CN07 - The Snug: A Series of Conversations About Design Research

Conveners: Eva Verhoeven, Paul Bailey, John Fass, Jaron Rowan, & Marta Camps Banque

This set of conversations is centered around two different subjects, on the one hand we will explore the radical imaginary, an idea which positions design research as a field of critical and imaginative thinking. On the other we will discuss how the idea of embodiment affects and alters notions of design research. These two conversations will take place in two different pub snugs, and will be accessible through a micro-site that will allow listeners to choose and tune into one of them, or interact with them simultaneously, given place to an experience-conversation-mix-interference-assembly.


The first conversation will involve a provocation suggesting the need for a more energetic and imaginative vigour in design research. It will open a debate on how can the radical imaginary open new spaces for struggle, contestation and creation of different politics. To do so design must avoid the pitfalls and morality that define thinking about the possible, the probable and the preferable and explore radical ways of thinking and doing in common. We fear that imagination has become an individual escapist / utopian project, still, we consider that design can be an interesting space where to ground imagination in real and possible practices. We need to explore strategies to commonize imagination, to think of it as a collective tool to build better presents.


The second; embodying and practicing, places human and non-human bodies at the centre of the conversation and suggests that design research should make room for more performative and symbiotic relationships between subjects and objects. This will lead to discussion about what kind of bodies are privileged by design research and what embodied experiences are we currently excluding. What are the cultural myths and metaphors that construct our lived and embodied experiences and how is that story perpetuated in design research. Opening up this debate involves going beyond dualities such as brain/body, thought/action, inside/outside of the body, we need to identify interfaces between bodies, systems, networks and corporeal processes, full hearted participation.


According to convention the snug is traditionally a safe space for women, a place for reflection and measured opinion, part of the general tumult of social life, but separate from it - somewhere where people can talk freely without fear of judgement or sanction. Lets assemble, matter, imagine, drink and embody collectively.


Conversation microsite:


Click here for full Conversation details.