De-Signing Ambiguity

This paper challenges the way ambiguity is made understandable in William W. Gaver, Jacob Beaver, and Steve Benford’s well known disambiguation of ambiguity Ambiguity as a Resource for Design. Rather than assuming ambiguity to be an epiphenomenal relation between designed artefacts and their users, which seems to be the argument they make, Christian and I instead find ambiguity to exist firstly, and at a higher intensity, in the primordial moments of design practices.
As such, we propose that ambiguity is primarily a condition of the not-yet-designed artefact. As such, we claim that all things in the world are inherently ambiguous, and secondly we prioritise the role of ambiguity in the process of designing.

Co-authored with and photography by Christian Skovgaard Petersen.