Exploring a human-centred design of possessions

DS 85-1: Proceedings of NordDesign 2016, Volume 1, Trondheim, Norway, 10th - 12th August 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Boks, Casper; Sigurjonsson, Johannes; Steinert, Martin; Vis, Carlijn; Wulvik, Andreas
Author: Baxter, Weston Lyle; Yang, Xi; Aurisicchio, Marco; Childs, Peter RN
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Section: Design, Emotion and Philosophy
Page(s): 053-062
ISBN: 978-1-904670-80-3


Understanding the idea of possession is essential for creating successful products and services, particularly in digital and access contexts. This paper examines current shortcomings in conceptualising ownership and possessions before presenting a framework for the process of developing user possession. The framework is grounded in psychological ownership theory and informed by interviews with thirteen participants. The theory considers ownership as a mental state in which users feel the object is theirs. The interviews explored this mental state under three contexts: traditional material possession, digital possession, and access-based possession. This work helps inform the meaning of possessions, and can aid designers and policy makers in how to approach the notion of designing possessions from a human-centered viewpoint.

Keywords: Possession, ownership, user-object relationship, psychological ownership


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