Design Practice within a Theory of Practice

By Guy Julier.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

'Practice' in a sociological sense refers to routinised behaviours that consist of several elements, interconnected to one another. To paraphrase Reckwitz, these include forms of bodily activities, forms of mental activities, artefacts and their use, a background knowledge in the form of understanding, know-how, states of emotion and motivational knowledge. Using ethnographic and interview data that focuses on teenagers' use of iPods, this presentation maps out the sociality of practice. Through this analysis, I argue for an approach to design that does not focus on individual users and objects, but for a complex appreciation of the networks of artefacts and actions that are contigent upon one another within respective fields of practice. Thus it is perhaps most productive for the designer to look at the norms and 'rules' of these fields, but also at their edges and overlaps with other fields.

Keywords: Practice, Contingency, Sociality, iPod

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.43-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 598.676KB).

Prof. Guy Julier

Professor of Design and Head of Research, The Leeds School of Architecture, Landscape and Design, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK

Guy Julier's research activities range through design-led urban regeneration, design and social participation, political economy and the sociology of design culture. Throughout these his interest is investigating the networks and relationships between material and immaterial artefacts and practices. This interdisciplinary approach is demonstrated through his book The Culture of Design (2000; revised edition forthcoming). Earlier publications include New Spanish Design (1991) and the Dictionary of Design since 1900 (1993, revised 2004). He is a correspondent of Experimenta (Madrid), an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Visual Culture and a contributor to 2+3D (Krakow).

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