Creativity and Cognitive Development, Week 1: Agencies in Product Design

Before I begin my short essay I shall first define what is meant by the terms ‘Hylomorphism’ and ‘agencies’. Hylomorphism is ‘the theory that physical objects are composed of matter and form’, whereas agencies are a combination of different aspects which leads to an ‘active operation’. Ingold, a British anthropologist is a strong disbeliever in the Hylomorphic model and believes that instead, agencies are involved.

The debate I will be having within this essay is whether the subject of ‘Product Design’ is Hylomorphic or is instead involved with Agencies. After a period of thinking about the possibilities of different groups of agencies within product design, I came up with a variety of combinations such as ‘the pen, the paper, and then the idea’, ‘the materials, the tools, and then the manufacturer’, and ‘the client, the designer, and the product’, although I believe  that the three main agencies in Product Design would be ‘the Designer, the Idea, and finally the finished Product’, this is since you begin with the designer within the Design process and then the idea acts as the driving force which leads to the finished product.

Although product design can also be thought of in relation to the Hylomorphic model, this is because it is very much a subject with extreme interest into the properties of different matters/materials and how they can create differing functions and forms.

Overall, I must disagree with Ingold’s belief of agencies, since I believe that in regards to Product Design, the Hylomorphic model is more relatable since it is a subject which is very such focused on ‘physical objects’, ‘matter’, and form.’


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