What does Together Mean?

Encounters between STS and Architecture


  • Micol Rispoli




STS, architecture, participation, inclusion, neurodiversity, uncommon


The word together – and its correlates society, community, etc. –, although the historical context and issues to be addressed are different, represents in architecture the common thread of past and present concerns and ambitions, but has gained particular emphasis in recent years thanks to the development and diffusion of participatory design. However, despite the intention to give users back their possibility of action and influence and the focus on valuing diversity being explicitly stated, there remains a widespread tendency to consider the common good in an abstract and generic way. This text focuses on the contribution of Science and Technology Studies to this issue. Promoting a more than human perspective, STS add a particular level of complexity to the issue of participation, not only by broadening the range of actors that should be taken into account, but also more radically by encouraging the production of situations that can destabilise and problematise predefined and unquestioned versions of the common. In the light of this contribution, interesting pedagogical experiments in design studies emerged, which also inspired a particular exploration in which I engaged, together with Tomás Sánchez Criado, during a research stay in Berlin.