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Home > Focus > A Matter of Design: Our Common Future

A Matter of Design: Our Common Future

by Redazione FGB [1], 6 August 2014

STS Italia [2] - The Italian Society for Social Studies of Science and Technology was founded in 2005 to build up an Italian network of researchers oriented to study Science and Technology starting from the social dynamics which characterize and interweave science and technology themselves.

Nowadays the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) represents a well established and prominent research field at the international level. As a field, it allows scholars and professionals from different disciplines to dialogue with each other. Furthermore, it mobilizes interests of both academic institutions and other social actors (e.g. not academic institutions, companies and so on).

Fondazione Giannino Bassetti contributed to the organization of the 5th STS Italia Conference "A Matter of Design. Making Society through Science & Technology [3]", that was held in Milan, Italy, June 12 through 14, 2014, in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano Doctoral School in Design.

The 5th STS Italia Conference theme was design processes [4].
Design, on the one hand, is a process that gives rise both to artifacts and to their accompanying social networks, those that are brought about by the artifacts as well as those that make the artifacts possible.
On the other hand, design processes cannot be explained as the result of independent, rational choices by isolated individuals, whether designers, producers or users. They are, rather, collective processes in which humans and nonhumans interact. When science and technology studies meet the latest design thinking, new scenarios and new perspectives arise for both these research communities. This occurs, for example, in studying communication tools, robotics, smart fibers or medical products.
(Here the book of Abstract [5])

We make available records of the plenary session starting from Kjetil Fallan (University of Oslo):
"Our Common Future: Joining Forces for Histories of Sustainable Design"

"A common ground is emerging for social and cultural studies of design as design history is exploring the socially constructed and networked nature of our material surroundings at the same time as STS is investigating design as the interface between humans and technology. This common ground is particularly interesting where it intersects with the rapidly growing fields of environmental history and environmental humanities. Today, environmental concerns, especially issues of sustainability, are essential parameters in all design practice, education, research and mediation. However, this 'green revolution' is a glaringly white spot on the design historical map, still awaiting its scholarly historicization. In the current climate it is hard to imagine a field of historical scholarship with greater contemporary relevance: Historical understanding of, and critical reflection on, the rise of sustainability as the primordial trope in design discourse is essential to building a solid knowledge base and to underpin present and future decision-making. This talk will argue for the urgency of charting this terrain, and call for design history, design studies, STS and environmental history to join forces in the pioneering efforts at studying histories of sustainable design."

Also available on our Vimeo account [6].

The other Plenary Sessions:
Charis Thompson (London School of Economics):
"Good Science: Designing for Reproductive and Regenerative Ethics [7]"
Elizabeth Shove (Lancaster University):
"The Design of Everyday Life [8]".
Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard University):
"Imagined and Invented Worlds: The Three Symmetries of STS [9]".

Here the entire video album "A Matter of Design" >>> [10]

Here [11] some photos.


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Links in this document:

  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Redazione FGB
  2. 2] http://www.stsitalia.org/
  3. 3] http://www.stsitalia.org/?p=1405
  4. 4] http://www.stsitalia.org/conferences/ocs/index.php/STSIC/index/pages/view/programme
  5. 5] http://www.stsitalia.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/BookofAbstracts.pdf
  6. 6] https://vimeo.com/100693706
  7. 7] /en/focus/2014/11/a_matter_of_design_designing_f.html
  8. 8] /en/focus/2014/08/a_matter_of_design_everyday_li.html
  9. 9] /en/focus/2014/08/a_matter_of_design_imagined_an.html
  10. 10] https://vimeo.com/album/2991404
  11. 11] https://www.flickr.com/photos/fondazionebassetti/sets/72157645504609694/
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A Matter of Design: Our Common Future
Articles by:  Redazione FGB
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