability transformations and transitions. Before this, his main research engagement was with health care information technologies. Alongside Sampsa has been part of research teams who have investigatged participatory design at the public sector, organizational software, social media platforms, remote area mobility technologies and innovation in extreme sports.

Sampsa has published over 120 academic works including over 100 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. He has authored seven books, the latest being "Citizen Activities in Energy Transition: User Innovation, new communities and the Shaping of Sustainable Future." Routledge, 2010), “The new production of users: Changing innovation communities and involvement strategies” (with Elgaard Jensen and Oudshoorn, Routledge, 2016) and Health Technology Development and Use: From practice-bound Imagination to evolving Impacts (Routledge, 2010).

Sampsa received his PhD in behavioral sciences in University of Helsinki, working with activity theory. His MA and phil.Lic degrees are from cultural history.  His docenture in is user-centered design of information systems. He was the chief editor of Science & Technology Studies journal 2007-2016 and was awarded the Academy of Finland price for social impact of research in 2010, EASST Freeman Price for the “New production of Users” and Aalto university's excellence and social impact prices in 2017. He has given a range of key note addresses, including 4S and EASST confrence presidential plenary talks.

Full researcher profile
Postal address
Otaniementie 14 02150 Espoo Finland
Phone number

Areas of expertise

Co-design, Participatory design, User innovation, Science and technology studies, Qualitative research and methods, Innovation management, coproduction of knowledge, Intermediaries, 5 Social sciences, 6132 Visual arts and design, Industrial design, Environmental social science research, Science studies, Business economics

Honors and awards

Aalto Excellence Recognition

Project: SET: Smart Energy Transition by Department of Management Studies
Award or honor granted for a specific work Department of Management Studies Jan 2018

Academy of Finland Award for Social Impact of Research

Award or honor granted for a specific work Department of Design Jan 2010

EASST Freeman price 2016

Price for outstanding collective contribution in the intersection between science & technology studies and innovation studies, book New Production of Users (editors: Hyysalo, Jensen, Oudshoorn)
Award or honor granted for a specific work Department of Design Jan 2016

Research groups

  • Inuse


Kerrostaloasukkaiden energiayhteisöt Suomessa: Toimenpidesuosituksia

Mona Enell-Nilsson, Maija Faehnle, Sampsa Hyysalo, Jouni Juntunen, Jani Lukkarinen, Sini Numminen 2024

Hybridization and accumulation of space-heating systems in Finnish detached housing

Sini Numminen, Marika Silvikko de Villafranca, Sampsa Hyysalo 2024

CoDesign for sustainability transitions: How a long-term research agenda can instill social impact and provide an envelope for doctoral education

Sampsa Hyysalo, Tatu Marttila 2023 15th International Conference of the European Academy of Design

Design types in diversified city administration: The case City of Helsinki

Sampsa Hyysalo, Kaisa Savolainen, Antti Pirinen, Tuuli Mattelmäki, Päivi Hietanen, Meri Virta 2023

Citizen energy lost in sustainability transitions : Knowledge co-production in a complex governance context

Jani P. Lukkarinen, Miikka Salo, Maija Faehnle, Heli Saarikoski, Sampsa Hyysalo, Karoliina Auvinen, Satu Lähteenoja, Tatu Marttila 2023

Transition co-design dynamics in high level policy processes

Satu Lähteenoja, Tatu Marttila, İdil Gaziulusoy, Sampsa Hyysalo 2023

Mid-Range Transition Arenas as Catalysts in a Circular Economy

Tatu Marttila, Jani Lukkarinen, Sampsa Hyysalo, David Lazarevic, Helena Valve 2023 The Routledge Handbook of Catalysts for a Sustainable Circular Economy

The interrupting capacities of knowledge co-production experiments: A sociology of testing approach

Helena Valve, David Lazarevic, Sampsa Hyysalo, Jani Lukkarinen, Tatu Marttila 2023

Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, Volume 45 (2022)

Wouter Boon, Thomas Magnusson, Sampsa Hyysalo 2022

Introduction to ‘Markets in sustainability transitions’

Wouter Boon, Thomas Magnusson, Sampsa Hyysalo 2022

An arena of transformation

Sampsa Hyysalo, Tatu Marttila 2022 Designing Change : New Opportunities for Organisations

Design types in diversified city administration

Sampsa Hyysalo, Kaisa Savolainen, Antti Pirinen, Tuuli Mattelmäki, Päivi Hietanen, Meri Virta 2022 The Design Research Society Conference (DRS2022)

