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Thomas Olsson: Socially sustainable digitalization through human-centered design?

Published on 14.6.2022
Tampere University
Thomas Olsson is Professor of Human-Centered Design at the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences. In his research, he is interested in the experiences and expectations of application users.

– Science and art, thinking and doing, and the analysis and resolution of problems combine naturally in design. However, this form of thinking has been used relatively rarely as a research method, particularly in academic research.

In his current research, Olsson is examining the impact of digitalization on social interaction and the themes of ethics and sustainability related to digitalization.

– The share of energy consumed by the maintenance of our digital world and the operation of various data-intensive digital services is increasing at a rapid pace. It is essential to increase our awareness of these themes and the various risks and opportunities and nourish the sense of responsibility among consumers and designers.

Olsson says he aims to further human interaction, collaboration, or social networks instead of the technology getting in the way of our social nature.

According to Olsson, approaching sociotechnical systems through design and problem-solving offers new perspectives to understand the cause-and-effect relationships between the different components.

– I want to be part of the creation of a digital tomorrow that is socially, societally, economically, and environmentally sustainable. I also want to contribute to making design thinking a more central part of research methodology by providing a new way of structuring and understanding phenomena and problems.

Thomas Olsson's contact information