
A designerly critique of
Activity Theory
Kshitiz Anand
Laura Brunetti
Jason de Runa
School of Informatics, Indiana Unive...
Overview
 Activity theory
 Activity: engagement of a subject toward a certain goal
 Human activity is mediated by tools...
Overview
• Why did this person come up with this way of thinking?
Activity Theory in Action
• Activity trying to support? Exploring an art museum.A visually impaired person.
Activity Theory in Action
• Activity trying to support? Exploring an art museum.to learn about the artifacts on display
Activity Theory in Action
• Activity trying to support? Exploring an art museum.Lack of knowledge about artifacts.
Activity Theory in Action
• Activity trying to support? Exploring an art museum.Learning about the artifacts
Design Theory
• What is a “designerly way of thinking”?
 Complexity
 Influence
 Design judgment
 Design in practice
Critique
 How is it designerly:
 Addresses complexity
 Influences our design
 Judgment
Critique
 How it falls short
 It’s a goal oriented theory
 Context
 Ensoulment: value vs. meaning
Activity Theory vs Design Theory
 Context Complexity
 Goal-Oriented Open-Ended
 Mediation Ensoulment
Thank You
Design Critique Of Activity Theory
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Design Critique Of Activity Theory

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A designerly critique of Activity Theory

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  • Design Critique Of Activity Theory

    1. 1.  A designerly critique of Activity Theory Kshitiz Anand Laura Brunetti Jason de Runa School of Informatics, Indiana University
    2. 2. Overview  Activity theory  Activity: engagement of a subject toward a certain goal  Human activity is mediated by tools  Describes what the individual or group is trying to accomplish
    3. 3. Overview • Why did this person come up with this way of thinking?
    4. 4. Activity Theory in Action • Activity trying to support? Exploring an art museum.A visually impaired person.
    5. 5. Activity Theory in Action • Activity trying to support? Exploring an art museum.to learn about the artifacts on display
    6. 6. Activity Theory in Action • Activity trying to support? Exploring an art museum.Lack of knowledge about artifacts.
    7. 7. Activity Theory in Action • Activity trying to support? Exploring an art museum.Learning about the artifacts
    8. 8. Design Theory • What is a “designerly way of thinking”?  Complexity  Influence  Design judgment  Design in practice
    9. 9. Critique  How is it designerly:  Addresses complexity  Influences our design  Judgment
    10. 10. Critique  How it falls short  It’s a goal oriented theory  Context  Ensoulment: value vs. meaning
    11. 11. Activity Theory vs Design Theory  Context Complexity  Goal-Oriented Open-Ended  Mediation Ensoulment
    12. 12. Thank You

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