Codesign Lab First “Brainy Week”

The first “Brainy Week” took place on the first week of december 2014 with four fantastic guests:
Warren Sack, UC Santa Cruz, software studies
Mathias Bejean, IAE Créteil, Management Sciences
Julien Bobrof, Orsay University, Physics
Gilles Bailly, Telecom ParisTech, Human Computer Interaction

And Tiphaine, from the Codesign Lab of Telecom ParisTech, Design who presented her last developments on Misbehaving.

On the 3rd of December, we had the pleasure of welcoming Warren Sack, from UC Santa Cruz, for a presentation of his work on Storytelling and Software studies. We mainly discussed one of his articles, A Storytelling Machine: From Propp to Software Studies (which has also been translated to French). Warren Sack raised a few questions on the relationships between softwares, narratives, translations and the way they relate to our modern episteme (as defined by Foucault in The order of Things).

  1. What does “understanding” mean, in a digital era?
  2. Are we living in an episteme where knowledges and discourses, inscribed in databases, are in conflict with stories?
  3. What does it mean to “translate” into a programming language?
  4. Is programming a modern approach of “understanding”?

In short, how do digital tools and their design interact or define our knowledges and their agency? If Warren Sack works on the software/code level, philosopher such as Kittler interrogated the software/hardware inter-relationships-and design studies the interface level as well.
We discussed the relationship of code and literature, through the example of Micro-Tale Spin, Warren Sack had been working on. He underlined the importance of understanding the technical layer, to avoid generalisation and naturalisation of concepts-such as database. A SQL database has nothing to do with a XML or NoSQL one. Their structures and procedures are inherently different. Experimentations such as Oulipo and Alamo and the field of electronic literature in general has explored some of these aspects.

Mathias Béjean was there to discuss his work and lecture of Goodman

Part of Goodman’s theory is to establish a new understanding of the way knowledge is built. His “worldmaking” theory is a way to explain how the different disciplines rely not on a pre-existing “real” world on which assuring an hypothesis is conform to reality, but by establishing and specifying relations between constituent (that are well established concepts by means of a process of symbolisation pre-organisation and pre-understanding) in a rigorous manner. As a result, different “world-version” co-exist, each of them being real, non substituent and necessarily derivative (a world-version being always built on and with part of other world-versions).

These concepts are useful for social sciences in many ways (even though Béjean remind us that Goodman didn’t specifically address social issues). Because we aren’t supposedly building knowledge on a world but with common principles, it suggests that there are always links to be made between fields of study (reclaiming artistic processes legitimacy among sciences, as yet another form of understanding).

But the use of Goodman’s works remains a little tricky because of the lack of direct undertaking of social issues, on the way to make common versions of world. As a result, we have to figure out ourselves how to interpret and manage different activities under Goodman’s light by making sense of these activities for one another. Béjean shows how he managed to organise the workspace and design activities of a garden designer by relying on Goodman’s principles. He for instance illustrates how these principles were used to understand  conflictual issues between the manager’s and designer’s worlds and elaborate a common understanding.

Goodman helps our comprehension but fall short before an actual description of his work’s application. In that matter, I failed to take consequences of Goodman’s principles presented by M. Béjean on design research. Design research being an ongoing project to build a discipline out of actual diverse design activities, it seemed like a perfect match to apply Goodman’s theories to bring union amongst these activities, defining their relation, not necessarily around common methodology or object of study but around a common language of symbols and referents. But without a proper definition of the way to build this relation, this task seems difficult. Moreover, the deliberate absence of a common “real” world (and subsequently of all direct objects of reference) essential to these principles makes difficult to conceptualise the critique design needs to establish to legitimate its scientific value.

illustrations goodman béjan-01

As stated by Béjean, the dialogue and conversation allowed by Goodman’s work might not be enough for collective creativity.


illustrations goodman béjan-02


To go beyond Goodman might require to find a way to analyse and generate a relational and evocative space. This is part of M. Béjean’s research program, which he is presently carrying out with mathematician A. C. Ehresmann (cf. “D-MES project”).


Tiphaine Kazi-Tani presented the state of her work on Misbehaving, preparing for the ARD 2014.

On the 5th of December, Julien Bobroff presented his research on the various modalities of interactions between science and design. Beyond the role of design in popularization, he questions how design is yet another way to symbolize knowledge. He presented a selection of his lab collaborative productions. He is part of the DESCITECH research program.

Gilles Bailly from the HCI department of Telecom, thoroughly answered the following question: What is a researcher in HCI? Through a variety of examples, he detailed the different aspects of his work, the ways HCI relates to design and the various modalities of evaluation. You may also check his slides!



Tiphaine Kazi-Tani was invited to present our « Misbehaving » research topic in Liège, at Les Ateliers de la Recherche en Design (ARD9). She summed up our questions and focused on our current conceptual issues.

Link to the slides :

Misbehaving & Design at ARD9

Final symposium of the ADAM project — [video]

2014-10-02 11.08.58You can now watch the different talks of the ADAM final symposium online (this research project involved Annie Gentès & François Huguet from our Lab).

