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The technological mediation of sustainability: Design as a mode of inquiry

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNConference contribution/Paperpeer-review

Published
Publication date5/04/2019
Host publicationDesigning sustainability for all: Proceedings of the 3rd LeNS World Distributed Conference, Milano, Mexico City, Beijing, Bangalore, Curitiba, Cape Town, 3-5 April 2019
EditorsMarcelo Ambrosio, Carlo Vezzoli
Place of PublicationMilan
PublisherEdizione POLL design
Pages1326-1331
Number of pages6
Volume4
ISBN (Print)978889561262
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventThe LeNS World Distributed Conference: Designing Sustainability for All - Politecnico di Milano , Milan, Italy
Duration: 3/04/20195/04/2019
Conference number: 3
http://lensconference3.org/

Conference

ConferenceThe LeNS World Distributed Conference
Abbreviated titleLeNS
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityMilan
Period3/04/195/04/19
Internet address

Conference

ConferenceThe LeNS World Distributed Conference
Abbreviated titleLeNS
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityMilan
Period3/04/195/04/19
Internet address

Abstract

This paper investigates the possibility that the instrumentally rational nature of late-modernity restricts product design from contributing substantively to sustainability as this form of rationality views technological artefacts in neutral terms and discourages reflection upon the “ends” that technologies serve. The philosophical approach of postphenomenology is proposed as a lens for supporting product design students to address sustainability more substantively as postphenomenology emphasises the “ends” that technologies serve by understanding technologies as being active mediators of the relations people have with their world. A practice-based design research method is introduced, which aims to support design students to engage with postphenomenology through the activity of designing. This method involves the creation of conceptual objects that critique technologies and embody alternate values to those that typically drive technological development in late-modernity. Finally, distinctive aspects of the designing process associated with this method are identified that support students to address sustainability in a more substantive manner than late-modernity encourages.