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PHD-DESIGN  July 2018

PHD-DESIGN July 2018

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Subject:

Re: Frontiers of design research: human-centered vs. ecologically entangled, vs. (something else?)

From:

Ali Ilhan <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 24 Jul 2018 19:05:14 +0300

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (234 lines)

Dear Lubomir,

I am not sure why you are claiming that STS dwells at macro level. STS
operates at every-level. Some of the most interesting STS accounts are
micro level lab etnographies and very-micro level conversation analysis.
Symbolic interactionists in sociology does not care much about “societal
level”, they are even dubious about the existence of something called “the
society”. Many of their methods are very relevant for design if not their
subject matter. Environmental sociology,too, is a huge enterprise
(micro,meso and macro levels). There are also wonderful cross breeds
between environmental sociology, evolutionary science and neuroscience,
dealing with very micro issues.

Whether these are meaningul and relevant for us, is of course an entirely
different matter.

I promise this is my last email under this thread :)

Ali

On Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 18:40 Lubomir Savov Popov <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hello everyone,
>
> My experience with STS is like Klaus'. I work on facility/architectural
> programming. I have tried to get something from STS, but didn't get too
> much. STS dwells at macro level, at societal level, while facility
> programming needs research at micro level, at user level. Also, STS is
> interested in the long-term future rather than the short-term future. STS
> can contribute to facility programming regarding the macro/societal/city
> aspects of a facility. This is very important, and in some cases, crucial,
> but it still doesn’t help much with programming for everyday use of the
> building/artifact.
>
> I still hope that in the future STS will expand to include the micro level
> and will study of human individual from a societal perspective. However,
> chances are slim. Sociologists love to work at societal level. For example,
> environmental sociology works at social/macro level, barely touching issues
> of artifact usage at individual level. If in any way it studies that
> aspect, it is only to assist research at macro level. In contrast,
> environmental psychology emerged as the science of building users and for
> decades has worked at micro level. However, things are changing in that
> discipline in the last decade or so, under the influence of the societal
> concerns with sustainability and global warming. One indicator is that the
> journal Environment and Behavior emerged as environmental psychology
> outlet; in the last ten years it publishes exclusively on behavioral
> aspects of sustainability.
>
> I am looking for the times when STS and environmental sociology people
> would decide to work the micro level. The micro level is very important
> because we have billions of interactions in everyday life. The impact of
> each interaction is very small, but the total volume of interactions is
> substantial and has huge impact on the humans. These days we are diligent
> about saving electrical energy in buildings (meso level), but we do pay
> attention to the effect of our design solutions regarding productivity,
> wellness, and expenditure of individual's physiological resources, which
> otherwise could have been used in a more productive way. A research
> engagement at micro level would have provided a more balanced picture of
> what we gain when we save and what we lose when we "gain." Such an approach
> will push the humankind to work harder for inventing new energy sources and
> strategies rather than focusing only on reduction of usage. These
> considerations should be in the field of STS. However, such work would not
> help immediately facilities programmers who need to research users here and
> now and design the organizational structure for the next 10 years, at most.
>
> There are several fields that study human/social interactions with
> environment. When we consider several levels of social organization (from
> society to individual) and several levels of organization of environment
> (from global to regional to city, to the hand-used artifact), we will see
> that there are numerous possibilities for combinations between research
> problems and design needs. This in turn will create numerous
> sub-disciplines that might be based on the same principle
> (social/human--environment) but might have completely different
> paradigmatic construction. As a result, we might get field that might not
> want to communicate with each other and might grow according to their own
> laws of development, going away from each other to the extent that no one
> can figure out that they have the same founding principle: humankind(all
> levels) -- environment(all levels) interaction.
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Lubomir
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related
> research in Design <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Krippendorff,
> Klaus
> Sent: Monday, July 23, 2018 11:18 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Frontiers of design research: human-centered vs. ecologically
> entangled, vs. (something else?)
>
> Hi Ali,
>
> At the university of Pennsylvania we have a History and Sociology of
> Science department granting degrees in Science, Technology & Society:
> https://hss.sas.upenn.edu/undergraduate/science-technology-society-major
