Threads without Ends: A mobile sewing circle

Kristina Lindström, Åsa Ståhl


In this article the exhibition Threads – a Mobile Sewing Circle is used as an example of a design that travels. To tell the story of how Threads travels we use the concepts of immutable mobile (Latour 1990) and fluidity (de Laet and Mol 2000) – concepts that invite us to think of standardisation and stability on one hand and changes and adaptability on the other. Since Threads is continuously assembled, disassembled and reassembled in different contexts and by different actors, we argue that Threads needs to be able to deal with changes and local conditions and cannot strive for stability in the sense of ‘no change’. On the contrary, Threads is dependent on local actors’ engagement, which partly is done through adding, replacing and altering parts and practices of Threads  which also redraws its boundaries. We further argue that it is through what has been called ’design-after-design’ that Threads can become entangled in the local setting and thereby matter. Through examples from Threads it is also shown that, what we call, a fluid designer role is helpful when making fluid designs travel.  


Participatory design, Fluidity, Design-after-design, Immutable mobile, Travelling technologies

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