The Performance of Nonhuman Behaviour

A Nordes 2015 Workshop, 9 June 2015, Konstfack, Stockholm

Claudia Dutson
Delfina Fantini van Ditmar
Dan Lockton
Royal College of Art, London

This workshop is situated at the convergence of technology, behaviour and people’s understanding of the nonhuman entities with which they interact, questioning the ideas of ‘intelligence’ and ‘smartness’.

As the Internet of Things, ‘smart cities’, Quantified Self, and similar concepts intersect with design for behaviour change and sustainable behaviour, becoming pressing research themes across product, service, interaction and architectural design, we ask how the relationships between humans and nonhumans are characterised and articulated.

Through using performative methods, this workshop aims to explore questions such as:

  • What kind of conversations take place between humans and machines, and the surrounding environment?
  • How is algorithmic decision-making, as designed into systems, experienced and understood by humans?
  • How can designers engage with algorithms, critically but also usefully?
  • What does it mean when nonhuman performance becomes a material of design practice?

More details

paperthumbnailHere’s the full workshop proposal (PDF, 1 MB).

The workshop’s for designers and researchers interested in exploring and challenging anthropocentric assumptions about the way we interact with technology. Through a range of activities, we’ll explore, practically, non-human-centric worlds, and be introduced to novel performative methods for exploring or challenging anthropocentrism in design.

The workshop is ideally suited to professionals and postgraduate researchers engaging with any of the issues involved, from the politics of artefacts to ubiquitous computing.

We’ll be updating this site with more details nearer the time, but if you have any questions, please email dan.lockton@rca.ac.uk