Relational Design

DS 116: Proceedings of the DESIGN2022 17th International Design Conference

Year: 2022
Editor: Mario Štorga, Stanko Škec, Tomislav Martinec, Dorian Marjanović
Author: Brita Fladvad Nielsen, Mari Bjerck
Series: DESIGN
Institution: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Section: Design for Sustainability
Page(s): 1061-1070
DOI number:
ISSN: 2732-527X (Online)


There is a mismatch between the way public services are designed, and the chronic dilemmas of the welfare state. Through two case studies we show how tool-dependent, instrumental and systems-oriented approaches fall short in tackling these dilemmas, and how the there is a need for a new, relational turn in design. Relational design takes into account interdependencies and dynamic situation of society, and calls for a new design vocabulary that discusses and approaches the relational aspects and opens up for a more situational and sensitive design agency.

Keywords: relational design, relational welfare, design theory, service-oriented design, sustainability

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