An Ethnography of Design and Innovation
Dominique Vinck (Redaktør)
Everyday Engineering was written to help future engineers understand what they are going to be doing in their everyday working lives, so that they can do their work more effectively and with a broader social vision. Les mer
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Everyday Engineering was written to help future engineers understand what they are going to be doing in their everyday working lives, so that they can do their work more effectively and with a broader social vision. It will also give sociologists deeper insights into the sociotechnical world of engineering. The book consists of ethnographic studies in which the authors, all trained in both engineering and sociology, go into the field as participant-observers. The sites and types of engineering explored include mechanical design in manufacturing industries, instrument design, software debugging, environmental management within companies, and the implementation of a system for separating household waste.
The book is organized in three parts. The first part introduces the complexity of technical practices. The second part enters the social and cultural worlds of designers to grasp their practices and motivations. The third part examines the role of writing practices and graphical representation. The epilogue uses the case studies to raise a series of questions about how objects can be taken into account in sociological analyses of human organizations.
This collection of participant-observation studies of engineering design and product development, woven into a whole by the sociologist Dominique Vinck, presents the fruits of a decade-long collaboration between sociologists/anthropologists and mechanical engineers at Grenoble. Here we find designing 'in the raw' analyzed in a way which brings the social and the technical dimensions of engineering practice into coherence without slighting the former nor oversimplifying the latter. Its reading should be required of all students headed out into today's world where mastery of the mix of the two is what defines professional excellence. -- Louis L. Bucciarelli, Jr., School of Engineering, MIT What Vinck and his students show is that a great variety of things and people have to collude to create a working technology. A necessary antidote to rationalistic and linear views of design and innovation. -- Arie Rip, Science and Technology Studies, University of Twente, The Netherlands