Poetics of Animism

Poetics is a difficult term to use in a research project. But bear with me

→ oxford: having an imaginative or sensitively emotional style of expression. → merian-webster: having or expressing the qualities of poetry (as through aesthetic or emotional impact).

Poetics is closely related to literature and writing and as such it is related to communication. In this, it attempts to go beyond the mere transportation of information. Poetics tries to create relation not only on practical level, but also by conveying that which can be hardly put into words - beauty, emotion, experience. In short, those things we can probably agree on to make for a better living.

Speculative or critical design is heavily inspired by literature and it’s ability to create the fantastic.

“Of all these areas of research, it is literature and fine art that offer the most promising sources of inspiration. They can push the notion of fiction to the extreme, going well beyond logical worlds and more pragmatic world building.” (???)

Speculative design is about extrapolating from the present into a possible and desirable future through different methodologies of creating the fantastic.

The poetics of animism is the aesthetic force of giving form to an otherwise fantastic epistemology. Again, animism is understood as the process of highten the ontological status of a thing from passive materia to a non-human person. One could be quick to dismiss animism as a naive make-belief, but since the renewed interest in new materialism we have a beautiful theoretical foundation for such an epistemology. We do not have a practice.

Animism does not only enable form to be given to this, it also makes these forms approachable for humans, through emotions, intuition and stories. Animism in design could be a step away from use cases to narratives.