chapter  1
16 Pages

Design Anthropology: An Introduction

WithWendy Gunn, Jared Donovan

This chapter focuses on surfaces, places and people and describes some instances of how they meet. Ecological psychologist J. J. Gibson defines a surface as the interface between any two of the three states of matter, solid, liquid and gas. It finds that rubber studded soles do not sit well on tree residue-covered limestone slabs, wet by all too frequent rain. The chapter shows us the designer in his studio, smiling, as he slides his finger over the phone screen calling up different functions. This literal lack of friction, no grip on ice, only sliding, constitutes a strong figurative friction. Gunn and Donovan, with Ingold, discusses how a process of design is not to impose closure, but to allow for everyday life to carry on, hence the imagination, the flexibility needed in design, needs to be responsive to changing conditions, and is not about predicting the future.