Nurturing Creativity: Assemblages in HCI Design Practices

Sisse Finken Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway
Alma Leora Culén Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway
Andrea Gasparini Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway



This paper investigates the emergence and nourishment of group creativity within humancomputer interaction design (HCID). HCID practitioners are groomed within a scientific tradition and primarily perceive themselves as knowledge seekers, rather than creative makers of things. In an effort to add new value to HCID we refer to 'assemblage of skills' and 'assemblage of design practices' suggesting that practitioners acquire creativity when combining epistemology (finder) and ontology (maker). We do so by example from an advanced graduate course in HCID where the students were to design products to be exhibited in a well-visited and established annual fair at the university. This task required the presence of skills and practices of both 'finder' and 'maker'. In the process of product making, the students were not allowed to rely exclusively on learned methods and approaches involving users and other stakeholders. Rather, they were to unleash their own creativity. The paper follows this process of emerging creativity through photo documentation, it provides lessons learned, and it discusses how design comes about through a relationship between finding and making.

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