Publication 1001

Kenniff T.-B. & Sweeting B. (2014) There is no alibi in designing: Responsibility and dialogue in the design process. Opticon 1826(16): 1. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/1001
This paper explores a potential relation between architecture and ethics intrinsic to design processes when understood in terms of dialogue or conversation. We draw on separate but related research interests: one focused on the design process, especially the significance of drawing, and the other on the ethics of designing for the public realm, with reference to Bakhtinian dialogism. Our investigation concentrates on two aspects of the design process, both of which can be thought of in terms of conversation – first, the relation between architect and Other, and second, the act of drawing. Through this, we support the idea that in design the ethical and the aesthetic cannot be meaningfully separated from one another. Instead, their relation must be understood as a dialogue in and of itself, as well as part of the dialogue between all participants in the design process. Relevance: This article develops a cybernetic understanding of the design process, based on the analogy between conversation and sketching (and the work of Glanville and Pask), in relation to the dialogues that designers hold with those they design for; in so doing it suggests a connection between a cybernetic understanding of epistemology and ethical questions.

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