On “The Design of Everyday Life”

Elizabeth Shove


Abstract: The article highlights the intersection between design, STS and consumption outlining practices as the central unit of analysis. The paper illustrates this perspective with reference to a variety of examples, including home improvements and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, digital photography and plastic stuff. In the paper some questions are raised: where does competence lie? Does it reside in the human or in the non-human, or in the relation between the two? What does the concept of a human-non-human hybrid mean for the sociology of consumption? And how does the humanmaterial distribution of competences affect the details of everyday life and what people do?

Keywords: Design; STS; consumption; material culture; theory of practice.

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