Pixel Perfect: How Craftsmen Cope with Changes in Material Practices at Work

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperProfessional

Abstract

In the literature it is assumed that if material practices at work change, for example because of the introduction of new technologies, people are likely to adapt their own skills and expertise. At the same time, studies on craftsmanship showed that people can be so attached to their established ways of working, that their entire raison d'être hinges upon it. In such case, adapting skills might be complicated, which begs the question of how and why craftsmen cope with changes in material practices at work. To answer this question, we conducted an ethnography of designers at one design firm whose work changed from designing tangibles (e.g. products for users) to designing intangibles (e.g. strategies for business). As a consequence of this shift, designers did not feel emotionally connected with work, felt lost in ambiguous design processes and sensed the need to establish legitimacy as a separate occupational group. In response, to (re)establish a connection with their work, the designers spend a lot of time on making and using artifacts typical to their former design practice, like visualizations of customer journeys, and new artifacts like board games. Our findings contribute to the literature on work and occupations, by suggesting an embodied view on material practices and emphasizing the importance of studying emotions in occupations.

Workshop

WorkshopInternational Spring School - Organized Creativity: Approaching a Phenomenon of Uncertainty - Freie Universität Berlin
CountryGermany
CityBerlin
Period12/03/1915/03/19
Internet address

Fingerprint

craftsman
artifact
occupation
occupational group
ethnography
visualization
new technology
legitimacy
expertise
emotion
customer
firm

Keywords

  • Artifacts
  • Craftsmanship
  • Work practices
  • Occupations
  • Service Design
  • Ethnography

Cite this

Laurey, N. R., Soekijad, M., & Huysman, M. (2019). Pixel Perfect: How Craftsmen Cope with Changes in Material Practices at Work. Paper presented at International Spring School - Organized Creativity: Approaching a Phenomenon of Uncertainty - Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Laurey, N.R. ; Soekijad, M. ; Huysman, Marleen. / Pixel Perfect: How Craftsmen Cope with Changes in Material Practices at Work. Paper presented at International Spring School - Organized Creativity: Approaching a Phenomenon of Uncertainty - Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
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abstract = "In the literature it is assumed that if material practices at work change, for example because of the introduction of new technologies, people are likely to adapt their own skills and expertise. At the same time, studies on craftsmanship showed that people can be so attached to their established ways of working, that their entire raison d'{\^e}tre hinges upon it. In such case, adapting skills might be complicated, which begs the question of how and why craftsmen cope with changes in material practices at work. To answer this question, we conducted an ethnography of designers at one design firm whose work changed from designing tangibles (e.g. products for users) to designing intangibles (e.g. strategies for business). As a consequence of this shift, designers did not feel emotionally connected with work, felt lost in ambiguous design processes and sensed the need to establish legitimacy as a separate occupational group. In response, to (re)establish a connection with their work, the designers spend a lot of time on making and using artifacts typical to their former design practice, like visualizations of customer journeys, and new artifacts like board games. Our findings contribute to the literature on work and occupations, by suggesting an embodied view on material practices and emphasizing the importance of studying emotions in occupations.",
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note = "International Spring School - Organized Creativity: Approaching a Phenomenon of Uncertainty - Freie Universit{\"a}t Berlin ; Conference date: 12-03-2019 Through 15-03-2019",
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Laurey, NR, Soekijad, M & Huysman, M 2019, 'Pixel Perfect: How Craftsmen Cope with Changes in Material Practices at Work' Paper presented at International Spring School - Organized Creativity: Approaching a Phenomenon of Uncertainty - Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 12/03/19 - 15/03/19, .

Pixel Perfect: How Craftsmen Cope with Changes in Material Practices at Work. / Laurey, N.R.; Soekijad, M.; Huysman, Marleen.

2019. Paper presented at International Spring School - Organized Creativity: Approaching a Phenomenon of Uncertainty - Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperProfessional

TY - CONF

T1 - Pixel Perfect: How Craftsmen Cope with Changes in Material Practices at Work

AU - Laurey, N.R.

AU - Soekijad, M.

AU - Huysman, Marleen

PY - 2019/3

Y1 - 2019/3

N2 - In the literature it is assumed that if material practices at work change, for example because of the introduction of new technologies, people are likely to adapt their own skills and expertise. At the same time, studies on craftsmanship showed that people can be so attached to their established ways of working, that their entire raison d'être hinges upon it. In such case, adapting skills might be complicated, which begs the question of how and why craftsmen cope with changes in material practices at work. To answer this question, we conducted an ethnography of designers at one design firm whose work changed from designing tangibles (e.g. products for users) to designing intangibles (e.g. strategies for business). As a consequence of this shift, designers did not feel emotionally connected with work, felt lost in ambiguous design processes and sensed the need to establish legitimacy as a separate occupational group. In response, to (re)establish a connection with their work, the designers spend a lot of time on making and using artifacts typical to their former design practice, like visualizations of customer journeys, and new artifacts like board games. Our findings contribute to the literature on work and occupations, by suggesting an embodied view on material practices and emphasizing the importance of studying emotions in occupations.

AB - In the literature it is assumed that if material practices at work change, for example because of the introduction of new technologies, people are likely to adapt their own skills and expertise. At the same time, studies on craftsmanship showed that people can be so attached to their established ways of working, that their entire raison d'être hinges upon it. In such case, adapting skills might be complicated, which begs the question of how and why craftsmen cope with changes in material practices at work. To answer this question, we conducted an ethnography of designers at one design firm whose work changed from designing tangibles (e.g. products for users) to designing intangibles (e.g. strategies for business). As a consequence of this shift, designers did not feel emotionally connected with work, felt lost in ambiguous design processes and sensed the need to establish legitimacy as a separate occupational group. In response, to (re)establish a connection with their work, the designers spend a lot of time on making and using artifacts typical to their former design practice, like visualizations of customer journeys, and new artifacts like board games. Our findings contribute to the literature on work and occupations, by suggesting an embodied view on material practices and emphasizing the importance of studying emotions in occupations.

KW - Artifacts

KW - Craftsmanship

KW - Work practices

KW - Occupations

KW - Service Design

KW - Ethnography

M3 - Paper

ER -

Laurey NR, Soekijad M, Huysman M. Pixel Perfect: How Craftsmen Cope with Changes in Material Practices at Work. 2019. Paper presented at International Spring School - Organized Creativity: Approaching a Phenomenon of Uncertainty - Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.