When it comes to designing future work environments, it is not right to understand design either as the construction of artifacts or as the shaping of artifacts to fit people. In fact, what design should do is to mold the relationship between human users and their artifacts, to shape how people relate to the world through artifacts. At the heart of this is interaction and experience. Design must not only ask “how” but “why”: Can this technology create meaning in my world, that is, why should I engage with it? An experience-oriented approach of this sort means basing conception and design not on the technical artifact and its functionality, but on the activities in which a product or system is put to work; understanding and conceiving these activities in such a way that they can be experienced by the user as meaningful; and then devising the technology involved to achieve that end.


Axel PlatzAxel Platz is Principal for User Experience Design in the Siemens AG corporate research division in Munich. After studying communication design and art history, he worked for 10 years in Siemens’ central design department before moving over to research. His design work has received distinctions including the iF Award. His main research interests are firstly the relationship between humans and technology, particularly the interplay between humans and technology when humans work with technical artifacts, and secondly visual studies.