Caring through and for in design for play

Ida Kathrine Hammeleff Jørgensen*, Harun Kaygan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


Widespread engagement of design practice with societal challenges have meant that care appears more and more often as a design objective in diverse contexts such as design for healthcare, design for sustainability and social design. This paper explores the role of design process in directing designers’ affective interest and efforts at different aspects of the body, asking how specific methods and tools mediate care, including what is being cared for and through what means. We use research through and into design process, based on data from a two-week design workshop on body-centered methods for design for play. Drawing on our analysis, we present a theoretical model that identifies two orders of care in design process: First-order care – “care-through” – indexes the immediate objects that designers attend to while implementing procedures, practices and tools provided by diverse design methods. Second-order care – “care-for” – indicates the beneficiaries of designed things, who are typically, though not necessarily, the projected users of design. Objects of the first order – specific body parts and bodily capabilities, sensations, or specific relations between bodies, etc. – act as the basis for designers’ attunement to their users for instituting second-order care. The model expands the notion of care in design research, emphasizing that care is present in the practical knowledge work carried out by designers, thus bridging considerations of designing with care and designing for care. The paper aims to create greater dialogue between design research and the now-established empirical and theoretical interest in care within STS.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateJun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023
Event6th Nordic STS Conference 2023: Disruption and repair in and beyond STS - University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Duration: 7. Jun 20239. Jun 2023


Conference6th Nordic STS Conference 2023
LocationUniversity of Oslo
Internet address


  • design for play
  • care
  • STS
  • methods


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