The participatory design of tools: Foreseeing the potential of future internet-enabled farming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Hanna Koskinen
  • Leena Norros

Research units

  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • University of Helsinki
  • Aalto University


This paper describes the use of functional models in a participatory design process to facilitate user involvement in complex system design. The particular case study presented here is the design of Future Internet-enabled farming system to address the global food chain challenges. Taking an end-user perspective during the development of systems and infrastructures in order to assist people in their work and everyday lives sets new challenge for complex system design. In extending the use of functional models by adopting the human factors engineering perspective, we show how future practice was made tangible and subject to the value estimations of a variety of end-user groups. In the food chain related development project, functional models facilitated the creative agency of the food chain actors and enabled a participatory design process in which the agricultural engineers and the food chain actors collaborative worked on a vision of future farming.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-205
Number of pages31
JournalInteraction Design and Architecture(s)
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Complex systems, Functional modelling, Future internet and food chain activity, Human factors engineering, Participatory design, User involvement, Values

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