Daisy Ginsberg, Royal College of Art
Monday, 5th June, 3.30-5.00pm
1.06 Old Surgeons’ Hall
Designers often advocate that design makes things better. In promising a better future, they are not alone: engineers, marketers, politicians and scientists also invoke the imaginary of better, creating dreams that have very material effects. In some of these visions, “better” will be delivered by science and technology; in others, the consumption of designed things will better us or the world. “Better” itself has become a sociotechnical imaginary; progress, without the philosophical baggage. But better is not a universal good or a verified measure: better is imbued with politics and values. And better will not be delivered equally, if at all. “What is better?” and “Who gets to decide?” are questions with great implications for the way we live and hope to live. This seminar explores how critical design can be used to address these questions, while considering critical design’s complicated relationship to bettering, as a critical yet optimistic practice. Drawing on my experiences working amongst the architects of synthetic biology’s powerful dreams of better, I consider how critical design can question better, opening up the possibility of alternative dreams.
Further details: http://www.stis.ed.ac.uk/events/stis_seminars/2016_2017/better
This event is part of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies Seminar Series