Object Theatre in Design Education

Jacob Buur, Preben Friis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In a quest to improve our design teaching we experiment with the theatre genre of Object Theatre. We employ techniques from object theatre to challenge current thinking about product agency, movement and meaning, the spatial location, and the social settings of products. At the end of the project our graduate design students create a post-dramatic performance that engages an audience in experiencing and exploring the product concepts they create.

Our experiences show that it helps us educate young designers in the abilities to take other perspectives than their own (in particular that of the ‘object’), and to ‘act before they think’ rather than try to plan everything ahead. It also challenges both the students and ourselves to shift from a distanced ‘aboutness’ to an engaged ‘withness’ of how we think of design.

The work with Object Theatre seems important in two respects: It provides new theoretical perspectives on product interaction and design process; and it offers a set of very practical activities and exercises that convey these perspectives to the design students.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNordes 2015 : Design ecologies
Number of pages8
Publication date7. Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 7. Jun 2015
EventNordic Design Research Conference: Challenging anthropocentrism in the design of sustainable futures - Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 7. Jun 201510. Jun 2015


ConferenceNordic Design Research Conference
LocationKonstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design
SeriesNordic Design Research


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