Aspects of everyday design: Resourcefulness, adaptation, and emergence

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Wakkary, Ron, & Maestri, Leah. (2008). Aspects of everyday design: Resourcefulness, adaptation, and emergence. Intl. Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 24(5), 478-491. doi:10.1080/10447310802142276

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This article discusses how families appropriate artifacts and surroundings that lead to the design of everyday household systems, such as combining a chalkboard, a door frame, and a hanging basket with paper and sticky notes to manage lists and messages. Such systems continually evolve through the catalytic pressures of individual actions and design-in-use. The article reports on a study of four families in which the concept of everyday design in the home was being researched. In-depth descriptions and discussions of the observations and patterns are presented. The design implications of this study are also discussed. The research contributions are an explanation of everyday design as a novel way to understand interactions and routines in the home, descriptions of the key actions and process in everyday design, and the need to reconstruct the user in the sense of an everyday designer.

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