Exploring Power with Object Theatre

Merja Ryöppy, Eva Knutz, Salu Ylirisku


This paper explores Object Theatre as an approach to address power in design. We understand power as a relational activity that emerges and is upheld through particular ways of relating (Elias 1991; Stacey 2007). The spontaneity in participant actions through Object Theatre exercises renders processes of relating tangible and negotiable. In this study Object Theatre was applied in exploration of a new walking aid for elderly people. We argue that the shift in perspective that Object Theatre allows designers to achieve can be effectively harnessed to explore issues arising from power relating amongst people – and between people and objects.

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