Non-discursive philosophy by imagining new practices through design
In this commentary on Rietveld’s inaugural lecture, we exemplify with one of our design cases for project Expedition RWS 2050, how Rietveld’s and our method are complementary. Within this project, RWS invited us to contribute our design skills and make relevant future scenarios experienceable. To scaffold imaginative discussions about everyday life in 2050 with a cross-section of the Dutch population, we wrote seven short speculative stories and designed a set of physical discussion tools. When looking at this design case and the cases Rietveld describes in his inaugural lecture, one can see that we both are guided by and contributing to the development of ecological and enactive philosophy, which rejects the dichotomy between sensorimotor and higher cognition. In his approach, Rietveld pushes the boundaries of the affordances of the material during the making process, whereas we predominantly investigate the affordances of the things and practices which we have designed. Despite these differences, we are both pursuing engagement with philosophical practice through non-discursive means while imagining new sociomaterial practices.