"Ideas, Objects, Waste: Critically Approaching The Life Cycle of Technologies in the Age of the Anthropocene"
|Technologies for Human Use||Technologies in Community|
|Technologies for Learning||Technologies for Common Knowledge|
|Special Focus: Ideas, Objects, Waste: Critically Approaching The Life Cycle of Technologies in the Age of the Anthropocene|
Technologies have life cycles. They begin as ideas reverberating within normative contexts of innovation and progress. These ideas then materialize as objects. This materiality connects the object to epochs of production and the natural world: metals, bio-matter, and other natural resources. Finally, as their life cycle comes to a close, these objects become waste. In this final stage, another set of material impacts comes into view: their disposal as waste or our reuse of these objects for similar or different purposes. The increasing speed of this life cycle stimulates a ‘what is to be done?’ reflexivity that pervades the whole cycle. What does pace of this life cycle today reveal about us as individuals, communities, or societies?
Parallel to our annual thematic streams, the Special Focus for the 12th Technology Knowledge and Society Conference - “Ideas, Objects, Waste: Critically Approaching The Life Cycle of Technologies in the Age of the Anthropocene” - will be to analyze the life cycle of technology in the context of our current ecological condition, in an era that has been coined the age of the Anthropocene. To be precise: how do we use findings of the impacts human action on the environment as an evaluative criterion assessing the ideas, objects and waste of technological developments? In turn, how can such questioning shape our understanding of the social impact of technologies, and the ideals of human needs and community interests manifest in the developmental direction and objects of technologies?