International Journal of Marine Design (2015)

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Ahola, M. K., Salovuori, H., Lehtonen, M. J. (2015). Exploring Cruise Experience Through Actor-Networks of the Cruise Ship Environment. International Journal of Marine Design, 157(C1), 1-12, ISSN 2048-7541


The shipscape contains multiple human and non-human characteristics that together contribute to the cruise experience. Although many of these characteristics are identified separately, less research attention has paid into investigation of the cruise experience as an entity and interconnectivity of the characteristics. An ethnographic study was conducted in an authentic passenger ship environment in order to find out what characteristics passengers perceive contributing into the cruise experience. Instead of seeing experiences as belonging to the human domain, this article also brings in non-human actors by drawing on Actor-Network Theory (ANT). ANT is applied to illustrate how experiences emerge and constituted within the passenger ship environment. Using three actor network illustrations: social experiencing, everyday distinction and predictability, this article proposes that people and things become entangled via processes of translation. The shared aims that concurrently bring actors together can be used as design drivers of the shipscape design.

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Strategic Design Integration and Management research group (SDIM) is at the Department of Design, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Aalto University, Finland