Animism and the Question of Power

What is the Question of Power

In design we are entangled with many power dynamics and hierarchies. Every project within design, and design research, needs to ask itself, how it decides to tackle these issues of gender, race and class; intersectionality.


There are [^1] attempts to decenter the human perspective. Not as in devaluing the human but to show, that we are embedded within complex webs of relations and ecologies with equally important partners; from bacterias and mushrooms to sidewalks, the materials we use to build stuff and also electronic devices. The problem is, that we miss a frame of reference for such a viewpoint. Akin to intersectional topics, negative stereotypes are reinforced through the way we design things. When design things for boys ang girls, a binary view on gender is reproduced. Animsm in design can help to function as an aesthetic interface to the acceptance of a more complex view on the world and repositioning the human; from the center of all that is, to being in a web of relations of equally important actant. It can also function as an epistemological interface to things that don’t materialise, like hyperobjects and imaginary concepts.

-> see Everything is Someone