Philosophy at Work – Postphenomenology as a Generative Lens in Design Research and Practice
van der Zwan, S., Smith, M. L., Bruineberg, J., Lévy, P., & Hummels, C. C. M. (2020). Philosophy at Work - Postphenomenology as a Generative Lens in Design Research and Practice. Proceedings of the Design Research Society 2020, DRS2020, Sydney, Australia (online). https://doi.org/10.21606/drs.2020.337
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We investigate the use of five postphenomenological concepts by bringing them to design practice and using them as a “generative lens” in design research. The use of these concepts in design research creates tension between the general and the particular. In a constructive design research process, we resolve this tension. We follow two complementary lines of inquiry: first, we design a ritual to support a postphenomenological analysis of the workplace. We discuss insights regarding ordering and formulation of the concepts, selecting a technological intermediary and assessing technologies. In the second, we use postphenomenology as a generative lens in designing the ritual. We discuss the iterative process in which the designer shapes specific uses by proposing different designs and reflecting on them using postphenomenological concepts. These reflections point to a responsibility of the designer to incorporate ways of being, ways of knowing and values on top of specific uses and utility.