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Design as Reflection

Olander, Elin LU (2011)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

För unga personer med funktionsnedsättningar är det viktigt att vara som alla andra och därmed inte avvika från mängden på ett för personen oönskat sätt. Hjälpmedel är produkter som en person med en eller flera funktionsnedsättningar kan använda för att kunna vara delaktig i vårt samhälle. Dessa produkter möjliggör för personen att delta i de sociala aktiviteter han eller hon önskar. Dock kan hjälpmedel även ses som en symbol för själva funktionshindret; de kan förmedla att användaren är annorlunda än andra människor. Ibland undviker personer med funktionsnedsättningar att använda sina hjälpmedel offentligt bland andra människor. Det finns många olika förklaringar till detta. Den här avhandlingen... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

För unga personer med funktionsnedsättningar är det viktigt att vara som alla andra och därmed inte avvika från mängden på ett för personen oönskat sätt. Hjälpmedel är produkter som en person med en eller flera funktionsnedsättningar kan använda för att kunna vara delaktig i vårt samhälle. Dessa produkter möjliggör för personen att delta i de sociala aktiviteter han eller hon önskar. Dock kan hjälpmedel även ses som en symbol för själva funktionshindret; de kan förmedla att användaren är annorlunda än andra människor. Ibland undviker personer med funktionsnedsättningar att använda sina hjälpmedel offentligt bland andra människor. Det finns många olika förklaringar till detta. Den här avhandlingen fokuserar på att det är en konflikt mellan produktens identitet och användarens önskade självbild som är den bidragande orsaken till varför ett hjälpmedel inte används av personen. En anledning till att denna konflikt uppstår kan vara att användaren själv inte valt att använda produkten. Det finns ett “krav” på att använda produkten trots att personen inte gillar den, detta för att kunna ta del av aktiviteter i samhället på lika villkor som andra människor. I denna avhandling har jag beskrivit hur unga personer med funktionsnedsättningar känslomässigt upplever sina hjälpmedel, hur de hanterar situationen att tvingas använda en icke självvald produkt de inte tycker om, samt hur design kan bidra till att lösa konflikten mellan en oönskad produkts identitet och användarens önskade identitet.



För att förstå hur unga personer med funktionsnedsättningar känslomässigt upplever sina hjälpmedel har jag genomfört tio djupintervjuer med unga vuxna hjälpmedelsanvändare. Jag har också genomfört ett designprojekt med en participativ designprocess tillsammans med unga rullstolsanvändare för att skapa en produkt som utgår från förståelsen hur användare upplever produkter i relation till deras självbild samt upplevelsen av meningsfulhet och stigmatisering. Sammantaget visar resultatet att de unga vuxna personerna med funktionsnedsättningar beskriver tre olika strategier för att hantera den känslomässiga konflikt som kan uppstå när de tvingas använda en oönskad produkt: (1) De står ut med produkten med känslan av att de ändå inte kan göra något. (2) De låter bli att använda produkten eller (3) de gör om produkten genom att ge den ett utseende eller funktion de kan identifiera sig med. Utifrån dessa tre strategier har jag skapat en konceptmodell som beskriver hur produkter upplevs utifrån relationen mellan användarens självbild och användarens upplevelse av meningsfullhet och stigmatisering. Konceptmodellen bidrar till industridesignerns förståelse av hur användaren upplever icke självvalda produkter. Den bidrar därmed till att uppmuntra industridesignern att betrakta ett hjälpmedel utifrån en ny synvinkel: från att vara en rent funktionell produkt som möter användarens olika kroppsliga förmågor till att vara en produkt som ingår i användarens identitet och som därmed överensstämmer med dennes önskade självbild. Det nya angreppssättet som konceptmodellen bidrar med kan i ett längre perspektiv förändra sociala värderingar och fördomar om personer med funktionshinder och om hjälpmedel om de anammas av industridesigner eller produktutvecklare när nya hjälpmedel ska tas fram. (Less)
Abstract
For young persons with disabilities it is important to be as everyone else and not deviating from the normative in an unwanted way. Assistive devices are products that persons with disabilities can use to get accessibility to our society. Such products enable the person to participate in activities he or she wishes to take part in. However assistive devices are also a sign for disability, indicating that a user of such a product is different from others. As a consequence persons with disabilities sometimes avoid using their assistive devices in public. There are many reasons why. However, one reason which is addressed in this thesis is that the identity of the product is in conflict with the user’s desired self-image. This may be due to... (More)
For young persons with disabilities it is important to be as everyone else and not deviating from the normative in an unwanted way. Assistive devices are products that persons with disabilities can use to get accessibility to our society. Such products enable the person to participate in activities he or she wishes to take part in. However assistive devices are also a sign for disability, indicating that a user of such a product is different from others. As a consequence persons with disabilities sometimes avoid using their assistive devices in public. There are many reasons why. However, one reason which is addressed in this thesis is that the identity of the product is in conflict with the user’s desired self-image. This may be due to the fact that a user of an assistive device has not voluntarily chosen the product. Even though the person does not like the appearance of the product, he or she must use it in order to take part in society on equal terms. In this thesis, I have described how young adult users with disabilities emotionally experience their assistive devices. This thesis also explores how users handle the situation of being forced to use an involuntarily chosen product which they do not like. Finally, the thesis describes how design may contribute to solve conflicts between the identity of an unwanted product and the desired identity of the user.



