Ulla Ryynänen´s (MA) background is in graphic design studies, but early on she became interested in the research aspect to better understand designers choices and motivations in their work. During her doctoral studies she familiarized herself with cultural-historical activity theory and the topic of her dissertation became contradictions in graphic designers work. This meant looking at what kind of change is present in their work, and understanding of the design process as collaboration between different people and contradicting interests. Two general trends are of special interest. Firstly, the move from printing on paper to publishing through several different devices, dominated by digital publishing. Secondly, there is a transformation in design from individual to collaborative work. This research looks at how these changes are visible in the practice of graphic designers. The concept of contradictions from activity theory is used to understand this change, and ethnography is used to collect data.
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