Responsibility in design: applying the philosophy of Gilbert Simondon

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The notion of technical mentality and transductive reasoning described by the French philosopher Gilbert Simondon is applied on a concrete design case in order to investigate responsibility and design. The design case relates to the development of a portable artificial kidney. The historic invention of the artificial kidney is woven into the philosophy of Simondon in order to mobilize his work. For designers, the risk of reduction is at stake when applying the technical mentality to domains beyond the technical such as the psycho-social. This risk can be avoided by transductive reasoning, i.e. reasoning by means of analogy, but this is not sufficient as additional research is needed on responsibility and taking action. Correlating machines remains a human responsibility. Designers cannot hide behind the borders of their task or project when it comes to responsibility. Suggestions for further research are shared a.o. on aesthetics, ways of reasoning in design and design education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of DRS 2016
EditorsPeter Lloyd, Erik Bohemia
Place of PublicationBrighton, United Kingdom
PublisherDesign Research Society
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventDRS 2016: Design + Research + Society, Future-Focused Thinking, The 50th Anniversary DRS Conference - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 201630 Jun 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of DRS2016: Design + Research + Society - Future-Focused Thinking
PublisherDesign Research Society
ISSN (Electronic)2398-3132


ConferenceDRS 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Responsibility
  • Gilbert Simondon
  • Design
  • Transduction
  • Way of Reasoning


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