Introduction: Mortality in design

Connor Graham, Wally Smith, Wendy Moncur, Elise van den Hoven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Digital design for mortals. Precisely what is unsettling about modern technological construction is that, instead of holding together earth and sky, mortals and divinities, it penetrates the earth to extract resources, pushes beyond the sky with rockets and satellites, attempts to suppress mortality with medicine and drugs, and precisely in this attempt to control the body, rejects the art of dying, and thereby and in the very process the remembering of the divinities that is the most intimate part of human suffering. More than ten years old now, Carl Mitcham’s reflection on the performance of vernacular architecture (the building of his own house in fact) is a powerful statement about the tendency of modern technology to suppress human mortality and with it the expression of the human spirit.

Precisely what is unsettling about modern technological construction is that, instead of holding together earth and sky, mortals and divinities, it penetrates the earth to extract resources, pushes beyond the sky with rockets and satellites, attempts to suppress mortality with medicine and drugs, and precisely in this attempt to control the body, rejects the art of dying, and thereby and in the very process the remembering of the divinities that is the most intimate part of human suffering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalDesign Issues
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • technological contstruction
  • medical technologies
  • human mortality

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  • Projects

    Digital Inheritance

    Moncur, W.

    Project: Projects from Previous Employment

    Research Output

    • 1 Citations
    • 5 Conference contribution book
    • 2 Chapter

    Living Digitally

    Moncur, W., 1 Jan 2016, Memory in the Twenty-First Century. Groes, S. (ed.). p. 108-112 5 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Digital Ownership Across Lifespans

    Moncur, W., 1 Jun 2015, Aging and the Digital Life Course. Prendergast, D. & Garattini, C. (eds.). Vol. 3. p. 257-273 17 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Story Shell: the participatory design of a bespoke digital memorial

    Moncur, W., Julius, M., Hoven, E. V. D. & Kirk, D., 20 May 2015, Proceedings of the 4th Participatory Innovation Conference PIN-C 2015. p. 470-477 8 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

    Open Access
  • Cite this

    Graham, C., Smith, W., Moncur, W., & Hoven, E. V. D. (2018). Introduction: Mortality in design. Design Issues, 34(1), 3-14. https://doi.org/10.1162/desi_e_00472