Designing for the In-Between

“What would it mean to design for the in-between? For shapeshifting selves, for emergent alliances, for ambiguity, for contradiction?” Jenny Odell asks in this essay. The questions arise from a particular vision of ecology, as grounded in collective and symbiotic relationships that confound the integrity or essential identity of any one individual. “Being able to see the in-between is a matter of collective survival,” she writes. “Western corporate-influenced individualism is at odds with the reality that everything is ecological, that nothing and no one can be reduced to its perceived essence, and that truly, no man is an island.”

What would such an understanding look like in more concrete terms, on the level, for example, of the built environment of an American city like Baltimore?