Design Anthropology as a Politics of Care and Alterity

30 November 2022, 1.00 PM - 30 November 2022, 2.30 PM

Adam Drazin, Anthropology, University College London

G.10, Lecture Room, 43 Woodland Road BS8 1UU

This talk explores the political implications of a human culture increasingly characterised by notions of design, but caught between the polarities of human-centred and post-human paradigms. The outputs of design anthropology often produce a person-centred perspective, and some anthropologists have characterised this as constituting an industrialised political economy of care. Using examples from corporate research collaborations, I argue that as people increasingly understand everyday material environments as 'designed', we need to appreciate how artefacts seem to make ‘other people’ present, in other words manifest alterity. This politicisation of design as intensely human-centred evokes new questions we need to be asking about contemporary material culture.

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Theresia Hofer:

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