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Prospective Design: a research agenda for design interventions in sociotechnical systems

Van Amstel, Frederick M.C.; Botter, Fernanda; Guimarães, Cayley. Design Prospectivo: uma agenda de pesquisa para intervenção projetual em sistemas sociotécnicos. Estudos em Design, 30 (2), 2022. DOI:

Abstract: In the last few decades, design research has faced large-scale and complex wicked problems, such as climate change and precarization of work. A common approach to such problems is to locate them within a socio-technical system, which has multiple social and technical aspects. Theorizing STS as a horizon of transformation through design interventions is still incipient, leaving the field in a state of constant philosophical and methodological confusion. This article introduces Prospective Design, a sociotechnical design intervention praxis based on critical phenomenology, which studies the existential dimensions of the human being as a contradiction between the natural and artificial aspects of the world. This article introduces four items for a research agenda that can shape design interventions: 1) invisible structures as leverage points, 2) aesthetics of relational qualities, 3) radical possibilism and 4) collective prospection.

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