Design spaces in the making

Thomas Binder, Maria Hellström

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterBook chapterResearch


Design agendas are changing, and so are design communities and design processes. Over the last few decades, a growing number of professionals have started to see their core activity as "designing" rather than "planning" or "engineering". At the same time the "old" design professions to an increasing extent have to face challenges of the conventional conceiption of design as "a means to convey symbolic meaning through physical form". The "designer" is nog longer the outstanding, creative individual bringing artifacts into the world, but rather a member of a collaborative design team engaging in continuous dialogues with clients and users, manufacturers and consumers. The design process is no longer confined to the studio of the professional designer, but takes the shape of an almost endless chain of brokering, facilitation and envisioning: a practice from which a design for future appropriations will emerge. Whether taking the form of an almost canned experience - as in amusement parks or densely narrated fashion sportswear - or providing for endless interpretations and re-configurations - as in mobile phones or open-source software packages, the design itself becomes yet more open-ended. Transcending established genres, contemporary design questions well-proven distinctions between designed object and context of use as well as between designerly authorship and consumerist apprehension.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign spaces
Place of PublicationHelsinki
PublisherEDITA IT Press
Publication date2005
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Cite this