Metaprobes, Metaphysical Workshops and Sketchy Philosophy

Enrique Encinas*, Abigail C. Durrant, Robb Mitchell, Mark Blythe

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The intersection of philosophy and HCI is a longstanding site of interest for the field that has been attracting special attention in recent years. In this paper, we present metaphysical probes (Metaprobes) as a tool for design-led philosophical inquiry. A Metaprobe is a design artifact used to study a metaphysical idea without concealing the philosophical tools mobilized by the designers or the designerly knowledge attained after deployment. We introduce the concept of a Metaphysical Workshop. This is the set of sketchy philosophical notions that a designer mobilizes in order to research a philosophical idea through design. We then present a case study that comprises: the philosophical issue under examination, the Metaprobes designed to study it, the metaphysical workshop used and the designerly insight produced. We conclude with a discussion of the potentials and weaknesses of Metaprobes in relation to other critical and speculative research-through-design practices. We aim to provide one way to make philosophies already present in design more explicit and make other philosophical concepts relevant to HCI more accessible and workable for designers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '20: Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages13
Publication dateApr 2020
Pages1-13
Article number3376453
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367080
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020
EventCHI 2020: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Honolulu, United States
Duration: 25 Apr 202030 Jun 2020

Conference

ConferenceCHI 2020: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
CountryUnited States
CityHonolulu
Period25/04/202030/06/2020

Keywords

  • cultural probes
  • design fiction
  • metaphysics
  • ontology
  • philosophy
  • research fiction
  • research through design

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    Encinas, E., C. Durrant, A., Mitchell, R., & Blythe, M. (2020). Metaprobes, Metaphysical Workshops and Sketchy Philosophy. In CHI '20: Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-13). [3376453] https://doi.org/10.1145/3313831.3376453