The Cultural Work of Innovating: Cultures Designing Themselves
Proceedings PIN 2012 Conference, Melbourne, Australia, January 2012
7 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2013
This paper is forest not tree — what the whole offers the particular. It counters academia's tradition of accumulating particulars (that Herbert Simon called “a weakness” of modern science). This paper induces abstract dimensions and theory (of design anthropology) from sixteen diverse cases across 40 years, 3 continents, 11 industries. Dimensions of difference (itself a design method) for each pair of the 16 cases were articulated, then grouped by similarity across cases. The result a model of design anthropology as: 1 overarching reality — design as un-culturing, anti-designing, un-designing, civilizational self-negation, 5 forces influencing design, 5 influences on design from other Novelty Sciences, a 5-part ontology of design (designer, design purpose, design process, the design itself, design kinds), and 9 operations in designing: undoing rightnesses, global creation automata, crossing fields, undoing bias, expanding scope and scale, deploying design process protocols, applying negation powers, audience establishing and enchantment, model repertoires replacing single right-y models, designing sheer performance (a show business). Western civilization as a whole has been identified as a self-negating culture (of cultures) so design as as un-designing fits that essence interestingly. This elemental view of design as an operation within and of cultures that self-negate elucidates why traditional cultures “decorate” in festival design, though they self-negate in tooling design.
Keywords: design as un-design, design as anti-design, cultures of design, designing cultures
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