Prototyping as making sense of expressions

Martin A. Padalak, Tom Jenkins

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Prototyping is a complex process of navigating a chaotic design space. Especially when there are few criteria for success, it is often difficult for a designer to know what direction to follow. We argue that prototyping can be considered as a process of sensemaking driven by finding the right expression of a design goal. To illustrate this, we present the case study of the aural-visualiser 1000, a functional refined prototype that resulted from an open-ended design project. Using its process as an example, we abstract important expressions that informed the design and prototyping of the aural-visualiser 1000, pointing to when the conception of the project changed and how that affected our making sense of the design space. We reflect on this design process to articulate productive pivots and tensions that led to the finished artefact.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEKSIG 2023 : From Abstractness to Concreteness
Publisher Design Research Society
Publication date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventEKSIG 2023: From Abstractness to Concreteness - Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Duration: 19 Jun 202321 Jun 2023


ConferenceEKSIG 2023
LocationPolitecnico di Milano
Internet address


  • Prototyping
  • expression
  • sensemaking
  • presence
  • listening


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