DS0801 - Innovations

Sciences, design and society: the fabric of contemporary worlds – DeSciTech

Submission summary

Descitech The project explores how an alliance between Science and Design can open new avenues for the development and appropriation of scientific knowledge by the different actors of society. For this, the project is organized on the confrontation of design disciplines (design and engineering) discipline of hard science (physics) disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. The group of three disciplines adopt a reflective stance on their modes of expression of scientific data. This reflexive posture is made possible by the creation of specific fields that allow researchers to experiment and watch the process on the basis of joint projects.
The assumption is that designers and scientists, combining their creative process, contribute to an objectification of the activity of symbolization and thus operate at a higher power of innovation. This assumption is rooted in the idea that the activity of symbolization precedes and organizes the activity of knowledge. Thus we come to consider the actors involved as "makers of the world”, using multiple and varied ways of meaning making. Therefore, the analysis focuses on the construction of meaningful worlds and on the variety of underlying symbolic resources (images, sounds, diagrams, ...). Analyzing the dialogue between Sciences & Design through the activity of symbolization can place them on a common field of investigation. It also allows to clearly situate the issue of non-knowledge: complex objects involved here will eventually be built in a no man’s land where everyone must admit that they control only a part of the knowledge and skills. We need to understand the epistemic dynamics that can articulate knowledge and non knowledge. From a practical point of view, the relationship between science and design seems a necessity to build innovative societies (prepare scientific or technological breakthroughs), integrative (taking into account the uniqueness of users and public) and adaptive (make sense and facilitate appropriation in society).
The method relies on a form of action research. Project participants must make productions that explore the meaning and materiality of knowledge. We therefore seek: i) the objectification processes at work between science and design; ii) to generic keys to the implementation of this collaboration emerge
Both workshops-terrain address the issue of symbolization at two different stages. Workshop 1 focuses on quantum physics and issues of light and matter. The workshop raises a fundamental question of ownership of new knowledge and new technologies in design that reinserts them into artifacts and, thereby, changes the way they make sense.
This approach follows the work undertaken by ENSCI Les Ateliers and Orsay on quantum physics in recent years.
Workshop 2 focuses on the "Quantified environment and smartphones." The idea of the workshop is to divert technologies (smartphones here) to build scientifically based representations of our personal environment, in relationship with global society issues. CIME Nanotech began developing a digital environment iMecaProf. He turns to the source, different data mobility for teaching physics. The assumption is that one cannot think knowledge without thinking mediations. The research will analyze how the DeScieTech production is "expansive", that is to say, how knowledge is here increased (and not "only" popularized) in different communicative situations and different media modalities.

Project coordination

Joel Chevrier (CIME Nanotech - Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble 1)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


ENSCI - les Ateliers Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle - les Ateliers
UPEC / IRG Université Paris-Est Créteil / Institut de Recherche en Gestion
LPS Laboratoire de Physique des Solides
Télécom ParisTech LTCI Institut Mines Télécom
UJF Grenoble 1 CIME Nanotech - Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble 1

Help of the ANR 460,632 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2014 - 36 Months

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