Devious Design: Digital Infrastructure Challenges for Experimental Ethnography

Lindsay Poirier. 2017. "Devious Design: Digital Infrastructure Challenges for Experimental Ethnography." Design Issues 33(2), 70--83.

Diverse disciplinary communities approach design with diverse design logics design directives informed by critical theoretical commitments that are to be translated into material form. Recounting the design of a digital humanities platform, this paper shows how design logics of existing digital infrastructure can at times be out of sync with those of a design community seeking to leverage it. I argue that, in such situations, a designer should do more than simply ''make do'' with available infrastructure; the designer should instead design deviously - leveraging infrastructure in ways that undercut its logics. This suggests that reflective design involves reflecting, not only on design practice, but also on the logics of the infrastructure available to designers.

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