Relationship Design and the Shadow Client

Adeola Enigbokan

Opening Keynote, Mon 21 Sep 16:00 CEST

We are used to measuring the success of a digital design project by metrics such as attention, revenue or data extracted, generated or analyzed. I measure the success of a design project by the new or unexpected relationships created by the design process and product, the quality and longevity of these relationships, and how the design continues to create connections and deepen them throughout the lifecycle of the project, and long after the designer has gone. Designing for the ever-evolving world of relationships sometimes means expanding the role of the designer, by taking into account the people, or stakeholders, who are not at the table in the design process, those who are left out of the process, the future users, or the constituents that we do not normally imagine: the shadow clients.

Drawing on examples from architecture, art and urban design, my talk explores the following questions:

How do we design relationships? How do we creatively navigate and transform the relationship between client and designer? What is a “shadow client,” and why is it useful to consider their existence? When we design in relationship with a shadow client, what kinds of products and processes might we create?

Adeola Enigbokan

Environmental Psychologist & Spatial Design Researcher

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