Informatics and Work - manifesto
We aim to develop a profile within the discipline of Informatics as it is understood in an international context, that is, as a technical subject area focusing on systems and interaction design, and design processes. Informatics, in our interpretation, is about systems in a broad sense, including people, artifacts and institutions. How this broader understanding of the concept of system can be integrated with a participatory design perspective is the main challenge we are addressing in our research.
We keep a shop-floor perspective, a deliberate near-sightedness, in our research work in the Informatics and Work group. This does not mean we shy away from theoretical discussions, but we do try to avoid a micro-macro dichotomy. We believe there is nothing as theoretical as a deep understanding of practice. Design practices, and the art of designing for sustainable IT support of work practices, are central issues in our research.
Focusing on people and practices
The Human Work Science perspective, as it has been developed over the past 15 years at Blekinge Institute of Technology, is a technical subject area which focuses on work practice and technology, and developmental work, learning and technology, as well as on skill and technology. We incorporate ethnographic field studies and an ethnomethodological approach with the ambition of informing design of IT, as used in Human Work Science, in our research approach.
"Thus, we come down to what is tangible and practical, as the root of every real distinction of thought, no matter how subtile it may be; and there is no distinction of meaning so fine as to consist in anything but a possible difference of practice."
Charles S. Peirce in "How to make our ideas clear", 1878.