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Successfully Failing to Design the New Unit of Presence: A Design-based Research Exploration in-between the True and the Real.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design. (Prototyping Practices)
2014 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the methodological challenges, paradoxes and possibilities within the process of failing to design a physical, materialized unit of qualitative measurement: the new unit of presence (abbreviated NUP). The unit and its five constituent parts are discussed against the current shift from defining the kilogram through a material artifact to defining it through non-material invariable constants. The original international prototype of the kilogram and the meter are evaluated as designed artifacts and argued to inhabit a hybrid position between the true (the domain of science: abstraction, the universal) and the real (the domain of design: complexity, the ultimate particular). While the redefinition of the kilogram marks a movement towards the true end of this continuum, the NUP explores a counterbalancing move towards the real end. As a constructive design research project primarily aimed at design researchers as well as design professionals, the NUP is an invitation to join the exploration in-between the true and the real. The paper concludes by arguing that the kind of successful failure that the NUP demonstrates helps us navigate this peculiar hybrid space, in theory as well as in practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. 1-17 p.
Keyword [en]
Design Methodology, Constructive Design Research, Materiality, Successfully Failing, Qualitative Unit of Measurement, The International System of Units, Presence
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101454OAI: diva2:799316
The Art of Research V Conference. Experience, Materiality, Articulation. Helsinki, November 26-27, 2014.
Available from: 2015-03-30 Created: 2015-03-30 Last updated: 2015-03-30

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