OU blog

Personal Blogs

Design Museum

Activity Systems are repeated, uneven and discontinuos

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 17 Dec 2012, 17:51


Fig.1. Activity Systems as a chronological, though broken sequence. Fruit & Nut Toblerone (Kuutti 1996)

To understand Activity Systems I produce tables and charts - I annotate these then revise initial drawings until I have something that is clear. I may fill several sheets. My conviction is that Activty Systems have a great deal to offer when it comes to trying to understand how actions are playing out, producing contradictions and confict.


Fig.2. A detail from an annotation of the Activity Sytem I am working on in relation to accessibility and e-learning.


Fig. 3. Detail showing where the idea of the half-eaten Toblerone came from. An Activity System has to be seen as a broken chronology of Activity Systems.


Engeström, Y (2008) From Teams to Knots. Activity-theorerical studies of Collaboration and Learning at Work. Learning in doing: Social, Cognitive & Computational Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. Series Editor Emeritus. John Seely Brown.

Kuutti, K. (1996) Activity theory as a potential framework for human–computer interaction research. In B. Nardi (ed.) Context and Consciousness: Activity Theory and Human–Computer Interaction. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, pp. 17–44

Seale, J. (2006) E-learning and Disability in Higher Education: Accessibility Research and Practice


Share post