form N° 266. Man/Machine
Life without machines is almost unimaginable. Although we curse them often enough because they go wrong, there are technical improvements that allow us to make great strides in a short amount of time, give us undreamt-of powers, allow us to be permanently connected and can restore or improve our health. Nonetheless, the relationship between man and machine is ambivalent, for every supposed advance can create new, unpredictable problems. In the focus section of form 266, we will be looking at how our relationship to machines is formed.
In his article “Higher Faster Further – Technik auf den Leib gerückt”, that is available online, Sascha Dickel explains how the vision of cyborgisation fits in all too well into the conceptual world of modernity and cannot be simply dismissed as a transhumanist fantasy. The role that design should play in the development of future interfaces between man and machine is described by Jochen Denzinger in his article “Der Interface-Komplex – Design for Interaction”. Here, he makes the case for improved interlinking of engineering, informatics and design, so that interfaces are more easily recognisable and accessible to users. What fictions, as we know them from film and literature, tell us about the relationship of man and machines, is explained by Stephan Ott in “Funktion folgt Fiktion – His Machine’s Voice” and he notes that fiction, even in design, can be a useful tool. Also, a series of images concerning man/machine fictions from 1874 to date invites us to go on a visual time journey.
Moreover, alongside the designs by the Slovenian designer Saša J. Mächtig, that shaped the urban environment in the former Yugoslavia, we also present the work of the textile designer Alexander Girard, currently on show in the Vitra Design Museum and report on this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan from a material perspective.
In addition to the above-mentioned article by Sascha Dickel in the Focus section, you can also read online the “Soft Skills” article on new and reinterpretations of foam materials, and the studio portrait about Barca, a graphic design studio based in São Paulo.
In form Dossiers, find out more about the attitudes and views of three jewellery designers, whose brooches we showcase in the “Pinned Down” print article.