How to follow (digital) objects leaving the design environment?

I got interested in Gilbert Simondon’s philosophical project aiming to reconcile technical culture with the humanities (Simondon, 2017). The recent work of Vincent Beaubois bridges this philosophy to design practice taking an interesting position: designers do not create (consumer) products or services, but create design environments from which ‘objects’ leave and are taken up to become (consumer) products or services (Beaubois, 2019). Ultimately my research will revolve around the problem of responsibility for digital ‘objects’ leaving the design environment. With Master students at TU Delft Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) I discussed how I intend to research both the practical design practice side and the more philosophical and design theory related questions.

After a short introduction, we discussed pro’s, con’s and students’ ideas of how to conduct research.


Beaubois, V. (2019). La zone obscure du design: une pensée des pratiques de conception (d’)après Gilbert Simondon [Primary thesis, University Paris Nanterres]. Nanterre.

Simondon, G. (2017). On The Mode of Existence of Technical Objects [Du mode d’existence des object technique] (C. Malaspina & J. Rogrove, Trans.; 1st ed.). Univocal Publishing. (Du mode d’existence des object technique)