Post Structuralism = Reflective Design ?

I was wondering if anyone else made the connection between post structuralism and reflective design.  I personally see alot of similarities and overlaps. I guess it makes sense, considering both have roots in critical theory.

The playful transgression of existing rule systems (post structuralism) seems to be a great way for designers and users to reflect on technology and its relationship to human life (reflective design).

Do you guys agree?  What is the relationship?  Does understanding post structuralism help us become better reflective designers?  Or not?  What other theories and methods in HCI is post structuralism related to?

1 Comment

  1. Tyler Pace

    To me, reflection is the ultimate outcome of poststruc and pomo ideas. If you take away objective truth claims, all you’re really left with is deep, personal reflection.

    Mats Alvesson proposes “reflexive pragmatism” as a practice somewhere between high brow postmodernism and actual empirical research practices.

    In Alvesson’s terms, reflexivity is a “conscious and systematic efforts to view the subject matter from different angles, and to avoid strongly privileging a favoured one.” Pragmatism is “a willingness to postpone some doubt and still use the material for what the researcher thinks is the best possible purpose.”

    Basically, we need to be reflective and critical but also aware that we don’t have unlimited time, space and patience to deal with the infinite empirical challenges associated with any research (or design) exercise.


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