Work-Oriented Design of Computer Artifacts

This thesis is an inquiry into the  activity of designing computer artefacts that are useful to people in their daily activity at work. The emphasis is on opportunities and constraints for industrial democracy and quality of work.

The book sets out the philosophical foundation of design of computer artefacts and argues that the existing disciplinary boundaries between natural sciences, social sciences and humanities are dysfunctional for the subject matter of designing computer artefacts. Drawing on the findings from two practice based projects (DEMOS and UTOPIA), a view on work-oriented design of computer artefacts is presented. The collective resource approach to design is promoted: an attempt to widen the design process to also include trade union activities, with the explicit goal of industrial democracy in design and use. Finally, the ideal of skilled workers and designers in cooperation designing computer artefacts as tools for skilled work is considered.

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