This section of my site collects together resources and references I built up during my thesis, including my thesis bibliography and my Zotero library.

Thesis bibliography

Download my thesis bibliography as a pdf (you can also download my entire thesis, including bibliography). Below are some of the texts in my bibliography that I found particularly useful:

Design for development & Appropriate Technology

Design for the Other 90% edited by Cynthia Smith, 2007, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, New York – the catalogue to the exhibition Design for the Other 90%, including references to ‘design for development’ projects exhibited, and essays by practitioners.

Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher, 1973, Blond and Briggs, London – the classic text against growth as the main measure of economic well-being, and the start of the appropriate technology movement (first called ‘intermediate technology’).

Design for Need edited by J. Bicknell & L. McQuiston, 1977, ICSID/Pergamon Press, London – a fascinating collection of conference papers from the conference Design for Need in 1977, which demonstrates how much less critical ‘design for development’ has become since then.

Object studies

The Object Reader, 2009, edited by F. Candlin & R. Guins, 2009, Routledge, UK – a great collection of texts advancing the idea of a multidisciplinary ‘object studies’, drawing from science and technology studies and other fields.

It included a text by Bruno Latour, ‘Where Are The Missing Masses? The Sociology of a Few Mundane Artifacts’ (1992) which I drew on for my analysis of the prepaid water meter and the PlayPump, especially his idea of ‘programs and anti-programs’, and the characterisation of technical objects.

‘The Zimbabwe Bush Pump: Mechanics of a Fluid Technology’ by de Laet, M. & Mol, A. 2000, in Social Studies of Science, vol. 30, no. 2 – a great text which I drew on extensively for my analysis of the PlayPump, using de Laet and Mol’s formulation of ‘fluidity’ as appropriateness.

‘Do artifacts have politics?’ by Langdon Winner, 1986, in How Users Matter – The Co-Construction of Users and Technology edited by N. Oudshoorn & T. Pinch, The MIT Press, USA – Winner’s description of the social shaping of technology.

Interventionist Art

The Interventionists – Users’ Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life by Nato Thompson & Gregory Sholette, 2004, The MIT Press, USA – the catalogue to the exhibition The Interventionists, which frames many contemporary interventionist art projects such as Rakowitz’s paraSITE, one of the studies in my thesis.

Return to Function edited by Jane Simon, 2009, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, USA – the catalogue to the exhibition Return to Function, including some good essays on the role of functionality in art.

Critical Vehicles by Wodiczko, K., 1999, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts – the influential artist-designer-activist, and MIT professor, Kryztof Wodiczko.

Critical Design

Hertzian Tales by Anthony Dunne, 2005, (2nd edition) MIT Press, USA – Anthony Dunne’s PhD thesis adapted to book form, laying out many of the foundational ideas of ‘critical design’.

Design Noir by Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby, 2001, Birkhauser, Basel; Boston; Berlin – a description of Dunne & Raby’s critical design work Placebo project, and essays advancing the notion of design noir.

For other texts, please see my full bibliography.

Zotero library

Zotero is a system I was glad I used during my research, as it keeps a local copy of webpages consulted, many of which have now disappeared. With a project like the PlayPump, once things start to go bad, previous evidence of support for it online tends to  disappear. You can access my Zotero library online at the link below – I’m still working out if and how you can view the copies (snapshots) of webpages that I have locally cached. Links to some documents specific to the PlayPump are under The PlayPump.

Objects in development – Zotero Library


Dunne & Raby
Guerrilla Innovation
Henrik Ernstson’s research blog