Download Full EssayTracing Design Ecologies
architecture, building information modeling, data studies, datavis, design, ephemeral data, trace ethnography
Drawing on images of agency as relational and distributed, this chapter articulates ‘design ecologies’ as an analytical category de-centering the human subject in discourses about design production and engaging with the collective, relational and interdependent character of socio-digital design practices. Following a period of participant observation, I describe the collaborative coordination of a large architectural project and my work to define, collect and visualize ‘ephemeral data’ about design conflicts. In reflecting on my own visual exploration of these data through a series of interpretive data visualizations, distinct images of design emerge. These graphical constructions appear both as illustrations of a design-ecological condition, and as constituents of my second argument; that the ephemeral data produced during design, and the images of practice they invoke, configure important sites of inquiry in studies of design, architecture and technology —sites we may explore in order to trace new analytic, speculative and critical cartographies of creative practices.