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Drawing Things Together

Open Access: PDF

Item record on MUEP:

Binder, Thomas, Giorgio De Michelis, Pelle Ehn, Per Linde, Giulio Jacucci, Ina Wagner, and A. Telier. 2012. Drawing things together, Interactions 19(2): 34-37.

INTRODUCTION – “Now, here is the challenge. In its long history, design practices has done a marvelous job at inventing the practical skills to draw objects, whether in architectural drawing, mechanic blueprints, scale models, or prototyping. But what has always been missing from those marvelous drawings (designs in the literal sense) are the controversies and the many contradicting stakeholders that they bear with them. In other words, you in design as well as we in science and technology studies may insist that objects are always assemblies, ‘gatherings’ in Heidegger’s meaning of the word, or things and Dinge, and yet, 400 years after the invention of perspective drawing, 300 years after projective geometry, 50 years after the development of CAD computer screens, we are still utterly unable to draw together, to simulate, to materialize, to approximate, to scale model, what is a thing”.

This design challenge to draw things together was put forward by prominent social scientist and philosopher Bruno Latour at the Design History Society gathering in Cornwall, U.K., in 2008.

There are three related words in the challenge: drawing, things, and together. We find this challenge utterly relevant to contemporary design practice and design thinking, and have collectively (as A. Telier) for a decade reflected upon how to respond to such a challenge. First as participants in Atelier, a European research project focusing on designing and understanding digital tools and mixed-media support for collaborative design environments, then as the collective writers of a book, Design Things. In short, this is the response we gave in that book.

© ACM, 2012. This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Interactions xix(2):34-37, ISSN 1072-5520, (Mar/Apr, 2012)

Interactions is a RoMEO green journal: author can archive pre-print (ie pre-refereeing); author can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing); author cannot archive publisher’s version/PDF.

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Design Things: Drawing Things Together and Making Things Public
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