Challenging industry conceptions with provotypes

Laurens Boer , Jared Donovan & Jacob Buur

“In this article we position the approach to organisational development and the instrumental ways of working with critical design. We propose provotypes as ethnographically rooted technically working and robust artefacts that deliberately challenge common stakeholder conceptions. We draw experiences from a project
concerning indoor climate that brought together stakeholders from several companies, and in which provotypes were employed. We demonstrate how provotypes support the transfer of user knowledge, and how they guide the fuzzy-front end of a design process. We reflect on the differences and overlap between critical design, organisational sense-making and provotyping, and suggest distinctions based on the findings from our research. We end with a discussion on the role of the design researcher and the politics of provocation.”