and actors to engage in alignments of their conflicting objects
of design? How can we gather and
collaborate around design things?
So what we argue for is a decon-
struction of the object of design.
This deconstruction begins, fol-
lowing Heidegger, with the things
themselves, or more specifically,
in our case, with socio-material
design things. Such things, or
rather events of “thinging,” gather
human beings; they are events in
the life of a community and play a
central role in community mem-
bers’ common experience. In this
spirit, Bruno Latour has called for
“thing philosophy” and “object-
oriented politics” [ 4] and by doing
so has also challenged designers to
make public the object of design.
Things are not carved out of human
relations, but rather out of socio-
material “collectives of humans and
nonhumans,” through which the
objects of concern are handled. At
the same time, a designed artifact
is potentially a thing made pub-
lic, since once it is delivered to its
users, it becomes matters of con-
cern to them with its new possibili-
ties of interaction.
Drawing: Designerly Practices
Now to design practice and designerly drawing skills.
Our approach to understanding
design is guided by an interest in
design as involvement in practical
action in the world, in design practice (in contrast to, e.g., cognition).
Donald Schön, through his books
on the “reflective practitioner”
[ 5, 6], has probably offered the most
influential account of design practice. His perspective on design as
a designerly drawing practice is
heavily influenced by the pragmatist philosophy of John Dewey, a
general epistemology of creative
and investigative processes, where
“experience,” seen as growing out
of encounters with real-life situations, is taken to be fundamental to
understanding [ 7, 8].
• Design Ph.D.
students exploring design things
by drawing things
together at a summer school in 2010.
March + April 2012