Embedded cognition: What design communicates to and about us

No matter whether we as designers intend it or not, we materialize morality. We make certain things harder and easier to do. We organize the existence of people. We put a certain vision of what good or bad or normal or usual is in front of people by everything we put out there in the world.

Even something as innocuous as a set of school chairs is a persuasive technology. Because it presents and materializes a certain vision of the good life — the good life in which teaching and learning and listening is about one person teaching, the others listening, in which it is about, learning is done while sitting, in which you learn for yourself, in which you’re not supposed to change these rules because the chairs are fixed to the ground.

What your designs say about you | Sebastian Deterding