Plant Hotels: designing the imaginary foundations of communities

Yiying Wu, Ilpo Koskinen (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Communities can be a significant source of well-being. Design literature has recently paid attention to social design and social innovation and has advanced our understanding of designing for communities in many ways. One thing that has been left to the sidelines has been those imageries that shape communities. They are usually seen but unnoticed, but important in their consequences. This paper builds on Garfinkel’s ethnomethodology to explicate some of these imageries through a series of four Plant Hotels in Helsinki and one in Stockholm. Inspired by relational art they were meant to explore community-formation with minimal rules. They were treated as breaching experiments that led us to classify the imageries into four main orientations. The paper discusses how these imageries create a web of assumptions that create and maintain communities and make them robust, and how they can be turned into design material that helps us to reimagine communities.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2021


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