2021 Technology and Product in Context

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Academic unit or major
Breadth courses
Nohara Kayoko  Salani Giorgio 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Intensive 9-10()  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

What do products mean for people? How does technology relate to culture? What does our relationship with technology and products tell us about society?
This seminar series introduces notions of design theory and material culture studies to investigate technological products, materials, processes, and cultures. In each class, we will interpret the relations between people and things through key historical frameworks: from materialist and structuralist views to ANT theory, the social life of things and new-Materialism. The transdisciplinary and nonhierarchical study of both high and low technologies aims to spark lively discussions using relevant, practical and accessible examples.

Student learning outcomes

The post-Anthropocene calls for a remodeling of the role of designers and engineers as makers of concepts as well as makers of stuff. The focus on short lectures, seminar discussions and extensive digital interaction is designed to facilitate the assimilation of theories and their application to practical solutions and exercises. Students will widen design/engineering perspectives narrowly focused on style, function and/or performance, and familiarize themselves with key concepts from design theory, craft studies, anthropology of technology and Western philosophy.

Course taught by instructors with work experience

Applicable How instructors' work experience benefits the course
The lecturer discusses the relationship between manufacturing, society and citizens drawing on his wealth of experience as an engineering consultant not only as a researcher.


design, material culture, technology, craft, critical thinking, speculation

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

The sessions combine seminars + interactive workshops to deliver experiential learning. Participants will form small groups to work on tasks and contribute to the discussions.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 The transformation of Nature into products Exercises on Miro
Class 2 Products as representation Short essay and/or photo
Class 3 Psychological encounters between people and products Exercises on Miro
Class 4 Products as extension of people Exercises on Miro
Class 5 Life of things Short essay and/or photo
Class 6 Rediscovering social–ecological systems Short essay and/or photo
Class 7 Towards new materialisms Assignment on Miro



Reference books, course materials, etc.


Assessment criteria and methods

Attendance, class contribution, assignment

Related courses

  • LAW.X316 : Approaches to Creative Expression
  • LAW.X314 : Editorial Designing in the Media
  • LAW.X315 : Science & Engineering Design for Global Talents -Overseas Programme
  • LAW.X401 : Science Communication for Global Talents - Overseas Programme
  • TSE.C317 : Methodology of Transdisciplinary Research:theory and practice

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

None, English

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).

salani.g.aa[at]m.titech.ac.jp  TSE, School of Environment and Society

Office hours



Monday 9-10 slot

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