Ekologinen siirtymä luonnon monimuotoisuuspolitiikassa : Biodiversiteettiareenan 2021 tulokset

Sampsa Hyysalo, Satu Lähteenoja, Tatu Marttila, Kaisa Savolainen, Ari-Pekka Auvinen, Jani Lukkarinen, Juuli Närhi, Joona Lehtomäki, Kirsi-Marja Lonkila, Kristiina Niikkonen, Olli Ojala, Marina von Weissenberg 2022

Market intermediation and its embeddeness – Lessons from the Finnish energy transition

Sampsa Hyysalo, Eva Heiskanen, Jani Lukkarinen, Kaisa Matschoss, Mikko Jalas, Paula Kivimaa, Jouni K. Juntunen, Fanni Moilanen, Pekka Murto, Eeva Primmer 2022

Kuusi muutospolkua Agenda2030 -tavoitteisiin. Agenda2030 -murrosareenatyön tulokset.

Satu Lähteenoja, Sampsa Hyysalo, Tatu Marttila 2022 Kestävän kehityksen toimikunnan Agenda2030 -tiekartta

What does it take to study learning in transitions? A case of citizen energy in Finland

Satu Lähteenoja, Sampsa Hyysalo, Jani Lukkarinen, Tatu Marttila, Heli Saarikoski, Maija Faehnle, Lasse Peltonen 2022

Design Enters the City

Antti Pirinen, Kaisa Savolainen, Sampsa Hyysalo, Tuuli Mattelmäki 2022

PRODUCING THE ‘USER’ IN SMART TECHNOLOGIES: A framework for examining user representations in smart grids and smart metering infrastructure

Antti Silvast, Robin Williams, Sampsa Hyysalo, Kjetil Rommetveit, Charles Raab 2022 The Routledge Handbook of Smart Technologies

Guiding the PhD in design: Experiences from six programs

Pieter Jan Stappers, Carlos Teixera, Lucia Rampino, Weston Baxter, Sampsa Hyysalo, Jonathan Chapman 2022 DRS2022: Bilbao

Local adequacy as a design strategy in place-based making

Svetlana Usenyuk-Kravchuk, Sampsa Hyysalo, Alexandra Raeva 2022

User Representations as a Design Resource

Kaisa Savolainen, Sampsa Hyysalo 2021

Smart Energy Transition -hankkeen vaikuttavuusraportti

Armi Temmes, Tiina Ohrling, Sampsa Hyysalo 2021

Getting Participatory Design Done

Andrea Botero, Sampsa Hyysalo, Cindy Kohtala, John Whalen 2020

A taxonomy of users’ active design engagement in the 21st century

Cindy Kohtala, Sampsa Hyysalo, Jack Whalen 2020

Taloyhtiöistä tulevaisuuden energiatuottajia

Jani Lukkarinen, Tatu Marttila, Heli Saarikoski, Karoliina Auvinen, Maija Faehnle, Sampsa Hyysalo, Hanna-Liisa Kangas, Satu Lähteenoja, Lasse Peltonen, Miikka Salo 2020

Havaintoja energiamurroksen etenemisestä - Smart Energy Transition -hankkeen valitut blogit vuosilta 2015–2019

Armi Temmes, Antti Majava, Jero Ahola, Kimmo Ollikka, Karoliina Auvinen, Hanna-Liisa Kangas, Samuli Honkapuro, Miimu Airaksinen, Ilkka Räsänen, Samuli Rinne, Francesco Reda, Salvatore Ruggiero, Eva Heiskanen, Sampsa Hyysalo, Saara Jääskeläinen, Eeva Primmer, Mikael Hildén, Jenni Happonen, Paula Kivimaa, Phil Johnstone, Kaisa Matschoss 2020

Depending on users : The case of over-snow motorized transport in Russia

Svetlana Usenyuk-Kravchuk, Nikita Klyusov, Sampsa Hyysalo, Viktor Klimenko 2020

Including services in design management

J. Tuomas Harviainen, Sampsa Hyysalo 2019

Developing policy pathways: Redesigning transition arenas for mid-range planning

Sampsa Hyysalo, Jani Lukkarinen, Paula Kivimaa, Raimo Lovio, Armi Temmes, Mikael Hildén, Tatu Marttila, Karoliina Auvinen, Sofi Perikangas, Allu Pyhälammi, Janne Peljo, Kaisa Savolainen, Louna Hakkarainen, Mikko Rask, Kaisa Matschoss, Timo Huomo, Annukka Berg, Mari Pantsar 2019

Diversity and change of user driven innovation modes in companies

Sampsa Hyysalo, Petteri Repo, Päivi Timonen, Louna Hakkarainen, Eva Heiskanen 2019 Managing Innovation

