Living on the edge: design artefacts as boundary objects

Michael Pierre Johnson (Lead / Corresponding author), Jen Ballie, Tine Thorup, Elizabeth Brooks

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Design is being performed on an ever-increasing spectrum of complex practices. As a result there is demand on the articulation of design’s application across disciplinary boundaries. This paper explores this context through acknowledging the retained role of design artefacts in engaging complex, collaborative contexts and a developing understanding of boundary objects. This paper expands on notions of design artefacts as boundary objects by offering reflections on existing examples from ongoing design research in the context of health and care innovation. Through the process of framing a design problem, live models are developed as dialogical tools with collaborators to validate and inform design solutions. Such models are argued to act as boundary objects that are not static, but living artefacts open to ongoing scrutiny within the design context, offering an understanding of the value and practice of design artefacts in complex, collaborative contexts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)S219-S235
    Number of pages17
    JournalDesign Journal
    Issue numbersup1
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2017
    Event12th European Academy of Design Conference: Design for Next - Faculty of Architecture in Valle Giulia, Rome, Italy
    Duration: 12 Apr 201714 Apr 2017 (Link to Conference website)


    • actor-network mapping
    • boundary objects
    • design artefacts
    • design-led innovation
    • situational analysis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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