Designing with posthuman kinship : outlining new human-non human collaborative design approaches
Technology has increasingly become embedded in everyday activities, an extension of the human body, identity, and abilities. Our relationship with technology is becoming more symbiotic, leading us to establish new intimate and affective relationships. Following feminist philosopher Donna Haraway’s concept of making kin (Haraway, 2016) with human and non-human crea- tures to ‘rebuild’ the world, the first part of the paper investi- gates the development of kinship between humans and tech- nological artefacts, and how these relationships can become a key element for a posthuman approach to design, identifying posthuman entities and their network of interactions. Specifi- cally, it reviews literature from Science and Technology Studies (STS), Multi-species ethnography, and Haraway’s works. These theories and theoretical models underpin new methodologies and practices in the field of design that are breaking out of the boundaries delineated by the human-centred design (HCD) perspective and are expanding the interest of design beyond humans, addressing the non-human entity as part of a complex network of actors that dialogue, co-evolve, and co-operate in the evolution of the social order and the world. These transformations are challenging designers to ques- tion the centrality of humans (and of designers themselves) in the design methods, structures, and models, as well as fo- cusing on how new artefacts will interact and relate with hu- mans, the environment, and other non-humans. The second part explores the potential contribution of a posthuman-cen- tred design approach in developing human-non-human col- laboration with a focus on care environments, considered a frontier. The analysis of two exemplary cases in the evolving context of care practices identify the entanglements with assistive devices, the emergence of the hybrid combination of human-technology in the care settings, their engagement with the environment, and the consequences of this in- creased permeability of technologies in everyday life. Finally, by mapping the values of a design practice involving non-hu- mans, the paper considers how posthuman kinship could be drawn upon to contribute to both design research and development of technological artefacts within healthcare and care practices, stimulating posthuman design-driven forms of social and technological innovation.
Source (book)
Connectivity and creativity in times of conflict / Vaes, K. [edit.]; Verlinden, J. [edit.]
Ghent : Academia Press , 2023
p. 580-584
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Creation 22.01.2024
Last edited 10.06.2024
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