Exploring the contested borderland between data and meaning: Using hermeneutic phenomenology and experience-based design for insightful engineering

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

Abstract

At an engineering research centre in Denmark covering a broad spectrum of engineering specialties, we have employed a hermeneutic phenomenological approach to a wide range of educational and industry projects to help us to better understand everyday human experience for the people for whom we intend to design. Through this work, we have experimented with and explored creative ways to 'enter into' the lives of various individuals and groups within the health, pharmaceuticals, education, manufacturing and local government sectors. Some of our ideas have been a little unorthodox; applying ready-to-hand technologies in very different ways, but we have discovered that they work and can provide powerful insights into the everyday 'natural' worlds of ordinary people. Finding new ways to capture lived experiences (as best we can), understanding 'hidden meaning structures' contained within them at the most primordial level, and communicating these insights experientially are the goals that have driven this work. In this paper we will share some examples of how we have infused design
thinking with hermeneutic phenomenology across the four stages of each project (Exploring, Sharing, Understanding and Showing How). We have developed this approach by constantly referring back to philosophical first principles to inspire new techniques and 'ways into' the life-worlds of real people that we are striving to help. We hope that designers and engineers will find these examples helpful in their attempts to find new perspectives on old problems and to challenge old perspectives on new problems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Journal of Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace
PublisherQueen's Journal Hosting Service
Pages21-36
Number of pages13
Volume7
Edition1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2020
EventThe 14th Annual Engineering, Social Justice and Peace Conference - Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, Binghamton University, Binghamton, United States
Duration: 13 Jun 201915 Jun 2019
http://esjp.org/esjp-2019
https://filsalustri.blogspot.com/2018/11/14th-annual-engineering-social-justice.html

Publication series

NameInternational Journal of Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace
PublisherQueen's Journal Hosting Service
Number1
Volume7
ISSN (Electronic)1927-9434

Conference

ConferenceThe 14th Annual Engineering, Social Justice and Peace Conference
Abbreviated titleRemoving borders among disciplines
CountryUnited States
CityBinghamton
Period13/06/1915/06/19
Internet address

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