Too much focus on human centredness, subliminally and subconsciously, attaches too much significance on human beings.
Yes we matter, but as much, if not less, than everything around us; than all forms of life that sustain us.
This focus has created some of the most intractable problems we experience today, such as war, climate change, poverty and slavery.
Centredness leads to selfishness and apathy.
What do we do?
Recognize that the centre is outside of us.
Have many centres. Loci instead of locus.
Pluriverse, Manyverse? Call it what you may.
We have to care about the things we design; the things we make and use.
Why should we care is not even a question. Or an option.
But how should we care.
More. And genuinely.
Why does it matter?
For our designs shape the world.
But most importantly, they shape us.
Hence, what kind of 'us' do we want to be?
Ironically, this takes us back to where we started. The focus on us.
Hence, against centredness.
Against the narcissism that plagues us.
Designers are not interventionists.
Or opportunists for that matter.
An intensivist saves lives.
An interventionist may ruin lives.
Interventions displace and dislocate.
Opportunism descends into a desperate act of seeking or finding: needs, problems and solutions.
In other words, solutions in search of problems.
None are found.
They may, or may not, emerge in their context.
Design is thus a question of appropriateness; a just response.
This leads us to an interesting place - the delimitations of practice.
This is enough, or this is as far as we can go. Most importantly, this is where we will not go.
This is what we might do. Most importantly, this is what we won't do.
Design is thus an act of circumscribing activity; a matter or ethics.
Design is not about constraints.
But about restraints.
To restrain ourselves from the irresistible urge to shape the world.
Inter-, Cross-, Multi-, Trans-, Anti-disciplinary.
These are stances that emphasize or fortify the silos one inhabits.
Habitats of thinking, making, feeling and expressing, these silos are like placemaking.
Antidisciplinary is also a stance in opposition to the acknowledgement of silos.
Just like one's environment limits growth, the disciplines discipline.
Can't go near, can't look far.
Can't touch here, can't get a taste of there.
Can't listen to this, can't feel that.
One wants to travel freely between places.
To dwell there.
And draw connections between them.
Disciplinary boundaries are territorial constructs.
That one proudly defends.
But is blind to the possibilities beyond the border wall.
Borders be damned.