Institute of Education


Multimodal approaches to technology design: Studying co-creation and appropriation

Start: Jun 07, 2017 12:30 PM
End: Jun 07, 2017 01:30 PM

Location: UCL Knowledge Lab, 23-29 Emerald St, London WC1N 3QS

Technology design

In every stage in a technological product’s lifecycle, from early design phases up to actual use, interpretation and meaning-making plays a crucial role.

In this UCL Knowledge Lab seminar, Dr Maarten Van Mechelen and Dr Jan Derboven will present their work on the role of interpretation and meaning-making in technology design and use, combining insights from multimodal semiotics and human-computer interaction.

At the fuzzy front end of the design process, the GLID method (Grounding, Listing, Interpreting, Distilling) aims to increase internal rigour and transparency in participatory design practices.

At the end of the design process, interpretative processes play an important role in how users appropriate technologies, and integrate them in their daily lives. On one hand, technology guides its users, through strategies embedded in its design. On the other hand, users appropriate technology, developing specific practices to meet their needs.

A multimodal, semiotic approach to technology appropriation can show how the structure of technology mediates users’ appropriation practices.

About the speakers

Dr Jan Derboven and Dr Maarten Van Mechelen are senior researchers at the Meaningful Interactions Lab (KU Leuven – imec, Belgium). Dr Derboven’s research focuses on technology appropriation; investigating how people use and reinterpret technologies in everyday life. Dr Van Mechelen’s research focuses on child-computer interaction; investigating how to develop meaningful technology for and with children through a reflective research and design process.


This event is free and open to all. Registration is required for those external to UCL: please email Michelle Cannon at m.cannon@ucl.ac.uk.

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