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Architectures of Agency

We live in a designed world. Our physical spaces and devices are obvious examples, but it is equally true of our social structures and culture. The physical and social architectures define, constrain and afford human agency. Architectures can develop in a planned or designed way, but they can just as easily be created implicitly through patterns of practice or habit. To live in a designed world, it is critical to become aware of the ways these architectures shape our lives and our learning. We need to understand the affordances and constraints we face in different contexts that allow people to be more or less agentic. Architectures of Agency is an initiative focused on the 99% of the world that goes unexamined, that we take for granted, that is invisible to us like water is to a fish. We can better understand our designed world by learning about and paying attention to design as a process of human activity and see the hidden structures that define the way our world works. By understanding the designed nature of the world, we can make design a force for social good.

Within Architectures of Agency we will bring together interdisciplinary voices together around issues of design as it concerns all aspects of human agency. We will organize conversations, share resources and produce scholarship that contribute to our understanding of how humans’ intentional and unintentional design decisions shape our world.


The resources page features presentations, articles, and research by Krause Innovation staff, faculty, students, and guest speakers on topics related to architectures of agency.

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