A Cautious Prometheus? A Few Steps Toward a Philosophy of Design (With Special Attention to Peter Sloterdijk)

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In Fiona Hackne, Jonathn Glynne and Viv Minto (editors) Proceedings of the 2008 Annual International Conference of the Design History Society – Falmouth, 3-6 September 2009, e-books, Universal Publishers, pp. 2-10.


The very spread of the word "design" from daily objects to cities and ecosystems, is taken here as a symptom of an interesting switch in the theory of action that has been typical of modernism. The paper review five connotations of the verb “to design » and analyze them as an alternative to the notion of "construction" and "fabrication". It then presents the work of Peter Sloterdijk has a crucial contribution to the philosophy of design. It shows especially how Sloterdijk’ notion of explicitation allows to reconsider materiality (a materiality to which design has always been sensitive) but freed from naturalization as well as from the balancing act between form and function. Finally, it offers a challenge to the design theorists for inventing the tools that could allow this philosophy of design to “draw together » matters of concern.


2009: German/Allemand
« Ein Vorsichtiger Prometheus. Einige Schritte hin zu einer Philosophie des Designs, unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Peter Sloterdijk » (edited by W. Fricke) in M. Jongen, S. van Tuinen and K. Hemelsoe (eds). Die Vermessung des Ungeheuren. Philosophie nach Peter Sloterdijk, München, Wilhelm Fink Verlag pp. 356-373, 2009

2009: Italien /Italian
« Un Prometeo cauto ? Primi passi verso una filosofia del design », in Il discorso del design Pratiche di progetto e saper-fare semiotico, Serie speciale rivisat dell Associazone Italiana di Studi Semiotici Anno III, n° ¾ pp. 255-263.
Republication en un volume de la traduction italienne republication in one volume of the Italian translation in Philosophy of the project. Towards a theory of design, Insege, Mimesis, sous la direction de Dario Mangano, 201-.

2011: Français/French
Traduction française partielle partial French translation by Patrice Bollon «Un Prométhée circonspect » in Architecture Aujourd’hui.

2010: Allemand/German
Traduction allemande partielle partial German translation « Ein Vorsichtiger Prometheus ? Design im Zeitalter des Klimawandels » in ARCH+ 196-197 pp. 22-27..

2011: Anglais/English
Republication in edited by Willem Schinkel Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens In Media Res. Peter's Sloterdijk's Spherological Poetics of Being, pp. 151-165.

2014: Portugais/ Portuguese
By Daniel Portugal e Isabella Fraga « Um Prometeu cauteloso? Alguns passos rumo a uma fi losofi a do design (com especial atenção a Peter Slotedijk) » in Agitprop: Brazilian journal of design, pp. 1-21.