Rationalizing inquiry paths for responsible design in the context of a global pandemic

Juan Salamanca, Molly Briggs

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The systemic disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic amplified the effects of some social inequalities and revealed positive environmental effects associated with slowing the economy. In order to explore the repercussions of contagion prevention and community engagement initiatives such as deploying face masks and visualizing Covid-19 statistics, we resorted to an ethical model of Design for Responsible innovation (DRI). This interactive model is useful for identifying, exploring, and describing analytical and generative paths of inquiry departing from, or arriving at, diverse matters of concern such as the impact of commodification and manufacturing in society and nature, the relativism of truth, the segregation of identities, and the reduction of agency. In this paper we argue that the human-centered perspective on design relies on a biased value system that either disfavors some social groups or disregards nonhuman living agencies, and we emphasize the analytical capacity of the model to chart and rationalize alternative inquiry paths. In consequence, future responsible design interventions would benefit from positioning life at center stage and embracing the relational and dependent nature of human beings from a posthuman perspective. To achieve this, research methods capable of handling human-nonhuman units of analysis and allowing the examination of systemic impact in complex systems are needed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)50-65
    Number of pages16
    JournalStrategic Design Research Journal
    Volume14
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 2021

    Keywords

    • Data visualization
    • Design research
    • Ethics and values
    • Face masks
    • Responsible innovation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Modeling and Simulation
    • Arts and Humanities(all)
    • Engineering(all)

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Rationalizing inquiry paths for responsible design in the context of a global pandemic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this