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2. Design Theory, Research and


Practice in Information Systems


Track Chairs:


Michel Avital, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Kalle Lyytinen, Case Western Reserve University, USA and University of Lausanne ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )


Track Description:


Design has long been an underlying theme in the study of information systems. Yet until recently, the term ‘design’ has been used primarily to denote the activity of creating technical artifacts, especially software applications. Most design concepts, models, and methods are treated in this limited context of technically designed systems with social consequences.


In this track we encourage a much broader view of design in which information systems are seen as socio-semiotic systems that are technically grounded. Accordingly, in this track, designing IS refers to constructing alternative socio-technical and cognitive-based futures by shaping social, physical, semiotic and technological environments via intentional IS-oriented design acts. This view treats IS design as an inclusive, open-ended process (and not as a concrete outcome or a finite object) where interactions and boundary processes between different IS-related realms are the focus of interest. Accordingly, we understand the term design in the IS context as including a design attitude that purposefully seeks to shape our cognitive, semiotic, social or physical environments. Through interaction with and reconfiguration of technical artifacts these aspects of an IS environment function as agents of change and carriers of situated discourse.


The conference theme, Information Systems in an Innovative Knowledge-Based Society, calls for a broad, inclusive view of IS scholarship that aspires to promote positive social impact and suggests ways of using information technology for fulfilling human ideals. Strengthening a design attitude in IS research has the potential to invigorate design scholarship in IS, and extend it beyond the traditional boundaries of design science, which so far have focused on the technical aspects of the domain. The design lens allows us to ask legitimately not only how things work “mechanically” and how to engineer them well based on first principles, but also to ask what we should do to make it work in other realms, and why we ought to do it at all. The design stance in this broader conception is action-oriented towards seeking betterment of activities, practices and social systems.


Suggested topics:


To understand this changing environment of design thinking, we need to apply sound research methods and approaches. Possible topics include, but are not limited to the following:


- Design theory, models, and architectures relevant for information systems as socio-semiotic systems
- Design methods and methodologies that work at the boundaries between social and technical or semiotics and technical
- Information design and innovative representational artifacts
- Relationships between form and function in IS design
- Design strategies and heuristics for interweaving IS and organisational design
- Generative designs; design and creativity
- Design visions and narratives of design
- Socially responsible design of ICT; design for the bottom of the pyramid
- Design as a process of exploring, generating and excluding futures
- Participative design; requirements discovery and negotiation during design
- Interactions between design and implementation
- Radical innovations and design processes; design and learning
- Case studies and rich accounts related to the design in the IS context
- Research methods and methodologies
- Multidisciplinary views and multi-methodological approaches
- New and alternative approaches to design research


Associate Editors:


  • - Mark Aakhus, Rutgers University                                 
  • - Chris Atkinson, University of Manchester                                 
  • - Richard Boland, Case Western Reserve University                               
  • - Kevin Crowston, Syracuse University                          
  • - Matt Germonprez, Eau Claire                          
  • - Göran Goldkuhl, Linköping University                          
  • - Thomas Herrmann, Ruhr-University of Bochum                        
  • - Rik Maes, University of Amsterdam                             
  • - Gloria Mark, University of California Irvine                              
  • - Aldo de Moor, CommunitySense                                 
  • - Yves Pigneur, Université de Lausanne                          
  • - Sandeep Purao, Pennsylvania State University                         
  • - Neil Ramiller, Portland State University                        
  • - Isabelle Reymen, Eindhoven University of Technology                          
  • - Ulrike Schultze, Southern Methodist University                         
  • - Erik Stolterman, Indiana University Bloomington                                   
  • - Volker Wulf, University of Siegen
  • - Chris Atkinson, University of Manchester