Simonsen, Jesper, Karasti, Helena, and Hertzum, Morten
Computer Supported Cooperative Work: The Journal of Collaborative Computing. Apr2020, Vol. 29 Issue 1/2, p115-151. 37p.
MEDICAL care, PATIENTS' attitudes, HOSPITAL care, INFORMATION retrieval, and SOCIAL support
The participatory design of CSCW systems increasingly embraces activities of reconfiguring the use of existing interconnected systems in addition to developing and implementing new. In this article, we refer to such activities of changing and improving collaboration through the means of existing information infrastructures as infrastructuring. We investigate a relational perspective on infrastructuring and provide an overview and a detailed account of a local infrastructuring process by tracing the concrete relations that emerged. The elusive quality of information infrastructures as being invisible is analyzed through the notion of infrastructural inversion. Infrastructural inversion is the gestalt switch of shifting attention from the activities invisibly supported by an infrastructure to the activities that enable the infrastructure to function and meet desired needs for collaborative support. Initially, infrastructural inversion was conceived as a conceptual-analytic notion, but recent research has also positioned it as an empirical-ethnographic and generative-designerly resource. In this study, we rely on all of these stances and contribute to the generative-designerly position. We explain the notion of infrastructural inversion and describe how it is distinct from the CSCW concept of articulation work. The context of the analysis includes a participatory design project that sought to reduce patients' fasting time prior to surgical operations by improving the interdepartmental coordination at a hospital. The project revealed the webs of relations and interdependencies in which fasting time is inscribed at the local level as well as regionally, nationally, and beyond. We pursue the relations, trace their connectedness across multiple scopes, and show how the process alternated between empirical and analytic activities of exploring relations and design-oriented activities of reaching closure. Our analysis shows that the notion of infrastructural inversion can enrich participatory design: Infrastructural inversion embraces the exploratory activities of tracing relations, while the design agenda drove the need for reaching closure. We conclude by discussing lessons learned for infrastructuring and for participatory design that engages with infrastructuring. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
DO-it-yourself products industry, INFRASTRUCTURE (Economics), and SUSTAINABLE development
Collective DIY (do-it-yourself) is a phenomenon that is increasingly connected with struggles for autonomy. Autonomy here is seen as creating shared resources and the means of continuously steering the activities of the collective. Therefore, this article explores contemporary, collective DIY initiatives, and the relation of design and autonomy in such initiatives, based on three cases from Finland and Germany. The first case is a sewing cafe located close to Ulm that has operated as a living lab for research on sustainable consumption since 2016. The second case is a cultural lab in Helsinki, which was open for all to participate in and ran on an internal currency for one year until its closure, in 2017. Finally, the third case is a cultural lab in Berlin, which has provided a space for a variety of DIY activities since 2010. The paper conceptualizes the initiatives with the notion of infrastructure in order to better understand how these initiatives create conditions for different ways of being and acting from a design perspective. I complement this concept with a practice-theoretical approach in order to see if these different ways of acting hold any potential for autonomy in everyday life. Empirical evidence, including evidence from interviews with the organizers and participant observation, indicates that DIY collectives organize around ideals of creativity, democratic and mutually supportive relations, and sets of commons. Whilst evidence on the broader impacts of the initiatives is scarce, skills, common resources, and alternative spaces outside the market logic have potential for autonomy in everyday life. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]