Ethics of design
MetadataShow full metadata
Michel Foucault’s last published monograph The Care of the Self, may be considered from the vantage point of how the question of ethics and aesthetics have been separated, or more precisely, how a self becomes a manifold and divided response to its milieu. Its genealogy opens a space of thinking the question of care and selfhood in practices that are historiographical though pre-eminently concerned with a “history of the present.” In broader terms, and in the context of lectures Foucault was then giving at the College de France, we understand the question of self, ethics and aesthetics in terms of governmentality, itself understood as the application of techniques of discipline and apparatuses of security in the management of territories, populations, individuated subjects and things. The discipline of design history and theory has yet to engage fully with a Foucauldian understanding of the emergence of modernity as a crisis of governmentality. This paper aims to address a possible Foucauldian legacy for design history and theory in its understanding of design history other than as a history of things and their originators, in its understanding of ethics other than as constituted on individual sovereign right and of aesthetics on the basis of something other than inalienable freedom.