Intermediate Codesigning in Transitions Governance: Catalysing and Channelling Participant Action

Sampsa Hyysalo, Sofi Perikangas, Tatu Marttila, Karoliina Auvinen 2019

The work of democratized design in setting-up a hosted citizen-designer community

Sampsa Hyysalo, Virve Hyysalo, Louna Hakkarainen 2019

Passing the baton: How intermediaries advance sustainability transitions in different phases

Paula Kivimaa, Sampsa Hyysalo, Wouter Boon, Laurens Klerkx, Mari Martiskainen, Johan Schot 2019

An agenda for sustainability transitions research

Jonathan Köhler, Frank W. Geels, Florian Kern, Jochen Markard, Anna Wieczorek, Floortje Alkemade, Flor Avelino, Anna Bergek, Frank Boons, Lea Fünfschilling, David Hess, Georg Holtz, Sampsa Hyysalo, Kirsten Jenkins, Paula Kivimaa, Mari Martiskainen, Andrew McMeekin, Marie Susan Mühlemeier, Bjorn Nykvist, Elsie Onsongo, Bonno Pel, Rob Raven, Harald Rohracher, Björn Sandén, Johan Schot, Benjamin Sovacool, Bruno Turnheim, Dan Welch, Peter Wells 2019

Devices and strategies: An analysis of managing complexity in energy retrofit projects

Pekka Murto, Mikko Jalas, Jouni Juntunen, Sampsa Hyysalo 2019

Catalysing Pathway Creation for Transition Governance

Sampsa Hyysalo, Sofi Perikangas, Tatu Marttila, Karoliina Auvinen 2018 Proceedings of DRS 2018

Energy Internet forums as acceleration phase transition intermediaries

Sampsa Hyysalo, Jouni K. Juntunen, Mari Martiskainen 2018

The mundane and strategic work in collaborative design

Virve Hyysalo, Sampsa Hyysalo 2018

User Innovation and Peer Assistance in Small-Scale Renewable Energy Technologies

Sampsa Hyysalo, Jouni Juntunen 2018 The Oxford Handbook of Energy and Society

Ecologies of user knowledge

Samuli Mäkinen, Sampsa Hyysalo, Mikael Johnson 2018

Murrosareenan muutospolkutyökalu

Sofi Perikangas, Sampsa Hyysalo 2018

Who 'uses' smart grids? The evolving nature of user representations in layered infrastructures

Antti Silvast, Robin Williams, Sampsa Hyysalo, Kjetil Rommetveit, Charles Raab 2018

Organisational adoption of the lead user method

Pia Hannukainen, Samuli Mäkinen, Sampsa Hyysalo 2017

Energy Internet Forums as acceleration phase transition Intermediaries

Sampsa Hyysalo, Jouni Juntunen, Mari Martiskainen 2017 International Sustainability Transitions Conference

The diffusion of consumer innovation in sustainable energy technologies

Sampsa Hyysalo, Mikael Johnson, Jouni Juntunen 2017

Uusia näkymiä energiamurroksen Suomeen

Sampsa Hyysalo, Tatu Marttila, Armi Temmes, Raimo Lovio, Paula Kivimaa, Karoliina Auvinen, Allu Pyhälammi, Jani Lukkarinen, Janne Peljo 2017

Everyday experimentation in energy transition

Mikko Jalas, Sampsa Hyysalo, Eva Heiskanen, Raimo Lovio, Ari Nissinen, Maija Mattinen, Jenny Rinkinen, Jouni K. Juntunen, Pasi Tainio, Heli Nissilä 2017

Physical representations as a common language

Samuli Mäkinen, Pia Hannukainen, Sampsa Hyysalo 2017 Passion-based Co-creation

The Evolution of Intermediary Activities

Louna Hakkarainen, Sampsa Hyysalo 2016

Diversity and change of user driven innovation modes in companies

Sampsa Hyysalo, Petteri Repo, Päivi Timonen, Louna Hakkarainen, Eva Heiskanen 2016

Introduction to the new production of users

Sampsa Hyysalo, Torben Jensen, Nelly Oudshoorn 2016 The New Production of Users

Sosiologinen materia

Sampsa Hyysalo 2016

The New Production of Users

Sampsa Hyysalo, Torben Jensen, Nelly Oudshoorn 2016

User representation

Sampsa Hyysalo, Mikael Johnson 2016 The New Production of Users

Designing for Sustainable Transition through Value Sensitive Design

Luisa Mok, Sampsa Hyysalo, Jenni Väänänen 2016

Proximal Design

Svetlana Usenyuk, Sampsa Hyysalo, Jack Whalen 2016

Intermediate search elements and method combination in lead-user searches

Sampsa Hyysalo, Pia Helminen, Samuli Mäkinen, Mikael Johnson, Jouni K. Juntunen, Stephanie Freeman 2015

