Neana was my parent's A22 sailing boat
Published in Nov, 2009
The Activity Modalities

Lars Taxén, Associate Professor

Updated Jan 20, 2015
My entire research endeavor is based on a very simple idea: that our actions can be characterized by something I call activity modalities: contextualization, spatialization, temporalization, stabilization, and transition between contexts. What we experience through various sensory modalities (vision, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting) is integrated into actions characterized by the activity modalities. This ability has been acquired during the evolution of mankind over millions of years.

The idea of the activity modalities emerged during my many years of working with coordinating the development of complex telecommunication systems. It was (and still is!) further developed during my research career at Linköping University and as a consultant.

The construct of the activity modalities has turned out to be an extremely powerful “lens” for doing analysis and intervention work in a number of areas, including system engineering, information system design, organizational design, enterprise architecture, knowledge management and more. The main achievement is that the activity modalities provide an integrated way of treating human, social, and technological aspects of action.

The history, theoretical background, and applications of the activity modalities are documented in the book “Using Activity Domain Theory for Managing Complex Systems”
Is a researcher and consultant
Has been working more than 30 years in the telecom industry (Ericsson)
Got his PhD in 2003 on the dissertation "A Framework for Complex Systems' Coordination"
Became an Associate Professor (docent) in 2007