Practice-based ontological design for multiplying realities

Nold, Christian (2018). Practice-based ontological design for multiplying realities. Strategic Design Research Journal, 11(2) pp. 58–64.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4013/sdrj.2018.112.02

Abstract

This text argues that a practice-based notion of ontological design is useful for designers to transform the politics of the already designed world. The text analyzes three approaches to the philosophical concept of ontology and suggests that a Science and Technology Studies approach focused on observing ontologies in practice provides pragmatic potential for designers to intervene in public controversies. The author's case study of a contested airport expansion demonstrates that this approach can sensitize the designer to multiple realities, identify 'where' the ontological infrastructure of a problem is located, and define 'what' design is needed to transform a controversy. The text uses these findings to propose principles of practice-based ontological design that can support designers who are seeking to transform the world into a series of situated controversies.

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