Making the Social Hold: Towards an Actor-Network Theory of Design

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the article illustrates the potentials of an Actor-Network theory (ANt) perspective to design. Drawing on ANt’s assumption that objects with their scripts and incorporated programs of action compel and rearticulate new social ties, I argue that design triggers specific ways of enacting the social. It is impossible to understand how a society works without appreciating how design shapes, conditions, facilitates and makes possible everyday sociality. Viewed as a type of connector, not as a separate cold domain of material relations, design’s investigation might shed light on other types of non-social ties that are brought together to make the social durable. the article also discusses some steps towards an ANt of design and suggests a new research program for design studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-288
Number of pages16
JournalDesign and Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • design, Actor-Network Theory, society, social ties, script, Bruno Latour


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