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Design and aesthetics in nanotechnology

Abstract : What is the status of "design" in nanotechnology? On the one hand, scientists doing nanotechnology refer to their activity as "design." On the other, the intervention of design researchers and practitioners remains confined to "the future" (i.e. societal applications and uses of nanotechnology). How are we to understand such a division of labour? To be sure it is not specific to nanotechnology but concerns the status of design in contemporary technoscience at large. However, the problem is more acute in the case of this "invisible" technology. Nanotechnology is supposed to be cut off from all sensible experience whereas design traditionally focuses on the shaping of the user's experience. After articulating the diagnosis and its implications, I question the status of a third player: "nano-art." I then draw on some resources of French philosophy of technology and aesthetics to prompt a new alliance between "technology" (the study of technics) and aesthetics (the study of sensation) resulting in a re-conceptualization of design as "techno-aesthetics." The chapter closes by highlighting the political significance of such techno-aesthetic design for nanotechnology and beyond, for our everyday live amidst technoscientific objects.
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Submitted on : Friday, August 17, 2018 - 11:23:49 AM
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Sacha Loeve. Design and aesthetics in nanotechnology. Sacha Loeve; Xavier Guchet; Bernadette Bensaude Vincent. French philosophy of technology. Classical readings and contemporary approaches, 29, Springer, pp.361-384, 2018, Philosophy of engineering and technology, 978-3-319-89517-8. ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-89518-5_22⟩. ⟨halshs-01857742⟩

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