Expanding Design Space: Design-In-Use Activities and Strategies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


This paper introduces an analytical framework for understanding the collaborative nature and distributed structure of what is often referred to as design space. We propose that the design space should be conceptualized as the space of possibilities for realizing a design, which extends beyond the concept design stage into the design-in-use activities of people. By locating different activities and mapping participants' possibilities in a continuum from consumption to active creation, we develop a framework for understanding and locating design research interventions and a tool for mapping design activities. We argue that: 1) a design space is always actively co-constructed and explored by multiple actors through their social interactions with and through technologies and 2) the participating actors, resources, conditions and supporting strategies frame the design space available. In doing this, we bring forth relationships between an expanded view of the design space, contemporary discussions on the nature of innovation and the imperative to support explicit collaborative and participatory design activities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign & Complexity
Subtitle of host publicationConference Proceedings
EditorsDavid Durling, Rabah Bousbaci, Lin-Lin Chen, Philippe Gauthier, Tiiu Poldma, Seymour Roworth-Stokes, Erik Stolterman
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-9811985-2-5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventDesign Research Society International Conference: Design & Complexity - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 7 Jul 20109 Jul 2010


ConferenceDesign Research Society International Conference
Abbreviated titleDRS
Internet address


  • design in-use
  • design space


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