This paper presents the outline of a modest assembling of diverse
ideas within mobilities research we might term “material pragmatism.”
It does so with reference to empirical cases of “dark design” (i.e., social
exclusion of homeless people by means of leaning benches, spikes,
sprinklers, barbed wire, etc.). Such interventions create zones of “go
and no-go areas” in the city, and thereby facilitate complex mobility
patterns for socially vulnerable groups. From the perspective of
material pragmatism, it can be shown that dark design contributes
to an “atmosphere of rejection,” as well as having a physical impact
on vulnerable human bodies. The installations of material artefacts
work by a mechanism of “material interpellation” in which subjects are
“addressed” by the leaning benches, spikes etc. Material pragmatism
is sensitive to such material assemblages of human and non-human
entities, and a pragmatic exploration of the movements and actions
afforded (or prevented) by such interventions. The paper presents
material pragmatism as a way of connecting different thinkers and
scholars engaging actual practice and its material components.
TidsskriftMobility Humanities
Sider (fra-til)43-60
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 2023


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