Redrawing the landscape of designing for, with and by users

Sampsa Hyysalo 2015 Nordic Contributions in IS Research - 6th Scandinavian Conference on Information Systems, SCIS 2015, Proceedings

User involvement and radical innovation: the case of heat pumps in Finland

Eva Heiskanen, Sampsa Hyysalo, Mikko Jalas, Jouni Juntunen, Raimo Lovio 2014 The highways and byways to radical innovation : design perspectives

Collaborative futuring with and by makers

Sampsa Hyysalo, Cindy Kohtala, Pia Helminen, Samuli Mäkinen, Virve Miettinen, Lotta Muurinen 2014

Laajaa käyttäjälähtöisyyttä Tanskassa

Sampsa Hyysalo, Mikael Johnson, Jouni Juntunen, Samuli Mäkinen, Stephanie Freeman, Louna Hakkarainen 2014 TEM raportteja 3/2014

From recipes to meals... and dietary regimes: method mixes as key emerging topic in human-centred design

Mikael Johnson, Sampsa Hyysalo, Samuli Mäkinen, Pia Helminen, Kaisa Savolainen, Louna Hakkarainen 2014 8th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (NordiCHI'14), Helsinki, Finland, 26-20 October, 2014

The managed prosumer: evolving knowledge strategies in the design of infromation infrastructures

Mikael Johnson, Hajar Mozaffar, Gian Marco Campagnolo, Sampsa Hyysalo, Neil Pollock, Robin Williams 2014

Co-designing the future health care

Sampsa Hyysalo, Sebastian Greger, Zagros Hatami 2013 Living+ for better living environments

Internet forums and the rise of the inventive energy user

Sampsa Hyysalo, Jouni K. Juntunen, Stephanie Freeman 2013

The User as a Relational Category

Sampsa Hyysalo, Mikael Johnson 2013 Co-Create 2013 The Boundary-Crossing Conference on Co-Design in Innovation, Espoo, Finland, June 16-19, 2013

User innovation in sustainable home energy technologies

Sampsa Hyysalo, Jouni K. Juntunen, Stephanie Freeman 2013

Embracing New Ideas in User Driven Innovation Policy

Petteri Repo, Päivi Timonen, Eva Heiskanen, Sampsa Hyysalo 2013 Proceedings of the 2013 ISPIM Innovation Conference

Energy in Society: Energy Systems and Infrastructures in Society

Antti Silvast, Hannu Hänninen, Sampsa Hyysalo 2013

Local experimentation and societal learning for sustainability transitions - Does it work in practice?

Eva Heiskanen, Sampsa Hyysalo, Mikko Jalas, Jouni Juntunen, Helka Kuusi, Raimo Lovio, Jenny Rinkinen 2012 International Conference on Sustainability Transitions (IST) 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 29-31, 2012

Accumulation and erosion of user representations or how is situated design interaction situated

Sampsa Hyysalo 2012 Phenomenology, organizational politics, and IT design: the social study of information systems

Internet forums and citizen inventiveness in renewable energy

Sampsa Hyysalo, Jouni Juntunen, Stephanie Freeman 2012 Second Aalto Event on Science and Technology Studies: Energy in Society, Helsinki, Finland, 5-6 November, 2012

Taking user representations seriously: past, present and future

Sampsa Hyysalo, Mikael Johnson 2012 Biennial Conference of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST), Copenhagen, Denmark, October 17-20, 2012

User innovation in sustainable home energy technologies

Sampsa Hyysalo, Jouni Juntunen, Stephanie Freeman 2012 Second Aalto Event on Science and Technology Studies: Energy in Society, Helsinki, Finland, 5-6 November, 2012

Lessons for participatory designers of social media: long-term user involvement strategies in industry

Mikael Johnson, Sampsa Hyysalo 2012 12th Participatory Design Conference (PDC), Roskilde, Denmark, August 12-16, 2012

Käyttäjätieto ja teknologian sosiaalinen muotoutuminen

Sampsa Hyysalo 2011 Ihmisen ja tietokoneen vuorovaikutus

Constructing innovative users and user-inclusive innovation communities

Eva Heiskanen, Sampsa Hyysalo, Tanja Kotro, Petteri Repo 2010