Upcoming Dissertation Defense on May 8: Thomas Lodato

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All are invited:

PhD candidate Thomas Lodato’s dissertation defense
TSRB Auditorium
Friday, May 8th 2015


The Work of User Experience Design: Materiality and Cultures in Designing

Carl DiSalvo (advisor)
Ian Bogost
Chris Le Dantec
Erik Stolterman (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Melissa Gregg (Intel Corporation)


At the computational technology company (LTC), designers, engineers, middle managers, executives, social science researchers, marketers, and many other employees worked together to design the user experience of a variety of products. The term user experience marked their language and activities on a daily basis. As designing is a material process of inquiry, the particular environment impacts how design is done. The present research is a case study of the particular character of this use, and how the local environment and the native work activities of LTC impacted and were impacted by this term. The research explores the overlap of design and work—what work activities constitute design and what design activities constitute work—in order to understand the relationship between the activities of design, the environment of its practice, and the local culture of action. The case study reflects on assumptions within design scholarship (and specifically, design studies) about the contemporary role and activity of design in comprehensive innovation, organizational change, and product development.