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Science, Technology & Society pres.

STS Speaker. Working Things Out: Design-STS Transitions from Technical Formalization to Critical Imagination.

Daniel Cardoso Llach, Carnegie Mellon University

This talk will explore the notion that the fields of design and science and technology studies (STS) offer distinct but mutually enriching traditions of research and practice, and that at their nexus we may discover opportunities for critical and creative engagements with both technologies and the built environment. Drawing from the author’s recent efforts, including media archaeological, data-ethnographic, historiographic, and pedagogical explorations, the talk will articulate ways to mobilize STS themes and methods towards questions of design — broadly understood to encompass a diversity of conceptual and practical approaches to the production of artificial environments. It will show what we may gain by, on the one hand, creating the conditions for technologies to be formulated inquisitively to interrogate or renegotiate sociotechnical relations and, on the other, cultivating an interpretive attitude construing digital environments and human-machine entanglements as new and exciting sites of sociotechnical inquiry in the processes of designing and making. The picture that emerges is one of design as both a crucial phenomenon by which to understand and a sociotechnical ecology by which to thoughtfully re-imagine, intervene, and explore.

Bio: Daniel Cardoso Llach is an architecture and design scholar working on social and historical aspects of automation in design, the politics of representation and participation in software, and new methods for visualizing design as a socio-technical phenomenon. His book Builders of the Vision: Software and the Imagination of Design (Routledge, 2015) uses STS methods and themes to show how postwar era research on computer-aided design (CAD) and numerically controlled manufacturing shaped a technological imaginary of design shaping present-day architectural ideas and labors.
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