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Which clippings match 'Philosophy Of Technology' keyword pg.1 of 1
28 OCTOBER 2014

Questioning the goal of efficiency in contemporary culture

"Efficiency in human behavior is a goal that is rarely questioned in contemporary culture. This course will study and draw connections between disparate fields to trace the development and influence of this view. The course, drawing a mix of humanities and engineering students, will include readings and lectures on 19th and 20th century philosophers with discussions of new technology and team experimental projects.

Frederick Taylor, the father of industrial engineering, analyzed human motion to optimize industrial productivity, which had great influence on Henry Ford, military logistics, and Stalin. Michel Foucault traced the history of the minute analysis of human motion from Napoleon's methods for transforming peasants into soldiers to modern methods for reforming prisoners. Martin Heidegger claimed that 'efficient ordering' was the defining characteristic of modern culture. Through the course, students will learn to recognize how this obsession with efficiency for its own sake relates to technology and to their daily lives."

(Questioning Efficiency: Human Factors and Existential Phenomenology, UC Berkeley course syllabus, Fall 2006)







Albert Borgmann • Anson Rabinbach • Anton BragagliaBerkeley (University of California)capture a moment of timechronophotographycooking in the kitchen • critique of technology • Dale Huchingson • dematerialization of objects in space • Eadweard Muybridgeefficiency • efficient ordering • Eliot Eliofson • Emily Fox • engineering students • Etienne-Jules Marey • everyday life • existential phenomenology • fotodinamismo • Frank Gilbreth • Frederick Taylor • geometric chronophotograph • goal • golfer • Henri BergsonHenry Ford • homemaker • Hubert Dreyfushuman behaviourhuman bodyhuman factorshuman factors in designhuman motion • Idris Khan • increased productivityindustrial engineering • industrial productivity • infinite continuity of time • James Gleick • Joseph Stalin • Ken Goldberg • kitchen • kitchen studies • lecture programmeLillian Gilbrethlong exposure • management science • Marcel DuchampMartin Heideggermeasure performancemetricisationmetricsMichel Foucault • military logistics • model kitchen • modern culture • modern homemaker • motion studiesNapoleon Bonaparte • Nude Descending a Staircase (1912) • objects in motion • obsession with efficiency • philosophy of technologyproductivity • reconstruction of movement • schematic phases • scientific goalssimultaneityslow motion photographystudying motiontechnologyThe Kitchen Practical (1929) • time and motion studies • time savingtime-motion studies • Umberto Boccioni • wasted motion


Simon Perkins
05 OCTOBER 2014

Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming

"Today designers often focus on making technology easy to use, sexy, and consumable. In Speculative Everything, Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby propose a kind of design that is used as a tool to create not only things but ideas. For them, design is a means of speculating about how things could be–to imagine possible futures. This is not the usual sort of predicting or forecasting, spotting trends and extrapolating; these kinds of predictions have been proven wrong, again and again. Instead, Dunne and Raby pose 'what if' questions that are intended to open debate and discussion about the kind of future people want (and do not want).

Speculative Everything offers a tour through an emerging cultural landscape of design ideas, ideals, and approaches. Dunne and Raby cite examples from their own design and teaching and from other projects from fine art, design, architecture, cinema, and photography. They also draw on futurology, political theory, the philosophy of technology, and literary fiction. They show us, for example, ideas for a solar kitchen restaurant; a flypaper robotic clock; a menstruation machine; a cloud–seeding truck; a phantom–limb sensation recorder; and devices for food foraging that use the tools of synthetic biology. Dunne and Raby contend that if we speculate more–about everything–reality will become more malleable. The ideas freed by speculative design increase the odds of achieving desirable futures."

(Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, 2013)



2013alternative visionsAnthony Dunne • Belgrade • Belgrade New Media Festival • Charles Avery • conceptual designdesign approachesdesign idealsdesign ideasDesign Interactions (MA) • desirable futures • emerging cultural landscape • extrapolating • Fiona Raby • Frederik Pohl • future contextsfuture forecastingfuturology • how things could be • ictional scenarios • idealism • ideas freed by speculative design • interaction design • literary fiction • Michio Kaku • modelling possible realities • new media festival • open debate and discussion • philosophy of technologyPhysics of the Impossible (2008) • political theory • possible futures • potential futures • predictions • Resonate festival • Royal College of Art • scenario building • sci-fiscience fiction • social dreaming • speculative design • Speculative Everything Design (2013) • speculative fictionsuspend disbelief • the future people want • Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance • we speculate • what if


Simon Perkins
11 JUNE 2010

Technology is not simply an ethically neutral set of artefacts by which we exercise power over nature

Michel "Foucault's reflections on power uniquely parallel a position accepted by a significant segment of philosophers of technology, that is that technology is not simply an ethically neutral set of artifacts by which we exercise power over nature, but also always a set of structured forms of action by which we also inevitably exercise power over ourselves. According to this position, technology can be 'associated with diverse human behaviors, with distinctions among them often less clear than for either artifacts or cognitions. Technological activities inevitably and without easy demarcation also shade from individual or personal into group or institutional forms' (Mitcham 1994, 209). The elaboration of the theoretical origins, justification and cultural impact of human institutions is one of the hallmarks of the analysis of power undertaken by Foucault. His work, therefore, could make a valuable contribution to the discussion of the position in the field of the Philosophy of Technology, of those who view technology primarily as activity."

(Jim Gerrie, Techné 7:2 Winter 2003)

[2] Gerrie, J. (2003). 'Was Foucault a Philosopher of Technology?' Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 7(Winter 2003).



Simon Perkins

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