French biological philosophy of technology as a candidate perspective furthering design methodology

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Mulder, Sander
Series: ICED
Institution: Delft University of Technology
Section: Design methods and tools
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


A first exploration is conducted to what the French biological philosophy of technology perspective has to offer to the field of design methodology. If this French perspective is combined with contemporary speculative pragmatism a generative design methodology emerges offering novelty in what is sensed as important in a design situation. Within this perspective, drawing upon the late French philosopher Gilbert Simondon, technical objects have their own mode of existence and their own trajectory of development apart from human intention.

Designers working with such a generative design methodology follow the constitutive value of openness and attune to the regulative value of techno-aesthetic judgments. By way of a 'vignette+', a paradigmatic example from a real case, a more encompassing argument is made towards design situations where a sophisticated machine is 'inserted' into a domestic setting.

The example taken is the use of an artificial kidney machine in a domestic setting and the development of a novel machine with a design team. Four aspects were sensed as important in the unfolding design situation and directions for further research are discussed.

Keywords: Design methodology, Design methods, Simondon, Technology, Techno-aesthetics


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