Visual practices and the objects used in design

Whyte, Jennifer K, Ewenstein, Boris, Hales, Michael and Tidd, Joe (2007) Visual practices and the objects used in design. Building Research and Information, 35 (1). pp. 18-27.

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Recent interest in material objects – the things of everyday interaction – has led to articulations of their role in the literature on organizational knowledge and learning. What is missing is a sense of how the use of these ‘things’ is patterned across both industrial settings and time. This research addresses this gap with a particular emphasis on visual materials. Practices are analysed in two contrasting design settings: a capital goods manufacturer and an architectural firm. Materials are observed to be treated both as frozen, and hence unavailable for change; and as fluid, open and dynamic. In each setting temporal patterns of unfreezing and refreezing are associated with the different types of materials used. The research suggests that these differing patterns or rhythms of visual practice are important in the evolution of knowledge and in structuring social relations for delivery. Hence, to improve their performance practitioners should not only consider the types of media they use, but also reflect on the pace and style of their interactions.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Joseph Tidd
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:38
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 17:04
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