Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2017/18
Design Ontology
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Architecture - Torino
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Mechanical Engineering - Torino
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Automotive Engineering - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Caffo Leonardo ORARIO RICEVIMENTO     60 0 0 0 4
SSD CFU Activities Area context
M-FIL/01 6 D - A scelta dello studente A scelta dello studente
Subject fundamentals
The course aims to give students a brief overview of some horizons of theoretical discussion in philosophical ontology and in general philosophy applied to the design, production and classification (archive) of objects. A detailed analysis will be devoted to the main philosophical instruments, such as the theory of argumentation, and theories of contemporary ontology. In this sense: the possible orders of the objects in relation to the specific domain of the individual disciplines with particular attention to the "social" ontologies. These include the case of a particular type of social ontology: the one related to the design knowledge involved in the transformation of the physical or metaphysical space (utopias, visions, unrealizable objects). Defining the goal of design theories is useful to properly discuss specific issues and views and to properly build topics in support of ethics or aesthetics of a particular object (its narratives). The course redefines the fundamental assumptions of a field of specific sense as that of design knowledge, trying to understand what a "project", "an artifact", or "space" is. Ontology, therefore, is characterized as a preliminary activity for any specific approach to the theory of knowledge. The basic questions of the course will be:

Why do you need to have tools to think?
What does it mean to ask "what there is" in relation to the designer's world?
What are the best arguing strategies to make it clear in this regard?
What is the difference between a project within a philosophical framework and one that is devoid of it?
What are the possible worlds of design and creativity?
What does simplicity mean when designing?
What is the ontology of design?
What is the object?
What does it mean "action with a project (goal)"?
What role do serendipity and biography play in designing?
Can design be applied to the "human" object?
Expected learning outcomes
The tools offered by the philosophical ontology allow to operate those logical distinctions that help the student recognize the complex nature of the operating context in which he or she is called upon to intervene, choosing the most effective action strategies to solve a particular technical partner problem related to the design Even in the case of problems with consistent degrees of indeterminacy. Thanks to the knowledge of logic as a basic problem-solving tool it is possible to develop judgmental autonomy and to acquire good problem solving skills.
Preliminary activities will be the study of the theory of argumentation and basic logic, then the themes of contemporary ontology and the study of mental experiments as an instrument, to the introduction of social ontology as a tool for understanding an integrated design to a Wide context. In this first phase we will learn: the basic tools for argumentation and philosophical methodology to implement the communicative skills of the student.

The second phase of the course analyzes the philosophy of design as autonomous discipline, its applications to architecture, document theory, action and collective intent. From this initial knowledge, the student will be led to measure the calculation of the implications on the social world related to a design choice. Students' ability to learn will be measured periodically through exercises and problems to be solved in class.

The course will end with a focus on knowledge of contemporary philosophical debate on architecture and design, narratives and examples, to get tools to interact critically with the philosophical arguments currently adopted.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
Participation in the course does not require specific preparatory work.
I.The theory of argumentation and contemporary philosophical ontology(15 ore)
Presentation of the theory of argumentation and basic logical translation (Predicative, propositional and modal) of natural language as a strategy of Semantic clarification of theoretical problems. Ontology as discipline, Distinction between ontology, meta-ontology and methodology of ontology. Introduction of regional ontology and a first presentation of social ontology. Simplification criteria and preliminary design study within this framework.

II. Ontology and Design in social sciences(15ore)
The second part of the course will be devoted to the analytical explanation of the different theories isolated in the contemporary debate on social ontology: intentionality, document theory and collective action. At this stage of the course, we will understand which of these metateories can be assigned a specific ontology project: what are its main survey objects? Can the production of projects be also an ontological production?

III.Philosophy and role of design (30 ore)
Acquired the method, and analyzed the ontological bases of design production, the final goal of the course will be the understanding of the contemporary intersections between philosophy and project theory. How did you go from an analysis of space as "built" with Michel Foucault or Carl Schmitt to one of space as "buildable"? And what role does the "desing" play in this theoretical transformation? What does it mean to design a mechanism or machine following Alan Turing's philosophical legacy? The purpose is to complete the course by providing the students the ability to continue their specific research within a theoretical framework adhering to contemporary debate and able to control the implications of their own technical actions on the different plans of social reality.
Delivery modes
Student work evaluations will be based on the outcomes of the various exercise steps on the one hand and on the final oral exam that, starting from the work done individually, will also take into account the study of the texts taken during the lessons.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
The texts discussed and the bibliographies will have to be integrated into the lessons. However, here are some bibliographic references that we consider to be fundamental:

G. Deleuze, F. Guattari, What Is Philosophy, Columbia UP 1996.
T. Williamson, The Philosophy of Philosophy, Blackwell 2007.
Vermaas, P.E., Kroes, P., Light, A., Moore, S. (Eds.), Philosophy and Design. From Engineering to Architecture, Springer 2008.
Assessment and grading criteria
Students over the initial frontal lessons will have to choose a project (architects) or object (engineers or designers) to work on monitoring common progress on a dedicated site and that step by step will be analyzed in its structure, context, implications And prospects. This will provide practical tools based on philosophical theories: the ability to understand that behind a Polytechnic Knowledge there is always a specific type of humanistic approach

Website and interactive platform: ontologiadellaprogettazione.wordpress.com

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2017/18

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