Notes on the construction of artefacts: the concept of thing in design - The paper is aimed to explore the domain of design and its organization by providing a detailed account of the birth of a new piece of jewellery based on extensive ethnography of its design and production. Taken the term artifact to mark the conclusion of the design process, the author develops the concept of thing in order to account for what is behind the actual shape of everyday objects and how and why they have acquired it. The concept of Thing is introduced as a twofold term that both refers to the gathering of elements that are drawn together in order to design something new and to the problematic question that draws those entities together. Through the case study and the mapping of the complex trajectory of the design object at focus, it is shown how the Thing as gathering and the Thing as the central issues in-process-of-definition mutually inform one another therefore questioning many of the traditional dichotomies in social science such as object and subject, social and technical or agency and structure. In this mutual information, the process is described as moving in between two opposite analytic poles through a series of logics (Thing-ing and Objectify-ing logics) that are briefly discussed and illustrated through the introduction of a conclusive metaphor.
Keywords: Artifact, design practices, thing, mutual information. 202