Things We Could Design: For More Than Human-Centered Worlds book talk with Ron Wakkary
The Department of Design invites you to join us for a book talk with Professor Ron Wakkary.
In this talk, Ron Wakkary will discuss his recent book, Things We Could Design for more than Human-Centered Worlds. Over the past 40 years, designers have privileged human values such that human-centered design is seen as progressive. Yet because all that is not human has been depleted, made extinct, or put to human use, today’s design contributes to the existential threat of climate change and the ongoing extinctions of other species.
In the book, Wakkary argues human-centered design is not the answer to our problems but is itself part of the problem. Posthumanism, he argues, enables a rethinking of design that displaces the human at the center of thought and action. Weaving together posthumanist philosophies with design, he describes what he calls “things”—nonhumans made by designers—and calls for a commitment to design with more than human participation. Wakkary also focuses on design as “nomadic practices”—a multiplicity of intentionalities and situated knowledges that show design to be expansive and pluralistic. He calls his overall approach “designing-with”: a relational and expansive design based on humility and cohabitation.
Ron Wakkary is a professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University in Canada where he founded the Everyday Design Studio. In addition, he is a professor and chair of Design for More Than Human-Centered Worlds in the Future Everyday Cluster in Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. Wakkary’s research investigates the changing nature of design and human-computer interaction in response to new understandings of human-technology relations and posthumanism. He aims to reflectively create new design exemplars, theory, and emergent practices to generously and expansively shape and understand ways of designing that are more accountable, sustainable, and equitable.
January 19, 2022
All are welcome.