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5. August 2022

IT for the aging society presents itself at Berliner Methodentreffen (Berlin Method Meeting) 2022

Four members of the chair “Business Informatics, in particular IT for the aging society”, of Prof. Dr. Claudia Müller, participated in the 17th Berlin Method Meeting (BMT) on July 29 and 30, 2022, where they presented the participatory research design anchored at the chair.

David Struzek, Richard Paluch, Dennis Kirschsieper, and Sven Bittenbinder explained the concept of “PRAXLABS” (https://praxlabs.de/) using four different projects as examples and contrasted the different levels of participation in the different settings. In addition, the researchers reported on common challenges in integrating different stakeholder groups and prepared the many findings in the form of a poster.

The Berlin Method Meeting consists of numerous research workshops and workshops. Richard Paluch and David Struzek presented their research in the research workshops “Qualitative Content Analysis” and “Participatory Research”. Richard Paluch discussed the “Development of a Reflective Instrument to Evaluate Robotic Systems for Nursing” in the “Qualitative Content Analysis” session. David Struzek presented “Development of socio-technical support systems for motivating and maintaining physical activity in public spaces ” in the “Participatory Research” event.

The Berlin Method Meeting has been imparting knowledge from the field of qualitative research and ethnography since 2005 (further information: https://berliner-methodentreffen.de/).

From the left: Richard Paluch, Dennis Kirschsieper, David Struzek and Sven Bittenbinder in front of their poster „Teilhabe durch Technik? Entwicklung von technischen Artefakten mit und für vulnerable Gruppen“

Participation through technology? Development of technical artifacts with and for vulnerable groups

Richard Paluch, David Struzek, Dennis Kirschsieper, Sven Bittenbinder, Claudia Müller; Universität Siegen, Business informatics, esp. IT for the aging society

Research context: In research projects that follow participatory approaches, different implications for design processes of technical artifacts are cited. In particular, there is controversy about whether and how technologies can support vulnerable people (Culén & van der Velden 2013).

Starting point: We refer to the topic of participatory research using PraxLabs regarding vulnerable persons (Ogonowski et al. 2018). This concept not only includes a socio-informatic design approach, but also enters into close symbiosis with the respective field of application and the most diverse groups of actors.

Research questions: How does the participation of co-researchers take place? How do the respective fields of action mediate the co-research?

Methodology: In a PraxLab, the participatory involvement of users takes a special focus, with whom new solutions are developed together. The format takes place in the real everyday environments of the stakeholders concerned, who are regarded as co-researchers and thus experts in their everyday lives and are thus integrated into the research and design process. Within the circular development processes, a variety of different methods and tools are used to promote appropriation processes and enable the sustainable use of technologies.

Results: We present different forms of participation based on our projects, which can be distinguished, among other things, in their “depth of participation” according to Arnstein (1969). We will illustratively present data from four projects that address (1) the use of robots in care contexts, (2) workplaces by and for people with disabilities, (3) the development of technology-enhanced physical activity opportunities, and (4) the development of digital tools for caring communities. In doing so, we highlight different methodological challenges and how they were overcome in the projects.

Anliegen der Posterpräsentation: Mit dem Poster möchten wir eine Diskussion darüber anstoßen, wie Wissen in den PraxLabs entsteht, die je eigenen Bedarfe der Stakeholder identifiziert, zukünftige Anwendungsweisen ausgelotet und die Aneignung in der Praxis evaluiert werden.

Contact: richard.paluch@uni-siegen.de / https://italg.wineme.uni-siegen.de 


  • Arnstein, Sherry R. (1969). A ladder of citizen participation. Journal of the American Institute of planners35(4), 216-224.
  • Culén, Alma Leora & van der Velden, Maja (2013). The digital life of vulnerable users: designing with children, patients, and elderly. In Margunn Aanestad & Tone Bratteteig (Hrsg.), Scandinavian Conference on Information Systems (S.53-71). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Ogonowski, Corinna; Jakobi, Timo; Müller, Claudia & Hess, Jan (2018). PRAXLABS: A sustainable framework for user-centered information and communication technology development – cultivating research experiences from living labs in the home. In Volker Wulf, Volkmar Pipek, Dave Randall, Markus Rohde, Kjeld Schmidt & Gunnar Stevens (Hrsg.), Socio-Informatics: A practice-based perspective on the design and use of IT artifacts (S.319-360). Oxford: Oxford University Press.