UTOPIA: Participatory Design from Scandinavia to the World

  • Yngve Sundblad
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 350)


Studies and design of information technology support for workplaces, especially workshop floors, office floors and hospital floors, have a strong tradition in Scandinavia, involving workplace users and their trade unions and other stakeholders. The projects emphasize the active cooperation between researchers and workers in the organizations to help improve their work situation. This tradition is analyzed in its historic perspective, starting with the roots in Norway in the early 1970s while highlighting the seminal UTOPIA project from the early 1980s. Today computer use and interaction possibilities are changing quickly with use contexts and application types radically broadening. Technology no longer consists of static tools belonging only to the workplace; it permeates work activity, homes, and everyday lives. The Scandinavian tradition of user involvement in development is facing up with the challenges of new contexts. The influence on past and current practices for international ICT system design is described and analyzed.


Cooperative design human computer interaction participatory design Scandinavian model of ICT systems development user involvement working life applications 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yngve Sundblad
    • 1
  1. 1.Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Science and CommunicationKTHStockholmSweden

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