Trusted strangers

social affordances for social cohesion

Erik Rietveld , Ronald Rietveld, Janno Martens

pp. 299-316


How could the paradigm shift towards enactive embodied cognitive science have implications for society and politics? Translating insights form enactive embodied cognitive science into ways of dealing with real-life issues is an important challenge. This paper focuses of the urgent societal issue of social cohesion, which is crucial in our increasingly segregated and polarized Western societies. We use Rietveld's (2016) philosophical Skilled Intentionality Framework and work by the multidisciplinary studio RAAAF to extend Lambros Malafouris' Material Engagement Theory (href="#CR21">2013) to the social domain. How could a landscape of social affordances generate change in the behavioral patterns of people from different socio-cultural backgrounds? RAAAF is currently imagining and planning an ambitious intervention in the public domain that could really change existing socio-cultural practices and aims to contribute to social cohesion. An animation film it made introduces a landscape of social affordances. We will present and discuss this Trusted Strangers animation film, which is a thinking model for new public domain all over the world. Tha animation film visualizes how a well-designed landscape of social affordances could invite all sorts of interactions between people from different socio-cultural backgrounds.

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