Boundary objects in design
Kapitel i bok, 2009

Over the past 15 years, the attention afforded to space and the physical environment in terms of office solutions has increased. New ideas about management, leadership, knowledge at work and the place of new technology, have led to a shift in how we think about the workplace. The context of work is changing; places and times of work and the way people interact are changing too. Similarly, the demand for highly flexible office space is increasing. Collocating staff, focusing on spaces for interaction and getting an invigorated and stimulating workplace culture (Vos et al., 1997), is fostering teamwork, which adds value to the business and raises the brand of the companies concerned. Changes have also led to a shift in the role of the architect in the building design process. The former master builder with total responsibility has been reduced to an actor among others in the briefing and design phases of a complex project, although architects still have a greater influence on the crucial conceptual design decisions during the design process. Even so, such concepts as teamwork and collaboration, as collective terms for every interaction with others, are not sufficiently precise to enable designers to interpret the clients’ vision of a successful spatial solution. Hence, it is important to understand how architects and designers manage the supply side and the translation process from ‘business language’ to ‘architectural language’. There is a chain of translations, where choices and decisions have to be made. The question is: can the translation process be facilitated by instruments that help the process go more easily and give the participants a shared and better understanding? Based on a current case study, 1 we explore some instruments used in the translation process between the clients on the demand side and architects and interior designers on the supply side. In order to analyze how the collective action is managed across these social worlds, we have chosen a theoretical framework from the field of science, technology and society. We focus on the concept called ‘boundary objects’, which is useful for achieving sufficient agreement between stakeholders in order to progress decisions and get work done. The concept can be used to gain new methodological insight into the process of briefing and design (Kjølle et al., 2005).


Kari Hovin Kjølle

Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet

Cecilia Gustafsson

Student vid Chalmers

Performance Improvement in Construction Management

9781135998363 (ISBN)




Människa-datorinteraktion (interaktionsdesign)



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