Review of Ron Wakkary's 'Things We Could Design'


Dr Jesse Josua Benjamin published a review of Ron Wakkary’s “Things We Could Design: For More-than-human Worlds” in the latest issue of the philosophy of technology journal Technē.

From the review:

“Wakkary’s book is oriented at a more expansive understanding of what design can do and how it could be understood so as to transcend the established formulas of human-centered design—and specifically, the latter’s unreflective humanism and narrow conceptual constraints of human-centered ergonomics and utility. Ultimately, Wakkary argues that the generally dominant logic of the latter (1) belies the complexity of moving and active parts (human and non-human) in the things, phenomena and practices of designing; and (2) how acknowledging the former brings opportunities for design along post-humanist lines of thinking. Opportunities towards, for instance, more sustainable, just and equitable futures through design that takes seriously the urgent need to take a more ecological view that does not place the human scale as the only or most important one to cater for.”

Find the review here.

Written by

Dr Jesse Josua Benjamin

Jesse is a Research Associate on the project, working around generative AI. He draws upon design training, and integrates design research with philosophical analyses to unfold phenomena associated with emerging technologies; such as sense-making practices, design affordances, and how in particular technologies transform the appearance of the world and the things and people in it.