The New Production of Users : Changing Innovation Collectives and Involvement Strategies book cover
1st Edition

The New Production of Users
Changing Innovation Collectives and Involvement Strategies

ISBN 9781138218772
Published November 3, 2016 by Routledge
358 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Behind the steady stream of new products, technologies, systems and services in our modern societies there is prolonged and complicated battle around the role of users. How should designers get to know the users’ interests and needs? Who should speak for the users? How may designers collaborate with users and in what ways may users take innovation into their own hands?

The New Production of Users offers a rare overview of these issues. It traces the history of designer-user relations from the era of mass production to the present days. Its focus lies in elaborating the currently emerging strategies and approaches to user involvement in business and citizen contexts. It analyses the challenges in the practical collaborations between designers and users, and it investigates a number of cases, where groups of users collectively took charge of innovation.

In addition to a number of new case studies, the book provides a thorough account of theories of user involvement as well as and offers further developments to these theories. As a part of this, the book relates to the wide spectrum of fields currently associated with user involvement, such as user-centered design, participatory design, user innovation, open source software, cocreation and peer production.

Exploring the nexus between users and designers, between efforts to democratize innovation and to mobilize users for commercial purposes, this multi-disciplinary book will be of great interest to academics, policy makers and practitioners in fields such as Innovation Studies, Innovation Policy, Science and Technology Studies, Cultural Studies, Consumption studies, Marketing, e-commerce, Media Studies as well as Design research.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to the New Production of Users

Sampsa Hyysalo, Torben Elgaard Jensen and Nelly Oudshoorn

Part 1: Rethinking and Extending Theoretical Approaches to the Production of Users in Innovation

2. Protecting the Right to Innovate: Our Innovation ‘Wetlands’

Andrew W. Torrance and Eric von Hippel

3. User Representation: A Journey Towards Conceptual Maturation

Sampsa Hyysalo and Mikael Johnson

4. How User Assemblage Matters: Constructing Learning-by-Using in the Case of Wind Turbine Technology in Denmark 1973–1990.

Kristian H. Nielsen

Part 2: User-producer Engagements between Democratized Technology and Industrial Strategizing

5. Making Work Visible

Lucy Suchman

6. Making Sense of User Involvement: Hopes, Fears and Pragmatics

Torben Elgaard Jensen and Morten Krogh Petersen

7. Generification as a Strategy: How Software Producers Configure Products, Manage User Communities and Segment Markets

Neil Pollock, Robin Williams and Luciana D’Adderio

Part 3: Innovation Practices and User Communities

8. Innovation in Civil Society: The Socio-material Dynamics of a Community Innovation

Stefan Verhaegh, Ellen van Oost, and Nelly Oudshoorn

9. User Communities as Multi-functional Spaces: Innovation, Collective Voice, Demand Articulation, Peer Informing and Professional Identity (and more)

Hajar Mozaffar

Part 4: Unwanted Innovation and Non-Users

10. "We Walk Straight Past the Screens": The Power of Non-users of a Hospital Information System

Line Melby and Pieter Toussaint

11. Users, Non-users and "Resistance" to Pharmaceuticals

Kate Weiner and Catherine Will

12. DIY Research in the Psychonaut Subculture: A Case of Unwanted User Innovation

Johan Söderberg


Trevor Pinch

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Sampsa Hyysalo is an Associate Professor in co-design at the Aalto School of, Art, Design and Architecture and a Senior Researcher at the Aalto University School of Economics, Finland.

Torben Elgaard Jensen is a Professor in Techno-Anthropology and Science & Technology Studies at Aalborg University-Copenhagen, Denmark.

Nelly Oudshoorn is a Professor Emeritus of Technology Dynamics and Health Care at the University of Twente, the Netherlands.


"A welcome addition to the reading list for any aspiring student of innovation and technology management who has a thirst for understanding the how users, like technology, are pervading services, products and business models."Brendan Galbraith, Ulster University, Ireland