— S e b l o g g i n g

Tag "activity theory"

“So research as a kind of reflection on human activity can change its objects. But this can happen only when there is not only research, but also a project of changing the existing activity and generating a new one. This means that human beings who are the object of research, as a kind of reflection, accept the results of research and suggested modes of transforming the activity, make a new mediation of their activity, and so change it. If the results of research are unknown to human beings who are under investigation, or if they do not accept these results, or if a researcher cannot suggest any project for generating new activity, the object of research does not change” (p. 87).


Lektorsky, V. A. (2009). Mediation as a means of collective activity. In A. Sannino, H. Daniels & K. D. Gutierrez (Eds.), Learning and expanding with activity theory (pp. 75-87). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nordic ISCAR and FISCAR welcome researchers and students from all around the world to its 2010 conference in Helsinki, on the 23-25 of May. The conference is dedicated to examining human creative activities. The conference theme is “Perspectives on social creativity, designing and activity”. We conceive of design as a field of knowledge and activity concerned with the creation of artifacts. Creative activities operate with diverse modes of knowing and representations. Creativity is a social quality that involves communication and community formation. Creative activities and design are needed when humans transform their circumstances by developing new technologies and institutions. Creation of the new relies on cultural mediation and historically accumulated resources. Activity theory and socio-cultural approaches offer fresh perspectives on these themes. The conference aims at bringing together diverse points of view and disciplinary orientations to discuss social creativity, design and activity… [FISCAR 2010 Website]

Sebastian Fiedler

Unfortunately, I only discovered this event after the deadline for proposals had already been passed. I still would like to go. After all, the preliminary programme (pdf) of this conference features a nice selection of prominent proponents of contemporary activity theory in education, human-computer interaction, and organisational development. Since last summer I must have studied about 50 to 70 papers related to Cultural and Activity Research. It is about time to meet some of the people in this area in person. Oh, well… I am not sure if I can still pull this off. We shall see…

[Sebastian Fiedler]

Sebastian Fiedler …is the title of the book that recently arrived in my mailbox. Unfortunately, Amazon had packed it so sloppily that it looks like somebody has driven a truck over it. Damned.

The book holds a recent collection of contributions to the Helsinki flavour of Activity Theory, edited by Annalisa Sannino, Harry Danies, and Kris Gutierrez (2009). Since I have spent a good part of last summer studying a wide selection of works in this area, it seems an appropriate extension of my growing literature collection in this area.

While I have high respect for some core notions, perspectives, and the general approach promoted by this school of thought, I still struggle with some of the conceptual fuzziness that one encounters in the available literature.

I guess I will start my reading with Yrjö Engeström‘s chapter titled “The future of Activity Theory: A Rough Draft” to get an idea where he sees things going at the moment…

[Sebastian Fiedler]