Staging Sociotechnical Spaces: Translating across Boundaries in Design

Christian Clausen, Yutaka Yoshinaka

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The management of innovation and product development is increasingly facing complex challenges of staging design processes across heterogeneous organisational spaces, with multiple actor-concerns and sources of knowledge. This paper addresses how insights from the Actor-Network Theory and political process theory may contribute to a reflexive understanding of design as the staging of socio-technical relations and processes cutting across boundaries of diverse organisational, political and knowledge domains. This idea is pursued through the notion of ‘socio-technical spaces’. Socio-technical space is elaborated as being an occasioning as well as a result of socio-technical choices and processes, and points to the role of socio-material as well as discursive practices, which frame and render particular spaces open to management and to the coordination of knowledge flows and ideas in early phases of product development. The concept of socio-technical spaces is further illustrated through actual examples from industry dealing with early conceptualisation in product development and the role played by management concepts in the configuration of spaces.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalThe Journal of Design Research
    Issue number1-2
    Pages (from-to)61-78
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Boundary objects
    • users
    • conceptualisation
    • design process
    • socio-technical spaces

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