Provocative design for unprovocative designers: Strategies for triggering personal dilemmas

Deger Ozkaramanli, Pieter Desmet

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Traditional design approaches stimulate the creation of products that make daily interactions more efficient, comfortable, and pleasant. In contrast, provocative design approaches, such as critical design, have a different focus: they aim to challenge the status quo through products that expose assumptions and stimulate discussion. In this paper, we argue that intentionally triggering personal dilemmas is a novel design approach that may be a means to enabling self-reflection. In line with this, this paper proposes three design strategies for triggering dilemmas. These strategies are explained through existing designs and supported by design ideas created using them. Our findings indicate that triggering dilemmas is a counter- intuitive design intention, which can be supported by exercises that facilitate perspective taking and stalling moral judgment. We conclude with a discussion on the overlap between triggering dilemmas and other provocative design fields.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of DRS 2016, Design + Research + Society - Future-Focused ThinkingDesign
Subtitle of host publicationResearch Society 50th Anniversary Conference
EditorsPeter Lloyd, Erik Bohemia
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherThe Design Research Society
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event2016 Design Research Society 50 Anniversary Conference - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 201630 Jun 2016

Publication series

NameDRS International Conference Series
PublisherThe Design Research Society
ISSN (Print)2398-3132


Conference2016 Design Research Society 50 Anniversary Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • well-being
  • automotive design
  • positive design
  • car-sharing


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