Designing Human Technologies

Designing Human Technologies is a design-oriented Strategic Research Initiative supporting Roskilde University’s new Humanities and Technology bachelor programme (‘HumTek’). The research initiative involves many researchers from different departments and research groups at Roskilde University through a shared interdisciplinary research and educational collaboration.

Purpose and strategy

  • to establish and strengthen a common research identity at RUC, comprising all academic resources with design interests
  • by carrying out joint research projects across research groups and departments
  • hereby also supporting the development of new graduate and PhD programmes targeting the HumTek area

Three main areas

The research initiative addresses three issues/themes. Common to all three themes is a concern for the ethical aspects, through which researchers can explicate their reasons for and opinions on research activities and findings. Two of the themes refer to application areas (“Development and design of socio-technical systems” and “Aesthetics, experience and learning“), the third theme cuts across application areas (“Design as a scientific method“). Read about the three main areas here:

Design and development of sociotechnical systems
Aesthetics, experience and learning
Design as scientific method

Analysis, action and reflection

Designing Human Technologies is a design-oriented research field, the purpose of which is to be constructive (to make designs) and solution-oriented in close dialogue with citizens and users (who identify a need or a problem). The university’s special contribution toward fulfilling this purpose is

  1. to provide an analysis of the relevant issue,
  2. to design solutions for particular issues through, for example, action research and
  3. to reflect on how designs are used and incorporated in human lives.

Principle of participation

We have a basic human principle that users, target groups, and other central stakeholders must participate in the design and the design process, in ethical and society-related concerns, and in evaluating how designs fulfill needs and solve problems. Designing Human Technologies subscribes to a broad technologyconcept including information and communication, mobile, environmental/sustainable and energy technologies and technologies relating to performances and experiences, urban design, climate adaptation, etc.

A goal of the research initiative is to create the best possible conditions for researchers to meet, exchange findings and experiences, set up collaborations and carry out joint projects across research groups and departments. This is done by enabling dialogue and synergetic cooperation between existing research groups representing the many different epistemological and ontological theories at RUC.

See also the descriptions of the three main areas at RUC’s webpage

Design and development of sociotechnical systems @ruc
Aesthetics, experience and learning @ruc
Design as research method @ruc

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