Designing and Sensing in the Age of Nano-technologies.
Research related to nano-technologies in the frame of a Fulbright Senior Fellowship, Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory at Cornell University.
Introduced as a concept in 1959 by Richard Feynman, nano-technologies came to define by 1980s the new material age (see Eric Drexler). The project aims to further the research on the paradoxical relationship between an imperceptible matter (too small for a direct common apprehension) and its forms of sensible manifestation (common materials that exhibit properties different from the traditional ones). Given the increased number of studies in the field of smart materials and the attempts to commodify the nano-technologies, understanding and using them require new grounds for aesthetics and design.
Through an interdisciplinary perspective, the project aims to a) map the already existing practices related to the use of nano-materials, b) investigate the conceptualization, modelization and fabrication issues design have to face by using nano-materials, c) analyse aesthetic, social and professional (ethical and legal) implications design practices are exposed to in the age of nanotechnologies, and d) set up a repertory of techno-social approaches related to nano-technologies.
The project aims to engage both a theoretical research allowing defining the categories applied in the integration of nano-technologies in design and architecture, and a practice-based research (workshops and prototyping), by delivering tools and methodologies for design practices.
During the research at Cornell University I shadowed the Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory’s team members in their investigation related to the magnetization of cotton.
The project will continue thanks to the support of IMERA Arts & Sciences Fellowship, Marseille, France between February – July 2021.