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Teaching for more-than-human perspectives in technology design – towards a pedagogical framework

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This position paper presents the initial steps towards the development of a pedagogical framework on teaching for more-than-human perspectives in design targeting teachers at technology design programmes and courses in higher education. We build on the methodology applied in the VASE project (VASE 2021) and the resulting VASE OER (Open Educational Resource) (VASE OER 2021). The continuation of the project focuses on developing teaching
activities that address more-than-human perspectives when teaching the next generation of responsible technology designers. In recent years there has been a growing awareness towards designing for more complex and holistic systems that include perspectives of nature and the more-than-human. As stated in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to achieve sustainable development we need to address the three levels: people (society), profit (economy), and planet
(biosphere) since they are all intertwined. Still, most of the design methods both professionally practiced and taught at technology design educations are geared towards humans with particular focus on users through, for example, human-centred design and user experience design. Thus, there is a gap between methods taught to designers and which methods are needed to solve problems related to environmental and social sustainability by also addressing planetary
perspectives. This paper puts forward the importance of challenging the dominating paradigm of technology design practices primarily focusing on people and profit, by also including planetary and more-than-human perspectives. Examples of existing practices and approaches for including
and listening to more-than-human perspectives are presented. By building on the experiences gained from the VASE project (VASE 2021), we present a path towards a pedagogical approach for how practices of designing for more-than-human perspectives can be turned into teaching activities in technology design educations. In doing so, teachers become agents of change by creating conditions for students to grow into responsible designers of future technologies and play a role in driving adaptation towards a more sustainable future.
Original languageEnglish
Publication yearNov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022
EventCumulus - USA, Detroit, United States
Duration: 2 Nov 20224 Nov 2022


CountryUnited States
Internet address

    Research areas

  • CCTD, More-than-human design, HCI

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