mercredi 24 octobre 2012


I. Why using philosophy and social sciences in design ?

1) A technical device could be compare with a text of law. They have an important influence on society and mustn't be conceived without reflexion. We have to study social context and people needs.

2) Designers and philosophers are not only specialists but generalists too. They have to consider a large range of aspects : arts (with technologies) and sciences (especially social ones).

3) Technical approach consists to ask the question "how". But it is important to ask "why" too : that's the question about the meaning.

4) A technical problem is waiting for an answer. But a philosophical problematic has no answer. It's a dilemma, a paradox, that gives an axis, an orientation for reflexion.

II. How analyze a brief ?

1) You can begin by a mind mapping where you write down main notions, their definitions, synonyms, antonyms, etymologies. You can also add references in arts (fine art and craft) and sciences (sociology, anthropology, economy, law, etc.).

2) Your research, before and during the project, could be both conceptual (theory) and contextual (practice). At the contextual level, you have first a physical approach. You must understand how your object (space, product or communication) is structured and its historical aspect (where a thing come from and what will it become). Secondly, social approach consists in understanding who are the people you work for (emitter, for example the brand, and receivers of the project, that is to say users). You mustn't use only theoretical information but have to observe behaviors, asking question to people about their experience, and experiment things by your self.

3) At the conceptual level, you gather information about arts, sciences and about existing and competitors. This intelligent phase must give you some axis related to the problems which are important to resolve. After the choice of the best axis, you can analyze it philosophically and determine a problematic, with positive and negative aspects of the main notion of the project.

III. How developing the project ?

1) After and during your research, you have to create your own concepts (on a separate notebook) in the axis' direction. These concepts are hypothesis you'll have to explain through sketches and schematic models.

2) One of the concepts have to be chosen and develop very precisely, and be correctly exposed. The communication of the final development have too be very clear and persuasive.    

Raphaël Edelman

Crédit photo :

Qui êtes-vous ?

Je suis professeur de philosophie à l'Ecole de design et à Lisaa à Nantes, dirige la revue de philosophie et de technique Tiroir et préside l'association Ouvroir d'Urbain Potentiel. Vous pouvez me contacter ici :