Designerly ways of knowing in HRI: Broadening the scope of design-oriented HRI through the concept of intermediate-level knowledge

Maria Luce Lupetti, Cristina Zaga, Nazli Cila

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
121 Downloads (Pure)


Interest in design methods and tools has been steadily growing in HRI. Yet, design is not acknowledged as a discipline with specific epistemology and methodology. Designerly HRI work is validated through user studies which, we argue, provide a limited account of the knowledge design produces. This paper aims to broaden current understanding of designerly HRI work and its contributions by unpacking what designerly knowledge is and how to produce it. Through a critical analysis of current HRI design literature, we identify a lack of work dedicated to understanding the conceptual implications of robotic artifacts. These, in fact, are implicit carriers of crucial HRI knowledge that can challenge established assumptions about how a robot should look, act, and be like. We conclude by discussing a set of practices desirable to legitimize designerly HRI work, and calling for further research addressing the conceptual implications designerly HRI work.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHRI 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450382892
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2021
Event2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, HRI 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 8 Mar 202111 Mar 2021

Publication series

NameACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
ISSN (Electronic)2167-2148


Conference2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, HRI 2021
Abbreviated titleHRI 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online


  • Design research
  • Design-oriented HRI
  • Designerly HRI
  • Epistemology
  • Intermediate-level knowledge

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