In order to understand how young persons with disabilities emotionally experience their assistive devices I have carried out in depth interviews with ten young adult users of assistive devices. Furthermore I have carried out a design project employing a participatory design process together with young wheelchair users to create a product based on the understanding of how users experience products in relation to their self-image, experience of meaningfulness and stigmatisation. The results indicate that young adult persons (whom I have interviewed) used three different strategies to handle their emotional conflict of being forced to use a non-voluntarily chosen product which he or she does not like: (1) they endure, feeling they cannot do anything (2) they abandon it, or (3) they redesign the product themselves to meet their personal preferences and values. From these strategies I have created a concept model describing product experiences in relation to the user’s self-image, meaningfulness and stigmatisation. The concept model will encourage designers to view assistive devices in a new way, changing his or her approach to design; from regarding them as mainly functional products meeting the user’s bodily abilities to regarding assistive devices as part of a person’s self-expression meeting his or her desired self-image. Using the concept model to improve the understanding of experience of assistive devices may support the design of new products which are more congruent with user’s self-image. In the long run, attitudes and prejudices in society towards persons with disabilities using assistive devices may be improved. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Ilstedt Hjelm, Sara, Industrial design, Royal Institute of technology, Stockholm
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Product Experiences, Reflective Design, Self-image, Meaningfulness, Stigmatizing, Users with Disabilities, Assistive Devices.
pages
240 pages
publisher
Lund University (Media-Tryck)
defense location
Museum of Sketches, Finngatan 2, Lund University Faculty of Engineering
defense date
2011-08-26 09:00
ISBN
978-91-7473-111-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5056cfc5-4a98-408d-9571-ff00c9dab433 (old id 1971026)
date added to LUP
2011-05-31 10:25:41
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:14
@misc{5056cfc5-4a98-408d-9571-ff00c9dab433,
  abstract     = {For young persons with disabilities it is important to be as everyone else and not deviating from the normative in an unwanted way. Assistive devices are products that persons with disabilities can use to get accessibility to our society. Such products enable the person to participate in activities he or she wishes to take part in. However assistive devices are also a sign for disability, indicating that a user of such a product is different from others. As a consequence persons with disabilities sometimes avoid using their assistive devices in public. There are many reasons why. However, one reason which is addressed in this thesis is that the identity of the product is in conflict with the user’s desired self-image. This may be due to the fact that a user of an assistive device has not voluntarily chosen the product. Even though the person does not like the appearance of the product, he or she must use it in order to take part in society on equal terms. In this thesis, I have described how young adult users with disabilities emotionally experience their assistive devices. This thesis also explores how users handle the situation of being forced to use an involuntarily chosen product which they do not like. Finally, the thesis describes how design may contribute to solve conflicts between the identity of an unwanted product and the desired identity of the user.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
In order to understand how young persons with disabilities emotionally experience their assistive devices I have carried out in depth interviews with ten young adult users of assistive devices. Furthermore I have carried out a design project employing a participatory design process together with young wheelchair users to create a product based on the understanding of how users experience products in relation to their self-image, experience of meaningfulness and stigmatisation. The results indicate that young adult persons (whom I have interviewed) used three different strategies to handle their emotional conflict of being forced to use a non-voluntarily chosen product which he or she does not like: (1) they endure, feeling they cannot do anything (2) they abandon it, or (3) they redesign the product themselves to meet their personal preferences and values. From these strategies I have created a concept model describing product experiences in relation to the user’s self-image, meaningfulness and stigmatisation. The concept model will encourage designers to view assistive devices in a new way, changing his or her approach to design; from regarding them as mainly functional products meeting the user’s bodily abilities to regarding assistive devices as part of a person’s self-expression meeting his or her desired self-image. Using the concept model to improve the understanding of experience of assistive devices may support the design of new products which are more congruent with user’s self-image. In the long run, attitudes and prejudices in society towards persons with disabilities using assistive devices may be improved.},
  author       = {Olander, Elin},
  isbn         = {978-91-7473-111-8},
  keyword      = {Product Experiences,Reflective Design,Self-image,Meaningfulness,Stigmatizing,Users with Disabilities,Assistive Devices.},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {240},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xa2810c8)},
  title        = {Design as Reflection},
  year         = {2011},
}