Nomadic practices: A posthuman theory for knowing design

Ron Wakkary (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article develops the theory of nomadic practices as an alternative to seeing design as a humanist discipline. Nomadic practices is an epistemological theory guided by posthumanist commitments of phenomenological intentionality, situated knowledges, and nomadism. In contrast to humanist understandings of design that rely on objectivist viewpoints and universalizing foundations, nomadic practices see knowledge production in design as situated, embodied, and partial. The aim of the theory of nomadic practices is to remove the epistemological hurdles of a disciplinary structure such that design practices can be more expansive and plural. The article builds on prior epistemological theories including Kuhn’s (1962) paradigms, Redström’s (2017) programs, and Agre’s (1997) generative metaphor as seen through past changes and upheavals in what is considered design, such as Bødker’s (2006) third wave HCI (human-computer interaction) or Harrison et al.’s (2007) paradigms of HCI. It then turns to key posthumanist concepts to articulate structural features of nomadic practices, namely 1) multiplicity of intentionalities; 2) situated knowing; and 3) nomadism. The contribution of this article is to offer a theory for thinking about design that embraces multiplicity and diversity rather than universalizing and singular ways of knowing design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Design
Volume14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I am indebted to a great number of colleagues and friends who reviewed versions of this draft in its book form and in preparation for this article, including Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda, Tamara Alvarez, Alissa Antle, Audrey Desjardins, Laura Devendorf, Laura Forlano, Cindy Lin, William Odom, James Pierce, Robert Rosenberger, Oscar Tomico, Peter-Paul Verbeek, MIT Press, and International Journal of Design anonymous reviewers, all of whom offered invaluable feedback. I especially want to thank those I work with in the Everyday Design Studio who scrutinized and critiqued this text with me, namely Doenja Oogjes, Armaghan Behzad Behbahani, Xiao Zhang, Jordan Eshpeter, Ce “Kimi” Zhong, Henry Lin, Tiffany Wun, Nico Brand, Min Young, and Jordan White. I also thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada for funding this research.

Funding Information:
I am indebted to a great number of colleagues and friends who reviewed versions of this draft in its book form and in preparation for this article, including Gabriela Aceves Sep?lveda, Tamara Alvarez, Alissa Antle, Audrey Desjardins, Laura Devendorf, Laura Forlano, Cindy Lin, William Odom, James Pierce, Robert Rosenberger, Oscar Tomico, Peter-Paul Verbeek, MIT Press, and International Journal of Design anonymous reviewers, all of whom offered invaluable feedback. I especially want to thank those I work with in the Everyday Design Studio who scrutinized and critiqued this text with me, namely Doenja Oogjes, Armaghan Behzad Behbahani, Xiao Zhang, Jordan Eshpeter, Ce ?Kimi? Zhong, Henry Lin, Tiffany Wun, Nico Brand, Min Young, and Jordan White. I also thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada for funding this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wakkary.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Discipline
  • Epistemology
  • Intentionality
  • Nomadism
  • Posthumanism
  • Posthumanist Design

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Nomadic practices: A posthuman theory for knowing design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this