Institut Jean Nicod

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The philosophy of low tech


Director Roberto Casati

Public - M1/M2

Dates - 2022/2023


Innovation and economic development are nowadays rhetorically bound or equated with digital, bio-tech, or materials innovation. However, low-tech machines and machine components improve constantly, and existing machinery is an untapped resource for new uses (not only recycling, but genuinely new uses.) Are we looking at low tech in the wrong way ? Can we reconceptualize it so as to render it a vital part of conversations about the ecological transition ? Are there alternatives to the innovation cycle always requesting new capital to build new machines ? Building on work done on paper notebooks, paper books, and sailboats, we shall study the case of elevators (very primitive robots) as alternatives to lithium battery energy storage or hydro (dam) energy storage.

(MasterPhilo. Design Schools)

Working language will be French or English