Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Cultural-historical activity theory and informal learning as a key component of co-design practice in a community initiative

Calvo, Mirian; Sclater, Madeleine; Smith, Paul

Authors

Mirian Calvo

Madeleine Sclater

Paul Smith



Abstract

This paper outlines PhD research associated with Leapfrog, a three-year-funded AHRC project, which aims to analyse the impact of co-design practices in developing ‘engagement tools’ within community development. One challenge in co-design is identifying ways to understand holistically the context. Understanding individual and collective contextual factors simultaneously requires bridging the gap between theory and practice. Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) interconnects all the components simultaneously illuminating a holistic approach for understanding such context. The paper focuses on the distribution of power in co-design aiming to illustrate how designers balance power and reflects on the experience of applying CHAT into practice, identifying informal learning as a key component. It elucidates how ethnographic methods can provide a deeper understanding about the context. About this, it can be concluded that a greater awareness of context, understood through the lenses of CHAT, helps designers to reveal the interconnection between individual and collective factors.

Citation

Calvo, M., Sclater, M., & Smith, P. (2016, September). Cultural-historical activity theory and informal learning as a key component of co-design practice in a community initiative. Paper presented at ESREA: 8th Triennial European Research Conference. Imagining diverse futures for adult education: questions of power and resources of creativity

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name ESREA: 8th Triennial European Research Conference. Imagining diverse futures for adult education: questions of power and resources of creativity
Start Date Sep 8, 2016
End Date Sep 11, 2016
Acceptance Date Jul 15, 2016
Publication Date Sep 11, 2016
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords design for social innovation, co-design, design ethnography, Leapfrog tools, cultural-historical activity theory, informal learning
Publisher URL https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/esrea
Related Public URLs http://radar.gsa.ac.uk/5295/
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : ESREA: 8th Triennial European Research Conference