TILLBLIVELSER En trasslig berättelse om design som normkritisk praktik
Sammanfattning: The increasing awareness of norm-critical perspectives (in society, academia and industry) brings with it the need to develop methods to ensure they can be implemented in practice. This thesis discusses how the role of design contributes to and maintains norms, and shows how design as a norm critical practice has great potential to bridge the gap between theory and practice in norm-critical work. This potential lies in using design as a peda-gogic tool that can concretize and make understandable what would otherwise be perceived as complex, unclear or remote. The thesis pays special attention to the role of artefacts in the creation of the stories of the world. The discursive design thing is introduced as a tool to visualize norms and to create discussion. The three-dimen-sional, physical thing exposes us to a more diverse experience of norms than when we just address them in words or pictures.The empirical work in this thesis stems from five research pro-jects that differ from each other and were carried out under varied conditions. The projects have tackled a range of problems and power relationships. However, together they draw a complex picture of how norms arise, overlap and constantly change over time, place and space – and how design can be used to support or disrupt this process.By revisiting the projects, it becomes clear how the researcher’s position and actions (or non-actions) shape the norm development process. This results in an insight that meaning can not be construc-ted from an outside perspective, but is a constant ”becoming” that occurs in an entanglement of relationships arising between different bodies, both human and non-human. As a norm critical perspec-tive implies paying attention to power relationships, it also assumes a power critical approach to the production of meaning extracted from the norm-critical work, and that we – as researchers and designers – take responsibility for our prevail by highlighting our own bodies and gaze.The thesis therefore proposes the concept of diffraction as an approach to the production of meaning in norm critical design practices. A diffractive approach enables an understanding of how the production of meaning occurs in various coincidences, but also how our own interventions shape the story. It opens up to the realization that parallel narratives are possible and thus becomes a tool to break away from the linear understanding framework and offer an exploration of alternative thought patterns. A diffractive approach to the production of meaning is thus also a tool to pro-mote increased creativity.
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