Bioinclusive ethic and collaborative design: Implications for research and practice

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Human society is unsustainable, and solving the environmental crisis has become a pressing, urgent matter. The underlying cause of the crisis seems to be the anthropocentric culture of humans. This human-centric culture shapes opinions and behaviours of humans. Their worldviews and actions are also formed by design. Design has been one of the disciplines that explicitly acknowledges and promotes its human-centric value base. It has instilled these values into the society through design processes and solutions. Collaborative and Participatory Design (C&PD) has especially focused on the human-centric perspectives. Thus, reimagining this sub-field of design might be a starting point to envision a less human-centric design practice overall. To envision a less anthropocentric C&PD, this thesis has gathered inspiration from the bioinclusive ethical framework. This ethical framework views humans as part of nature and urges humans to rethink their perspectives on and relationship with nature. To view Collaborative and Participatory Design through this bioinclusive lens, the researcher conducted two systematic literature reviews, distilled key insights about the ethic and C&PD and, then, integrated these insights to identify potential implication for design research and practice. These implications suggest that C&PD might evolve into a less human-centric design sub-field if it explicitly acknowledges natural entities as non-designers who might be involved in design processes to a varying extent. The field might need to include the necessity to and benefits of natural entity participation in its core drivers and principles. The key approach groups within C&PD might want to envision principles, processes and methods that involve natural entities, embrace their perspectives and provide them sufficient decision-making power. These developments in C&PD field might lead to a less human-centric and more nature-inclusive design. In turn, the renewed value base of design might have the power to shift the anthropocentric positions of the society and address the sustainability crisis.
Gaziolusoy, İdil
Thesis advisor
Hakio, Kirsi
bioinclusive ethic, collaborative design, participatory design, co-design, nature-inclusive design
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