When will customers claim their rights as creative human beings? - a rhetorical perspective om co-creation

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaper/skriftligt oplægForskningpeer review


Designers as well as business leaders are strictly focusing on co-creation and co-creation activities as an effective method to innovation in business and product development. Paradoxically we seem to forget the perspective of the customers. The intention of this paper is to bring a rhetorical approach to ‘co-creation’. This approach emphasizes co-creation as a specific form of rhetorical design discourse directed at customers who are introduced to new creative ways of expressing themselves. The rhetorical perspective also emphasizes how this discourse is capable of constituting its audience in new roles, here as empowered, active and creative people. This co-creation discourse is considered an art ‘constitutive rhetoric’ (Charland, 1987). The crucial effect of the constitutive rhetoric is the audience claiming its right on behalf of this constitution. This raises the question: when will customers claim their rights on behalf of these new roles - as creative human beings -and how can we possibly develop co-creation and reply to this possible demand?In co-creation sessions designers are appealing to the customers ́s creativity by presenting generative tools in order to make the customers express their creativity, their tacit knowledge, their dreams and needs. The paper agrees with Sanders that these generative tools entail the possibility of growing into a new languagenot restricted to co-creation sessions and organizational development (Sanders, 2002). Using the generative tools is a way of invitingdesign thinking and creativity into everyday peoples lives, offering them a way of reflecting and responding as creative human beings. Rhetorically this means offering the capacity to act also called ‘rhetorical agency’ (Hoff-Clausen et all., 2005) and as such a possible solution to customers claiming their rights as creative human beings.The paper will outline different understandings of co-creation as well as bringexperiences from co-creation activities conducted in a present research in a Danish bank. The paper will also bring an example of customers claiming their rights.
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2010
Udgivet eksterntJa
BegivenhedDSR Design Research Society Conference 2010: Design & Complexity - Université de Montreal, Montreal, Canada
Varighed: 7 jul. 20109 jul. 2010


KonferenceDSR Design Research Society Conference 2010
LokationUniversité de Montreal


  • Ledelse, organisationsudvikling og innovation
  • agency
  • co-creation
  • constitutive rhetoric
  • creativity
  • generative tools