Experience as Excursion: A Note towards a Metaphysics of Design Thinking

Connie Svabo, Michael Shanks

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A central value of what may be termed Experience Design is its aspiration to shift focus from the logic of singular design fields to the interrelations and interactions that take place in situations where people are simultaneously engaged with multiple designs. Experience Design can allow researchers and practitioners to travel – making it possible to follow experiences as they are enacted across and between places, modes of transportation, mobile mediation and assemblages of things. Drawing on the nomadic metaphysics of philosopher Michel Serres, the journeying, shifting and propagating qualities of experience are highlighted as part of a suggestion that design may indeed relate as much to metaphysics as to mechanics, materials science, and the psychology of the consumer and user. An Experience Design is sketched out as the choreography of temporary and shifting engagements across disparate designs, a perspective that complements well the pragmatics of much contemporary design practice, and as captured in the designation “design thinking”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExperience Design : Concepts and Case Studies
EditorsPeter Benz
Number of pages9
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Publication date18 Dec 2014
ISBN (Print)9781472569394
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2014


  • experience design
  • nomadic metaphysics
  • design thinking
  • Michel Serres

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