Responsibility in design: applying the philosophy of Gilbert Simondon

S. Mulder

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    The notion of technical mentality and transductive reasoning described by the French philosopher Gilbert Simondon is applied on a concrete design case in order to investigate responsibility and design. The design case relates to the development of a portable artificial kidney. The historic invention of the artificial kidney is woven into the philosophy of Simondon in order to mobilize his work. For designers, the risk of reduction is at stake when applying the technical mentality to domains beyond the technical such as the psycho-social. This risk can be avoided by transductive reasoning, i.e. reasoning by means of analogy, but this is not sufficient as additional research is needed on responsibility and taking action. Correlating machines remains a human responsibility. Designers cannot hide behind the borders of their task or project when it comes to responsibility. Suggestions for further research are shared a.o. on aesthetics, ways of reasoning in design and design education.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of DRS2016
    Subtitle of host publicationDesign + Research + Society - Future-Focused Thinking
    Place of PublicationBrighton, UK
    PublisherDesign Research Society
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2016
    Event2016 Design Research Society Conference (DRS 2016), June 27-30, 2016, Brighton, UK - Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom
    Duration: 27 Jun 201430 Jun 2016


    Conference2016 Design Research Society Conference (DRS 2016), June 27-30, 2016, Brighton, UK
    Abbreviated titleDRS 2016
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • responsibility
    • Gilbert Simondon
    • design
    • transduction
    • way of reasoning


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