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Design Gestures. Playing with Â’AffordanceÂ’ and the Concept of Â’DesignÂ’

Research group:

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


Design from the 1980Â’s, such as Jonas BohlinÂ’s chair Concrete and Ettore Sottsass shelf Carlton, calls for alternative thinking in design theory, in regard to design theoriesÂ’ categorization of functional and non-functional (i.e. aesthetical) objects. For example found in Donald NormanÂ’s theory of the design of everyday things. In these examples from design practice, usefulness seems to be put aside for sensual perception. But these design objects also seem to broaden the concept of Â’designÂ’. Not, however, placing them in the categories of being aesthetic - or art objects. In this paper, I suggest that these artefacts are playing with Â’affordanceÂ’, i.e. with the activity called forth through perception of the object. They also actualize design understood as drawing/sketching, as cognitive tools, hence playing with design both understood as process and final object.


author = {Anna-Lena Carlsson},
title = {Design Gestures. Playing with {\^A}’Affordance{\^A}’ and the Concept of {\^A}’Design{\^A}’},
month = {May},
year = {2013},
url = {}