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In Defense Of Friction: Designing for agency through constructivist entanglements

Format: Papers, RSD12, Topic: Learning & Education, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Jennifer Briselli

This article seeks to interrogate and reframe the role of friction in design from a separate and isolated phenomenon that hampers a system to one that emerges from the entangled interactions between objects and their environments and serves as a valuable feedback cycle within the system. This feedback can teach us how to facilitate more equitable experience ecosystems where agency is organically empowered to emerge instead of granted or allowed. To this end, design is overdue for a constructivist turn as a counterbalance to cognitivist and behaviourist modes of thinking. Constructivist approaches necessarily rejigger the relationships between designer and designed and reframe their interactions as emergent entanglements rather than linear dynamics. Drawing on the work of Dewey, Friere, Mezirow, Barad, and others, this presentation explores and synthesises key ideas from agential realism, transformative learning theory, and liberation pedagogy through a constructivist, systems-oriented lens to identify themes with great potential for the work of systemic designers.

Keywords: constructivist theory, transformative learning theory, agential realism, experience strategy 

RSD: Learning & Education, Methods & Methodology

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Citation Data

Author(s): Jennifer Briselli
Year: 2023
Title: In Defense Of Friction: Designing for agency through constructivist entanglements
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/constructivist-entanglements
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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