Abstract | Abstract
At our engineering research centre we have been applying hermeneutic phenomenology in a broad spectrum of projects for understanding everyday human experience. Through our work, we have experimented with and explored creative ways to ‘get into’ the lives of participants within the health, pharmaceuticals, education, manufacturing and local government sectors. Some of our ideas are a little unorthodox but we are discovering that they work and can provide powerful insights into the everyday ‘natural’ worlds of ordinary people. Finding new ways to capture lived experiences (as best we can), understanding hidden ‘meaning structures’ contained within them at the most primordial level, and communicating these insights experientially are the goals that drive us. In this paper we will share some examples of how we have combined design thinking with hermeneutic phenomenology in a four stage framework (Exploring, Sharing, Understanding and Showing How); constantly referring back to philosophical first principles to inspire new approaches and ‘ways into’ the life-world of real people.