Ewenstein and Whyte (2009) Knowledge Practices in Design: The Role of Visual Representations as Epistemic Objects

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The starting point for the paper is the fact that the more objects are studied the more diffuse they become. Boundary objects are studied but their representational capacity is only discussed on a general level. Object’s effectiveness is defined by the context in which it needs to perform. Firts boundary objects, epistemic objects and technical objects are compared. Although an object can be all three at the same time. For boundary object literature authors lean heavily on the work of Carlile. Carlile’s work is done in new product development setting where the boundaries are very concrete (task and role boundaries). Leaning heavily on the work of Carlile leads to very concrete and stable view of boundary objects. Thus the authors refer ,for example, to annotated boundary objects as epistemic objects. However, for example, Boujut, labels these as boundary objects. Authors refer to abstract objects in flux as epistemic objects. As an example they use a drawing that was used and annotated in design meeting between architects.

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