Designing as Middle Ground

Niels Christian Nickelsen, Thomas Binder

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterBook chapterResearchpeer-review


The theoretical background in this chapter is science and technology studies and actor network theory, enabling investigation of heterogeneity, agency and perfor-mative effects through ‘symmetric’ analysis. The concept of design is defined as being imaginative and mindful to a number of actors in a network of humans and non-humans, highlighting that design objects and the designer as an authority are constructed throughout this endeavour. The illustrative case example is drawn from product development in a rubber valve factory in Jutland in Denmark. The key contribution to a general core of design research is an articulation of design activity taking place as a middle ground and as an intermixture between a ‘scientific’ regime of knowledge transfer and a capital ‘D’ ‘Designerly’ regime of authoring.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign Research : Synergies from Interdisciplinary Perspectives
EditorsJesper Simonsen, Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt, Monika Büscher, John Damm Scheuer
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationOxon
Publication date2010
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-57263
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Actor Network Theory
  • Design Imagination
  • Heterogeneous Agency
  • Product Development


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