Left to Our Own Devices

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Johan Redström


At times it appears as if artifacts are best described as ‘not nature’ but, even at that, the boundary begins to blur as we consider developments in areas such as genetics and biotechnology where biology and design begin to merge. The realm of artifacts has grown, and so have notions of what they are and could be. Our world is becoming ever more an artificial one, understood as ‘made by’ rather than ‘given to’ us. Research is no longer if ever about describing what is, but increasingly about exploring what could be and in many cases therefore also what will be. And so, the subject of design, that of ‘‘the initiation of change in man-made things’’ as J. C. Jones (1992), p. 6) put it, has expanded how could it not?

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