Our relationships with everyday things are shaped by the affordances and signifiers that designers create. For example, a chair affords (is for) sitting. The flat part of the chair signifies that sitting is possible. Unfortunately, affordances are not always distributed equitably, and signifiers may be imperceptible. Understanding the affordances and signifiers of everyday things, who benefits from them, and who is harmed by them, is a necessary step toward designing a better, more just future.
I will be running a workshop on August 23rd from 1pm-2pm EDT exploring “The Design of Everyday Inequities.” This workshop will apply concepts from the classic design book The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman, along with critiques of the book by Sasha Costanza-Chock in their recently released book Design Justice.
You will learn the basic principles of the design of everyday things, and employ design justice principles to analyze a house-hold object of your choosing. We will share our results and discuss ways to make design more equitable.
The workshop will be held over Zoom on Sunday August 23rd from 1pm-2pm EDT. The link will be made available to participants after registration, with an e-mail reminder sent out the day of the event.
What to bring:
Please bring a house-hold object you’re interested in analyzing: a peeler you particularly like, or step stool that always seems to wobble when you use it. It should be something you’re interested in learning more about, and open to critiquing.
Please reach out to Maggie Delano over email if you have any questions or concerns. I will do my best to accommodate any accessibility requests; please send me an email (ideally by August 20th) and we can discuss your needs.
This workshop is a part of final presentations for Teaching as Art Online at the School for Poetic Computation, Summer 2020.