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Wednesday, July 5 • 18:35 - 19:45
Design for agency : creating systems that inspire action in anyone.

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And what if the human is not the problem?


The design approach has transitioned from the industrial design for mass production and the functional modernism to the often marketing driven user-centered design of the 90’. But nowadays, the role of designers is evolving once again.  We are moving from “use” to “agency” and contribution.

 So we need to develop the ability to engage with the people as participants, to see their desires and fears, and then to build contexts and systems to address those. As opposed to the “individual user” who is interacting with a smart product, the participants are engaged with one another and with their environment (or their context).


Today the methodologies of design and science affect one another, however, the design is not just a framework for participants, but something that is also, itself, participating.


This is a design that doesn't place the designer or the user in the center. A new approach has to emerge, one which optimizes for a different type of growth, concerned with designing strategies in which each person doesn’t just see themselves at the center of the world but helps to understand the impacts and consequences on our collective world.

  • Why should we move away from the user-centered design and what is the difference?
  • What would it mean to design for participants instead? For all the participants?
  • What is the role of technology for participants’ agency?
  • How are we gonna design the city, mobility, automation, power, ownership, economy?

*** Un design de l'encapacitation : créer des systèmes qui poussent chacun à agir***

avatar for Justyna Swat

Justyna Swat

co-founder, POC21 / WIKIHOUSE
Strategic designer and architect. Working on projects developing socially and ecologically responsible solutions using digital tools. Designing systems for agency. Co-founder of POC21 , design assistant at the ENSCI les Ateliers School of Industrial Design, WikiHouse Foundation... Read More →

avatar for Alastair Parvin

Alastair Parvin

Co-founder, WikiHouse Foundation
Alastair Parvin is a designer and civic entrepreneur based in London, UK.He is the co-founder of Wikihouse Foundation and a member of strategic design group 00. He is currently working on better housing systems, democratic cities & technology made by and for everyone. He also thinks... Read More →
avatar for Selena Savic

Selena Savic

Co-founder, Unpleasant Design team
Selena Savic is a designer and researcher with a background in architecture and media design. Her research explores interactions with objects and technology in an irreductionist way, foregrounding seamless technologies and infrastructures. She holds a joint PhD by EPFL in Lausanne... Read More →

Wednesday July 5, 2017 18:35 - 19:45 CEST
01. Circus