Designing for the everyday through thusness and irregularity

Lévy, P. (2019). Designing for the everyday through thusness and irregularity. In Proceedings of 8th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research, IASDR 2019. Manchester, UK: Manchester Metropolitan University.

paper

The concept of ‘everyday’ is a central topic in design, and this paper argues for more attention and discussion on the everyday than what is currently done in design research. By elaborating what the everyday is, designers can better formulate a perspective on people’s lives and experiences, and therefore can better contribute to the enchantment of the everyday through designing. To contribute to this effort of clarification and enchantment, we first attempt to clarify the concept of everyday and thereafter suggest notions originating from Japanese philosophy to address the everyday in design. The everyday is described mostly through the process of quotidianisation of the unfamiliar towards the familiar. To support designing for the everyday, we propose to focus on Japanese notions: thusness and irregularity. Thusness invites to consider the experience of the here-and-now as being the active relation with the entirety of the world through interaction. Irregularity invites to keep something unexplained in the design, eliciting possibilities of exploration, openness, change, and the shift of perspective. Finally, three relatively practical design concepts, namely micro-considerations, micro-frictions, and (es)sential details, are proposed to support application of thusness and irregularity through design.