Post-Animism Phase

Mar 05, 2021

I had a very good coaching this week. Not an easy one, but a good one. As pointed out in the last post, Crossroads and Conjunctions, I’m somewhat at a place where I can go straight forward. My mentor booked this under being lost, which captures it quite nicely.

The problem I’m facing is, that despite all the wonderful material at hand, I’m not able to translate an animistic framework into reality without falling back into appropriating other cultures or being purely speculative. The first option is without question a big no go. I don’t mind the second, but as my mentor also pointed out, it would need me to go into a direction I’m not necessarily comfortable with.

Taking the second option would essentially mean, that I remove myself from an applied reality, and that’s definitly not why I wanted to do this project. It seems to me, it would also be a waste of my potential as having a firm foot in applied technology with a long standing experience. As a software developer i’m more of a craftsperson. Building pragmatic things, but with ideology, ethics and poesie.

The research so far invested in animism in and with design isn’t wasted. But if I can’t translate it into reality within the frame of product design, I need to take it out of the equation and use it as a tools that informs my research and my approach, but not the product. Animism, especially after Betti Marenko, is a great posthuman framework to analyse and critique design approaches, especially the human-centered paradigma. And it is especially valuable in the world of digital and electronic everyday technologies.

How to go on from here… If the question isn’t anymore how animism can inform design, what will I do?.