Design sociology review

HealthTech (42 of 60)

Earlier this year, I published four posts about design sociology. At the time, I was working on a review article on the topic for Sociology Compass. The article has now been published – see here. It’s behind a paywall, but I’m happy to send you a copy if you email me.

This is the abstract:

In this review essay, I introduce and map the field of what I call “design sociology”. I argue that design research methods have relevance to a wide range of sociological research interests, and particularly for applied research that seeks to understand people’s engagements with objects, systems and services, better engage publics and other stakeholders, work towards social change, and identify and intervene in futures. I discuss 3 main ways in which design sociology can be conducted: the sociology of design, sociology through design and sociology with design. I explain key terms in design and dominant approaches in social design research—participatory, critical, adversarial, speculative, and ludic design. Examples of how sociologists have already engaged with design research methods are outlined. The essay concludes with suggestions about what the future directions of design sociology might be.

12 thoughts on “Design sociology review

  1. Hi,
    I am a PhD student at Industrial Design Program. Also I am interested in sociology and ethnography.
    Could you send me a copy of your ‘design sociology’ article?

  2. Hello,

    Further to your post, I would be very interested to read your paper on design sociology (my university access don’t work on Wiley Online Library). Many thanks in advance!

    I am a PhD student in Chinese studies and I have been reading a lot about your work, it is very inspiring! I would be interested to research the quantified self-phenomena in China, since wearables are widely produced and used there, yet few has been written about it so far. Do you have any hint about it, or do you also think that this region is understudied regarding self-tracking?

    I thank you very much for your time and I will keep eagerly following your work!

    Best regards,
    Marylaure Bloch

    • Many thanks for your comments, Marylaure. I don’t know of any research that has been published in English on the use of wearables in China, so this would indeed be an interesting topic to research.

  3. Hi, i’m a graphic and industrial designer and your topic seems really interesting. I want to learn more about your work. I will be please to read the complete article. Regards. André.

  4. Hello,
    I’m a Sociology student and a Graphic Designer, I want to learn more about this topic and your work. Can you please share the complete article? My email address is

    Thank you.

  5. Dear professor: I am a Phd candidate from Polimi, I m interesting about your research, I want to do some research on how design can get more advantage from sociology. please if is possible, i want to see your full text article.

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