Keywords: Agential provotyping, Subversive design, Emotional design, Empathy, Interactive installation, Public space, Ecology, Ontology, Plant sentience, interactive artifacts.
Human societies are deeply entangled with biotic and abiotic entities that constitute and sustain our life-world, consequently to address peaceful coexistence within and between human societies, necessitates addressing a much broader issue: peaceful multispecies coexistence and the end of environmental violence. Key to this is a change of the present dominant neoliberalist ontology, which is wreaking havoc on the planet, socially and ecologically. This paper introduces agential provotyping as a catalyst to prompt a dialectic process of reflection of the assumptions and beliefs, which constitute the foundation of our present exploitative and human-centered value system. Agential provotypes are tools of subversive design practice, which are readily accessible design artifacts aimed at a broad heterogeneous public that reveal the taken-for-granted elements of the human life-world through playful interaction and aesthetic experience. The paper starts by explicating the relationship with provotyping as emerging from systems design and positions agential provotypes in relation to critical design. It thereafter demonstrates agential prototyping on the basis of an interactive installation consisting of digital artifacts and plants; finally it discusses the impact of the agential provotype on interactants’ beliefs and assumptions and their development of empathy towards other lifeforms in their environment.
- Raune Frankjaer holds a Masters degree in Spatial Interaction Design and is currently a doctoral candidate at the Department of Digital Design and Information Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark. Her research centeres around non-anthropocentric applications of information and communication technologies, with a particular focus on interactive artifacts and haptic and wearable interfaces.
Full text (PDF) p. 21-28