Le forme collaborative di comunicazione del co-design e l'interazione con le scienze sociali: l'invenzione di un cultural probe come caso studio


Collaborative forms of co-design communication and interaction with the social sciences: the invention of a cultural probe as a case study. More and more frequently, social research is borrowing from design and the visual arts tools for qualitative surveys that make communication between researchers and social actors involved softer and more inclusive: questionnaires and interviews are undoubtedly fundamental devices for measuring qualitative data and the emergence of descriptive and thematic landscapes, but what methodology should be adopted when the recipients of the survey are not only samples but long-term participants and possible co-activators of co-designing processes? What possibilities emerge in qualitative analysis to increase the engagement of the individuals involved or to establish in social research a responsive and more horizontal communication? Think, for example, of researches that monitor needs, quality of services and intervention strategies on the same; researches that investigate certain forms of social exclusion and that therefore require delicacy, care and trust in the relationship between researcher and user; or researches that involve heterogeneous actors, perhaps with not very high cultural level and a strong ethnic and age diversification. The tools offered by interaction design offer the possibility of creating a relational undergrowth in the curation of projects for unfamiliar groups, incentivizing the imaginative and concrete agentivity of the participant in the activity (Gaver, Dunne, Pacenti, 1999; Howard et al., 2005; Rivoltella, 2015). The central theme of the paper will therefore be to monitor the quality of this communication in two complementary processual lines: the design phase of administration/prototyping, that is, in the researcher-user interlocution, and the design phase of the probe itself, in which communication is researcher-researcher (and more specifically social researcher-designer). In the first part, the analysis of the different approaches to the practice of co-design will be conducted through the available literature, thus outlining a reasoned mapping of the available methodologies and their functioning; in the second part, instead, a case study will be examined in which two Tuscan associations, Florence-based Opificio Sociologico and CoDesign Toscana, are the protagonists in the creation of the cultural probe Vado. Il tempo in tasca during the lockdown period, between March and June 2020: the empirical story-telling of the decision-making methods used, the disciplinary comparisons, the division of roles, the frequency of meetings will provide pragmatic indications for a modeling repeatable in other contexts.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i9788883051753p130

Keywords: codesign; cultural probes; social design; social sciences; prototypes

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