The Materiality of Design Thinking

  • Tim SeitzEmail author


Following an Actor-Network Theory (ANT)-approach I analyze the material arrangements that are set into place before a design thinking workshop can start. Design thinking is made visible as a laboratory practice that can only take place in specific environments. Based on this I discuss the epistemic practices with which information about end users and their problems is created. By highlighting the materiality of these processes, I argue that design thinking does not actually generate information about end users and their problems. Instead, it constructs specific imaginations of people and their problems in such a way that design thinking can offer convincing solutions. Herein lies the rhetoric strength of the concept: it describes people and their problems in such a way that a solution seems in reach. These solutions only exist as ideas, as stories of problem solving that can keep their persuasive simplicity because they are not instantly put into place/challenged.


Materiality Problem-solving User Persona Laboratory 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technical University of BerlinBerlinGermany

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