The purpose of this design research project is to develop a design philosophy for things that change: a philosophical and aesthetical foundation that forms and informs a design practice capable of conceptually handling the complexity of the evolving, globally connected and locally manifested socio-technical landscapes now created using networked computational technologies and digital media. It seeks to investigate what happens when computational processes, dynamic networks, and contextual customization emerge as factors as important as form, function and material were for designing, using, and understanding objects in the industrial age.

The project leaders have already completed promising pilot studies in this area, beginning to identify a shift from stable things to fluid assemblages and articulate what that means for design and for human-technology relations (Redström and Wiltse 2015a, 2015b; Wiltse, Stolterman and Redström 2015). Both have interdisciplinary backgrounds and are experienced in bringing different perspectives together in productive ways. They also have a track record of scientific contributions to different fields, both individually and in previous collaborations. They will take the lead on philosophical development—with the primary intended output being a book published by a leading academic press—while also coordinating and working with the other project activities.

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