‘Possibility’ in Design

| November 27, 2011

Of late I have encountered quit a few articles, monographs, or lectures where design scholars have discussed notions of “possibility” in relation to critical analyses on design, which often focus on design as both a social construct and political category for organizing social action. In the process I have become fascinated by the frequent conceptual coupling of design and possibility; partly because it touches on some of things I myself have/am writing about. In turn I have begun to ask myself, what “type of work” is the idea of ‘possibility’ doing for scholars, educators, and practitioners of design? Consequently, in the coming weeks I will try and identify different examples where notions of ‘possibility’ are evoked and debated by design scholars, such as in a recent article by Ann Light.

In Ann Light’s article “HCI as heterodoxy: Technologies of identity and the queering of interaction with computers” she explores the interrelationship between identity and technology. Specifically, she focuses on how Queer Theory can inform the development of digital technologies that “create the possibility for new relations” (2011: 2). In doing so, she identifies a number of conceptual frameworks for thinking about the design process by drawing on specific case studies about such concepts as: forgetting, obscuring, cheating, and eluding. To explore Light’s ideas further I suggest you check out her interesting and well argued article, it’s a fascinating read that offers many interesting insights for thinking about how notions of “possibility” are being taken up in the field of digital media and design.

Citation: Light, Ann (2011) HCI as heterodoxy: Technologies of identity and the queering of interaction with computers. Interacting with Computers. 23(5): 430-38.