Reconstrained Design

Design practice always happens under a particular set of forces, commonly known as constraints. These constraints may be straightforward and indisputable, such as a physical or material quality: the force of gravity, the tensile strength of a structural beam, or a financial budget, and provide tangible limits to be adhered to or challenged. Constraints, however, also exist in more abstract, systemic or hidden forms.

Design Design
#TALK en Anglais
vendredi 20 avril
11h10 - 12h00

Amphithéâtre Hamilton

These can have a significant impact on the potential of design, resulting in a paucity of original thinking and a chronic neglect of responsibility. For example, national systems of infrastructure, such as energy grids or roads, have become so normalised that they constrain designers to simply designing for or within the dominant paradigm. The constraint of positivity or progress dogma, blinds those influencing the future (scientists, technologists, politicians, designers, etc.) from the potential negative implications of their proposals. This presentation will firstly explore some of the more dominant oblique constraints and the ways in which they negatively influence the role and purpose of design. And secondly describe how design, practiced outside of these constraints, can facilitate more inclusive, holistic, and environmentally responsible futures.

James Auger

École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay

James Auger est enseignant chercheur et directeur adjoint au département de design de l'École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay. Entre 2005 et 2015, il a fait partie du département Design Interactions acclamé par la critique du Royal College of Art (RCA), enseignant dans le programme de maîtrise et travaillant sur le développement d'approches critiques et spéculatives de la conception et de la technologie, complétant son doctorat sur le sujet en 2012. Après le RCA, James a déménagé au Portugal pour mener des recherches au Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (ITI), cofondant le Reconstrained Design Group avec Julian Hanna et développant des projets qui exploraient le potentiel de l'île en tant que laboratoire vivant expérimental grâce à une combinaison de propositions et de projets multi-échelles fictifs, factuels et fonctionnels liés à l'énergie. James est également partenaire de la pratique de conception spéculative Auger-Loizeau, une collaboration fondée en 2000. Les projets Auger-Loizeau ont été publiés et exposés à l'international, notamment au MoMA, New York; 21_21, Tokyo; Le Science Museum, Londres; Musée national de Chine, Pékin et Ars Electronica, Linz. Leur travail est dans la collection permanente du MoMA.


Autres talks de James

2018 - Gossip on the Block EN

  • ► Vidéo
  • James Auger

This presentation will explore how information is captured (interpreted), emotionalised (gossip), politicised (propaganda), fabricated (fake news) and pre-empted (prediction) with a particular focus on the role technology plays and could play in mediating these factors.

2021 - Means and Ends EN

  • ► Vidéo
  • #TALK
  • James Auger

This presentation is about designed objects, or more specifically “superlative objects” (Barthes, 2009, p.101) - objects of design that somehow achieve an elevated status. The central thesis is that by placing such a high cultural value on the object, the systems and resources behind its realization are largely allowed to be hidden from view, skipped over, taken for granted. This elision gives mainstream design an enormous advantage over alternative approaches, as all the available methods and means - global resources, neo-liberal labor practices, highly sophisticated manufacturing and marketing methods, intricate supply chains and the latest technological advances - can be exploited to achieve the celebrated end. How can more ethical or ecological design processes compete - when only the end product, the superlative object, is valued?