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Title: Breathful’ design in breathless times
Authors: Wernli, M 
Boyer, B
Issue Date: Apr-2021
Source: Strategic design research journal, 9 Apr. 2021, v. 14, no. 1, p. 175-186
Abstract: This position paper seeks to address the operational logic that created the conditions for thepandemic to take hold. Grasping the crisis as an opportunity for an anthropological inquiryacross disciplines, this exploration firmly anchors design inside the social commitmentrequired by breathing bodies and life-enabling atmospheres. By infusing the self-understanding of design with experiences and conceptions from Eastern and Western‘breathwork’ practices the adaptation strategy in uncertainty shifts from perpetuating thestatus quo towards the creative reinterpretation of internal priorities. It also changes thenature of our projects, from making to enacting, from preprogrammed solutions to earthlyengagement, from interfacing with inert matter to caring for living matters. Taking ouruniversally shared breath as the resounding call for action, ‘breathful’ design is about thenever-finished, perpetually opening task of persisting through bodily vigilance, diligence, andself-critical forsight for ‘knowing what to do when no one knows what to do'.
Keywords: Breathing
Environmental embodiment
Enlivening design
Design anthropolog
Publisher: Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos * Editoria de Periodicos da UNISINOS
Journal: Strategic design research journal 
EISSN: 1984-2988
DOI: 10.4013/sdrj.2021.141.15
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) (, which permits reproduction, adaptation, and distribution provided the original author and source are credited.
The following publication Wernli, M., & Boyer, B. (2021). ‘Breathful’ design in breathless times. Strategic Design Research Journal, 14(1), 175-186 is available at
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