What We Design Designs Us

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You might think the invention of the first knife was obvious: humans needed a way to cut one thing into two, and for that, you need a knife. But in reality, there are many ways to cut. The invention of the knife just defined one way for us, and that definition has been permanently imprinted onto the way we live-and as a result, the way we design. This is an example of the hermeneutic circle, which is the basis for ontological design. In the hermeneutic circle, we call on an item or idea designed by past generations, then encounter new needs or experiences that lead us to change it. This changed thing then forever changes the way we experience the world, and the cycle continues.

We've collected several videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.

And to learn more about the future of design in technology, check out our series Designing Innovation presented by the new Toyota Prius.

What Is Design?

And how does it affect our lives?

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4D Printing Is The Future Of Design

What is the fourth demension in 4D?

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. 4D printing involves using a 3D printer to print out self-reconfiguring programmable material. 00:49

  2. Watch the programmable sheet material interact with water: 01:22

  3. Micro-particles of the smart material in our bodies could help maintain our health. 02:33

The Engineering Design Process

Explore the creative process of a product engineer

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