A contemporary framework for probing in social design: on continuous dialogues and community building

Kathrina Dankl, Canan Akoglu, Kerstin Bro Egelund

Abstract

Feelings of loneliness and social exclusion are a widespread phenomenon of digital modernity occurring across nations and cohorts, and it is therefore a significant area of interest to be addressed by the policies of welfare states and by designers. Existing research emphasises qualities in probes and probing such as providing inspiration and informing designers as well as enabling dialogue and collaboration. However, limited attention has been paid to the fact that probing and toolkits may require specific qualities where sentiments of exclusion are at stake. By examining a series of design interventions tackling loneliness, we analyse the type of methods that have been designed and used, their role and effect on relations between designers and participants as well as the design team itself. We also assess which tools failed to sustain their focus on initiating and deepening the dialogue among design participants. We conclude that dialogue and community building are essential goals in many areas of social design and suggest a framework for working with probing in this context. Probing is positioned as a way of deepening processes of interaction and inclusion with emphasis on the design proposal as a starting point for creating a community.

A preliminary framework for probing in social design

© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group, CoDesign journal 

Link to the full article: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15710882.2021.2020847

Contact: Kathrina Dankl, Associate Professor, PhD, E-mail: kad[@]dskd.dk

Canan Akoglu, Associate Professor, PhD, Head of Design for People, E-mail: ca[@]dskd.dk

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