Integrations of ethnography and ICT design

29 novembre 2018
Versione stampabile

Date & Time: November 29, 2018 -  h. 12:00
Venue: Via Sommarive 5 - Polo Ferrari 1 (Povo, TN) - room Garda


  • Helena Karasti, University of Siegen and University of Oulu


Ethnography has been used in ICT design fields already for some decades. I will first give a brief overview of how ethnography has been called upon for designing ICT to provide more informed understandings of the users’ world, and to what kinds of relations between ethnography and ICT design this has given rise. My own work can be characterized as ‘tight integrations’ between ethnography and participatory/cooperative design that builds on reflexive interdisciplinary exploration. I will then move on to contemporary challenges for ICT design that often relate to the increasingly complex and connected nature of sociotechnical systems or infrastructures, that have been addressed through the notion of infrastructuring. I will elaborate on how to study and intervene in infrastructuring ethnographically. Throughout the talk I will give examples from my empirical and conceptual work.

About the Speaker

Helena Karasti is an interdisciplinary scholar who has worked to incorporate her formal background in Information Systems with social sciences. One of her long-term research interests is to explore the integrations of ethnographic studies of (work) practice and participatory/collaborative design (PD and CSCW). Within Science and Technology Studies (STS) tradition she particularly draws on infrastructure studies, which has contributed to developing a new research area of infrastructuring. Karasti’s main empirical domains of investigation have been within the healthcare sector as well as long-term ecological and environmental research.
Karasti received her doctoral degree in Information Systems from University of Oulu, Finland in 2001, and holds two docent degrees In Information Systems awarded by University of Turku with specialization in CSCW in 2008 and by University of Oulu with specialization in infrastructuring in 2015. She was a post doc at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 2002, and visited the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society (IAS-STS) in Graz, Austria in 2010-2011. In addition to the Universities of Oulu and Turku in Finland, she has internationally worked at the Luleå University of Technology in Sweden (2011-2017), Roskilde University in Denmark (2015-2016) and currently at University of Siegen in Germany (2018). Karasti has mainly contributed to the fields of CSCW, PD, HCI, and STS, but also to healthcare informatics and environmental informatics.

Contact: vincenzo.dandrea [at] (Vincenzo D'Andrea)