Towards a relational approach to design process

  • YEAR
    Kocaballi, A. Baki
    Saunders, Rob
    Gemeinboeck, Petra
    Dong, Andy
    2011 Conference Papers
    Computer Science


This research aims to develop an approach to technology design that will support relational nature of human agency, i.e. the human capacity for action. Supporting relationally requires a different approach from the ways in which we have hitherto performed design practice. Rather than trying to control, predict or prescribe actions and relations of users, designers may design for actions more emergent and relations more fluid. In this paper, we suggest six qualities to characterize a more
relational design approach referred to as Agency Sensitive Design (ASD): relationality, visibility, multiplicity, accountability, duality and configurability. We demonstrate how recent design cases and approaches in the broad field of interaction design deal with the relational character of human agency. We conclude with some possible ways of employing ASD qualities in the field of architecture. Although our study focuses on design cases drawn from interaction design field mostly, we nonetheless see
broader relevance to other design domains.


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