Keynote Speakers

Autonomous Technologies and the Challenges of Probabilistic Design


Professor Dr Elisa Giaccardi

Full Professor of Interaction Design at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft

In this talk, Giaccardi argues for fundamentally rethinking the ways in which we design. No longer a stabilising process, design must position the crafting of agency as foundational to our understanding of autonomous technologies as was once the notion of function to our understanding of tools. To illuminate this, Giaccardi introduces and discusses examples from healthcare, mobility and sustainability, unpacking how designers might consider what is uniquely human and uniquely artificial in the performance of agency, and how should they attend to the ethics of this co-performance as a decentralised act of design with probabilistic outcomes.


Elisa Giaccardi is Professor and Chair of Post-industrial Design at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), where she leads the research group, Connected Everyday Lab. From 2018, she also holds a visiting position as Professor of Post-Industrial Design at the Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden. After groundbreaking work in meta-design, collaborative and open design processes, Giaccardi has during the last years focused on the challenges that a permeating digitalisation means for the field of design. Her recent research engages with “things” in new ways, with the starting point that “things” now hold both perception and possible agency (e.g. AI), and thus “participate” in design and use in ways that previous industrially produced objects could not.

From TU Delft | | Publications

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Posted October 2021 content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested Citation Format (APA)

Author(s) (20XX). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSDX) Symposium.

Posted October 2021