Social creativity at the coalface : a heuristic case study incorporating non-human agency
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Ashley HolmesAshley Holmes
The safe operation of an underground coal mine is coordinated in a control room where data from a range of sensory equipment, and indeed, all communication between underground personnel and the surface, is monitored. It is here that response to any emergency is initiated. Specific hazard management plans and emergency procedures will be triggered by any one of a number of automatic or manual alarms. The complex array of information to be processed has the potential to overwhelm the cognitive capacity of the control room operator, particularly in a potentially catastrophic emergency scenario. A proprietary computer software-based system (Nexsys™) uses a rules engine to assist with real time monitoring and response affording control via a single interface. This paper arises from the experience of a designer charged with proposing a user interface design at a specific site, enabling efficient monitoring of prevalent operational conditions and prioritised, context-relevant access to technical documents, procedures and communications. It is a reflective case study account that draws on trans-disciplinary literature in order to theorise the nature of the creativity involved in implementing a user centered design approach. The heuristic analysis, from the perspective of a creative industry practitioner working in an industrial situation not commonly associated with creativity, proposes that Csikszentmihalyi’s (1999) “systems perspective for the study of creativity” be appended to include non-human agency before a convincing account of the sources of creativity involved may be proposed.