The concept of relationality in design exists in opposition to the idea that we are all unitary individuals – it takes as a given the belief that we exist together, that we generate each other through interaction. It takes as a starting point the understanding that objects always exist as elements within design ecologies. All product design must be a systemic practice that takes into account the intricate and dynamic web of interrelationships where all making and use takes place within.
Over the past nine months the Relational Futures Studio has been an exciting experiment in creating a physical and conceptual space where we could collectively explore the nature of a relational approach to design. Through an exploration of human interaction and people’s relationship to the physical world we have been examining what it means to move beyond simply designing objects or even services to begin to try to understand how the relational nature of everyday life can be intervene to effect change for the better.
In the first stage of the project an evidence-based research process centred upon social observation and experimentation to examine the nature of relationships between people, people and things, things and things, and things and systems. Upon this base we then developed methods of material conjecture and the testing of propositions and principles, to begin to build a way of working towards interventions that could change relationships, build upon good dynamics and endeavor to modify that which was not working. The intention was not to merely produce more consumer goods for sale, but to imagine through physical means what new approaches to design and making could look like if we truly tried to make a more sustainable, diverse and convivial way of life.
The following is work produced by the studio in 2018/19.
See all The Relational Futures Studio students in: 2019-20