Socio-technical practices

The aim of the socio-technical practices team is to explore how we can work and communicate with digital technologies in new sustainable ways. We want to widen the research agenda of user experience and usability to encompass the situatedness of the design, development, implementation and use of technology.

Our interest lies in understanding how different stakeholders make sense of and appropriate technology. Our standpoint is to work closely with users, management, designers and developers of technology.

Even though we are based in a technical university, we want to keep a critical stance and not blindly promote technology, but rather investigate the broad set of stakeholder values involved in the deployment and use of digital media and ICT products, services and environments. In our view, the concepts of user experience and usability must become more holistic. We draw our inspiration from a multi-disciplinary research ethic that incorporates value sensitive design, socio-material practices, organizational theory, media science, studies of management information systems, and Science and Technology Studies, just to name a few.

The focus of our project work is to reach a critical understanding of processes of change that enable/disable and empower/disempower – who empowers whom, and who become disabled? This understanding is formed through a critical analytical stance of all aspects of technology - from creation to use. Our vision is that a deeper understanding of the socio-technical aspects of technology can inform participatory patterns in design, procurement, deployment and validation processes. Our challenge is to work strategically within socio-technical design practices, promote a holistic view of technology and prepare for change.

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