User Ethnography as Theatre

Rosa Torguet, Preben Friis, Jacob Buur

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


This paper discusses the potential of using theatre with professional actors to convey the outcome of ethnographic user studies to industry or academia. Framed in the ongoing discussion within design ethnography of how representations can support the communication of ethnographic findings more effectively. The use of theatre within innovation processes can help facilitate the provoking role that an ethnography often plays when presented to organizations. Live performances were used as part of a participatory innovation project in the field of indoor climate with industry partners and academic researchers aiming at conveying controversial findings through improvisation and audience involvement. Video recordings of one such theatre event helped us analyze how the session unfolds with interaction analysis; the findings informed the planning of a second theatre event used to present the findings of the same project to a different audience. From the study of the two theatre sessions, we suggest an initial guideline with key aspects to consider when using theatre to represent ethnographic findings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Participatory Innovation Conference : PIN-C 2013
EditorsHelinä Melkas, Jacob Buur
PublisherLappeenranta University of Technology
Publication date2013
ISBN (Print)978-952-265-391-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-265-392-5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event3rd Participatory Innovation Conference: Participation as performace - Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lahti, Finland
Duration: 18. Jun 201320. Jun 2013


Conference3rd Participatory Innovation Conference
LocationLappeenranta University of Technology
SeriesLUT Scientific and Expertise Publications. Tutkimusraportit – Research Reports

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