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Designing a Model of the Unknown

Research group:

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper






On a comprehensive level, the purpose of this study is to explore the design process in a societal context. In other words, this is not an investigation of design in general, but of design with an informative and explanatory ambition. This project deals utmost with the problem of involving citizens in a discussion about society and history, something of vital importance for democracy. The application is a model-making process carried out one and a half decades ago for the museum at the World Heritage Site Birka situated on the island of Björkö in Lake Mälaren, in the centre of Sweden. The assumption is that the design and representation of the model has an impact on people's understanding of their history. A salient point is that this case study deals with a model of something that has been non-existent for nearly twelve hundred years, a settlement that disappeared around 970 A.D. This study is focused on the working process as experienced by the individual creative artist assigned to the model-making project. The problem area involves possibilities and obstacles that accompany the involvement of artistic knowledge-in-practice in a collaborative design process. Thus, the research questions are:


author = {Ulrika Florin and Yvonne Eriksson and Inger Orre},
title = {Designing a Model of the Unknown },
editor = {Marjanovic Dorian, Storga Mario, Pavkovic Neven, Bojcetic Nenad (Ed.), },
month = {May},
year = {2012},
booktitle = {Design2012},
publisher = {Design2012, SOCIOTECHNICAL ISSUES IN DESIGN},
url = {}