Aesthetic, functional and conceptual provocation in research through design

Dimitrios Raptis, Rikke Hagensby Jensen, Jesper Kjeldskov, Mikael B. Skov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Recently within HCI, design approaches have appeared, which deviate from traditional ones. Among them critical design introduces deliberate provocations in order to challenge established perceptions and practices. We have engaged ourselves with this design approach out of interest in understanding how to use provocation in research through design. Towards this end, we report on a field study with four families that used an aesthetically, functionally and conceptually provocative future probe. The purpose of the probe was to challenge existing energy consuming practices through provocation and make its users reflect on them. The paper describes how all three provocative aspects were addressed, and our findings demonstrate how they were experienced in the real world, and how they impacted our research through design approach. We conclude by presenting reflections on how to design provocations, and reflections on the impact of provocations for research through design in general.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems
EditorsMichael Smyth, Peter Dalsgaard
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450349222
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventDesigning Interactive Systems 2017 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jun 201714 Jun 2017


ConferenceDesigning Interactive Systems 2017
Abbreviated titleDIS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Aesthetic
  • Conceptual
  • Critical design
  • Critical-technical practice
  • Criticality
  • Functional
  • Provocation
  • Research through design

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