Talks and Poster Presentations (without Proceedings-Entry):

I. Wagner, M. Tolar:
"Configurability, Place Making and the Materiality of Documentation Systems: The Case of Two Oncology Clinics";
Talk: 4S Conference - Society for Social Studies of Science, Pasadena October 2005, Pasadena; 2005-10-20 - 2005-10-22.

English abstract:
This paper seeks to make sense of the complex and heterogeneous documentation practices in two (of five) Viennese oncology clinics that are all about to introduce a unified IT system (electronic patient record). Our interest in these practices is spurred by the need to understand how people configure their environment to ensure that they can work comfortably and smoothly, maintain an overview, retrieve important information quickly, maintain boundaries, communicate effectively, etc.
Aspects such as place-making and the materiality of artefacts are seen as constitutive of how people adapt their work environment of space, technologies and artefacts.
Place-making refers to processes of appropriation and configuration - different tasks and environments may require different configurations of technical equipment, furniture, storing and archiving space, space for movement, space for privacy, etc. in relation to the need for cooperation, connectivity, levels of mobility or the different needs of routine versus emergency situations.
Materiality is a crucial aspect of artefacts, giving participants clues about all sorts of conceptual and material aspects of their work. Also textual documents are material objects with distinct physical features, making use of semiotic systems (written sentences, maps, diagrams, pictures) and materials (surfaces, substances, tools) for conveying meaning. Materiality affects the ways people interact with an artefact in physical space, for example how quickly they may retrieve information; it expands people´s communicative resources.
These two perspectives will be used for analyzing the spatially situated documentation and cooperation practices in the two clinics (and in different regions within these clinics - outpatient unit, ward, day clinic) with the aim to
a) identify `messy conditions´, redundancies, and local particularities and understand how these contribute to or interrupt the smooth flow of work
b) better understand the needs for configurability and how it is possible to design for them.

Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.