> the subject I am teaching is close enough but concern the implication of
> language in the construction of social realities, technology and how it
> being used is part of it.
>
> Yes, the program is taught by scholars with diverse expertise able to look
> into the role of technology in medicine, war, democracy, ecology, science,
> gender issues -- you name it. But trying to understand how a development
> happened is no recipe of how technological development continues. If it
> were predictable, we wouldn’t need designers but robots that calculate the
> next step.
>
> You provided a link to "maintainers." I grant you that newness for the
> sake of newness can be disruptive, witness the increasingly efficient
> extraction of non-renewable resources that spells out doom in the future --
> unless someone finds a way to make use of a renewable energy. But this is
> dealing with somewhat objectively measurable quantities on a global scale.
> Think about the increasing production of handguns to maintain safety in
> schools or keep undesirable populations in prison. I hope you see the
> absurdity of maintaining some variables which is often achieved at the
> expense of other variables.
>
> I have been suggesting that designers should be socially responsible, not
> just by thinking of decision criteria like is a product biodegradable,
> affordable by many, etc. there is far more at stake. Ecology is an
> empirically validated theory of the dynamic implications of multiple
> species interacting with each other in supportive, constraining, and
> compositionally changing environments. Some things we want to get rid of
> like the inflectional diseases, deadly viruses, other species (biological
> and technological) we want to numerically increase. An ecology is always in
> motion.
>
> One thing that all ecological studies have taught us that one can never go
> back. Aren't your maintainers getting it?
>
> Klaus
>
> the point
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related
> research in Design [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ali
> Ilhan
> Sent: Monday, July 23, 2018 2:36 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Frontiers of design research: human-centered vs. ecologically
> entangled, vs. (something else?)
>
> Dear Klaus,
>
> I respectfully disagree. STS is much more than sociology/social science:
> it is a complex assemblage of many different people coming from a variety
> of backgrounds, some very applied and some only doing basic research. In my
> humble opinion, there are too many attempts to change the world, especially
> from designers, that are simply too eager to jump the gun, without really
> understanding what is going on, that end in disaster. I think we need to
> stop obssesing about inovating and slow down. Maintaining is sometimes as
> important as changing. This is why, I sent some work from the Maintainers
> in the past to the list:
> http://secure-web.cisco.com/1ZTDbURZ9YB9klHDdagjZWDb85sHeMqXyXJ3lnyPS1YGKbOaptbyej_VY7FIikXJ56ZXqmCS9B3NANyKdeABOeLgA10PxQDY2ZdKAuT9DecwZzcY46llG6UsmNXTW3PpGL3X8_vZ3M6VS9pqR8805m_L3oAXwLaBUW1yid_15DrU_bc9DTDAy4egft306w3ALoXcAq8Wt0Bf37yeJIMB2xD8fcfVtinx-czA82BxOfSOT_Ccn7702FYlWJMCb5rgVzlidEdcWd6QlGnxToI0vG0jsYcGmfumPylG2n-iuiMZ6wufQNpSyW-l9dUjGY54HktvwOKq1Uv1ryyk0QLqEpYdoAvE3LQ-GNX6Yxakm5lOmcu8Igfbdai_Y8F_0f1_c0B_17l79FJ19_ei7oqtGWvxlzi9XAIWDAgYnJOBZTiTsIhu_NLCs-Ezjl9gayU0jpjwx3sjhXgFEfo-Nqu0ZC2k28r_9aTJH4iYmd19cUgOU-gmF4Ft5VDoYq15NMytp9Q7UnNOpbsJuPzlk1mwhR868EG7RSW8ZazPgPUWvaXY/http%3A%2F%2Fthemaintainers.org
>
> Second, and more importantly all applied field needs to have a healthy
> balance between understanding and doing. In most, if not all classical
> design fields, this balance is tilted towards doing, Successful medical and
> psychological interventions are based on years of basic and applied
> research. I see too many examples of "design interventions" that fail
> simply because no serious and careful attempt has been made simply to
> understand. For example, there are many "design for social innovation
> projects" that do not even slightly mention years of solid sociological and
> political science research about social movements, poverty, inequality etc.
> and try to rediscover the wheel and change the "world" in a very short
> time span.
>
> You said "Design research needs to address what could happen when
> designers and their stakeholders pull their intellectual and material
> resources together and proposing something un precedented". In my opinion,
> if design research only focuses on what you describe, it would be very
> unfortunate
> for the future of the field.   Design research should not solely address
> doing and changing. If anything, we need more STS, not less. Of course, I
> do not claim to represent the majority opinion here :)
>
> Yours,
>
> ali
>
> On Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 20:50 Krippendorff, Klaus <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > STS is a sociology focused on explanations of how technology is
> > integrated into social structures and facilitates or confines them. I
> > found it very useful to know something about the social roles that
> > technology has nd played in the past.
> >
> > However, all STStudies describe what happened in the past. Design
> > research needs to address what could happen when designers and their
> > stakeholders pull their intellectual and material resources together
> > and proposing something un precedented. Design that doesn’t contribute
> > to changing the very world that STS describes isn’t worth that name.
> >
> > Klaus
> >
> >
> > -----------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >
>
>
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