What is the nature of design, and the meaning it holds in human life? What does it mean to design well — to design ethically? How can the shaping of technology reflect our values as human beings? Drawing from Ge's new book ARTFUL DESIGN: TECHNOLOGY IN SEARCH OF THE SUBLIME (a 488-page photo comic), this talk dissects the designs of everyday tools, musical instruments, toys, and social experiences, examining the ways in which we shape technology and how technology shapes us and our society, in turn. This is a meditation for the “engineer with a soul” as well as for anyone curious (or concerned) about technology — not only what it does for us, but also what it does *to* us.
About Ge Wang
Ge Wang is an Associate Professor at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He researches artful design of tools, toys, games and social experiences. Ge is the architect of the ChucK music programming language, director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra, co-founder of Smule and designer of the Ocarina and Magic Piano apps for mobile phones. He is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and the author of ARTFUL DESIGN: TECHNOLOGY IN SEARCH OF THE SUBLIME, a photo comic book about the ethics and aesthetics of shaping technology. Based on the book, Ge is currently teaching a new critical thinking course at Stanford, "THINK66: Design that Understands Us."