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Margherita Vacca

The online workshop proposal develops from the issues addressed within my PhD research. Starting from a reflection on the contemporary global upheavals, such as the propagation of individualistic practices, the proliferation of ecological disasters, and the lack of care for the Other and the Elsewhere, the idea is to question the responsibility of the designer. It seems necessary to redirect the future perspective for the discipline that sees in the design language the inclusion of keywords such as cooperation, care, mutualism, responsibility, and togetherness.

As a starting point, the organization of the online workshop provides a brief theoretical introduction in which a “minimum design glossary” is presented, useful to constitute a preliminary basis for the development of an eco-social perspective for the participants. It is an introductory step and a tentacular operation (Haraway, 2016) necessary to understand the complex challenges, or rather the missions, that await the designer and to develop a critical point of view essential for the design of an alternative to the status quo.

In defining the theme of the online workshop—and of the PhD research on which it lays the foundations—it was fundamental to draw on other languages to understand the complexity of reality (Morin, 2020) and to build an interdisciplinary glossary.

The theme is based on placing two keywords such as design and cooperation in critical dialogue, meaning “design” as culture and practice, highlighting its social mandate and ecological perspective (Maldonado, 2022; Papanek, 2019) and “cooperation” as a system of collective and immersive practices of “doing together.” According to the mutual aid paradigm proposed by Kropotkin, when hostile conditions occur, animal species do not develop competitive and individualistic attitudes, but it is cooperation, mutual aid, in fact, that is the driving force that allows the evolutionary process to develop in the biosphere.

Starting from this theoretical premise, the purpose of the online workshop is to question the participants about the relationship between design research and practice and the cooperative and tinkering approach: can it be a strategic tool for systemic design? What methods and tools will be needed, and will these require a greater contribution from the other disciplines with which design has always (or not yet) interacted?

The workshop is created as an interactive and rhizomatic space in which a hybrid learning-by-doing methodology might be adopted as a useful way to investigate in-depth new possibilities and practices of systemic design.

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Citation Data

Author(s): Margherita Vacca
Year: 2022
Title: Design with Togetherness: Cooperation among relations, systems, processes
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 034
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/design-with-togetherness-cooperation-among-relations-systems-processes
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 30 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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