The research program ADAM (Distributed Architectures and Multimedia Applications) studied the technical, political, social, socio-cultural and legal implications of distributed network architectures. This term indicates a type of network bearing several features: a network made of multiple computing units, capable to achieve its objective by sharing resources and tasks, able to tolerate the failure of individual nodes and thus not subjected to single points of failure, and able to scale flexibly. Beyond this simplified operational definition, the choice, by developers and engineers of Internet-based services, to develop these architectures instead of today’s widespread centralized models, has several implications for the daily use of online services and for the rights of Internet users.

All of the conference’s presentation (+Keynotes) were filmed, and part of the debates is now available on a dedicated Dailymotion chanel.2014-10-03 10.10.112014-10-02 12.09.41

 Licence Creative Commons
François Huguet (2014)

Conférence autour des travaux d’Anne-Françoise Schmid

philosophie générique au coeur des sciences contemporaines A F SCHMIDLa philosophie générique au coeur des sciences contemporaines
Conférence autour des travaux d’Anne-Françoise Schmid
23 septembre 2014
Sous le patronage de la chaire
« Théorie et Méthodes de la Conception Innovante » – Centre de Gestion Scientifique – MINES ParisTech

“Des concepts mathématiques à l’obésité, les sciences contemporaines remettent en cause l’ambition de « synthèse » des disciplines. Non seulement les objets ne se prêtent pas à des définitions standard, mais les sciences contemporaines manifestent que les convergences de perspectives disciplinaires ne permettent pas non plus d’assurer un point de vue théorique unifié, mais seulement des trajectoires particulières et multiples. […] L’épistémologie générique s’articule à une éthique comme science des frontières disciplinaires. L’enjeu est de prendre en compte des questions scientifiques majeurs comme « Alzheimer », « climat », « cancer », ainsi que les nouveaux objets créés par les sciences, qui échappent à une vision synthétique et qui se déplacent en permanence.”
Pour plus d’informations

Les organisateurs
Annie Gentes – Codesign Lab, Telecom Paristech,
Paris Chrysos – Institut supérieur de commerce, Paris, chercheur associé Mines – Telecom Paristech,

Final Symposium of the ADAM project

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« Reclaiming the Internet » with distributed architectures: rights, technologies, practices, innovation
The research program ADAM (Distributed Architectures and Multimedia Applications, studies the technical, political, social, socio-cultural and legal implications of distributed network architectures.
The final symposium of the ADAM project, open to disciplines as varied as science and technology studies, information and communication sciences, economics, law and network engineering, aims at investigating these implications in terms of a central issue.

The event took place at Mines ParisTech the 2-3 october 2014. More info here.

Papers presented at the symposium focused on one or more of the following four axes:
• “Back to the origins”? Past and present of distributed architectures
• “(Re-) decentralisation, a sustainable alternative for the Internet ‘ecology’?
• Decentralisation and distribution of skills, rights, control.
• What are the communicational models at stake in decentralised infrastructures and architectures?

2014-10-03 11.15.02-2Annie Gentès & François Huguet presented a paper entitled  “MESH networks as transitive media: users, coders and mediators“.

This article explores, from a media studies perspective, some aspects of the Community Wireless Networks, these organizations that attempt to take a grassroots approach to provide a viable alternative to classic Internet Service Providers (ISP) or municipal wireless networks for consumers.

The papers addresses questions such as “what is the social and political significance of community WiFi projects? How might they contribute to more democratic communications?”. It was presented during the session #3 of the symposium “Futures of decentralization” (with Paris Chrysos [ISC Paris, Mines ParisTech], Christian Sandvig [University of Michigan], Jeffrey Andreoni [Nottingham Trent University] and Valérie Schafer [ISCC- CNRS]).

2014-10-03 11.23.11 copie-2


La Recherche en Design, un Enjeu pour l’Université Paris-Saclay.

La Recherche en Design, un Enjeu pour l’Université Paris-Saclay.
On october 15 and 16 a colloquium took place in ENS (école normale supérieure) de Cachan on design research as a potential issue for Université Paris-Saclay. The project was initiated by the Design department of ENS Cachan to assure its orientation toward research and to question how design can be considered a research field.
During two days, designers, researchers, historians, gathered to give a better look of what is design in context of research, and as itself as a specific research discipline. Subject were discussed going from Inter-disciplinarity (the intervention of a designer in a different field of study or its integration to a scientific laboratory) to the definition of design research methodology.

Make sure to check the program:…
More info:…
More photos :

© Max Mollon

© Max Mollon

© Max Mollon

© Max Mollon


Should we write the methods of design research? (Seminar)

Should we write the methods of design research? (Seminar)

Today, October the 2nd 2014, was the first seminar of “Design en Recherche”, the association of french Ph.D. students and recent doctors – untitled “Should we write the methods of design research?”. Seminar coordinated by Robin de Mourat (Université Rennes 2), Ioana Ocnarescu (École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers ParisTech & Strate), Anne-Lyse Renon (EHESS, CNRS), Marine Royer (EHESS, ENSCI-Les Ateliers).

More informations + flickR album + storify + collective note-taking

This is a brief note to give my personal feedback right away after this event. The overall feeling is great, people are interested, generous and modest. The size of the network and the event makes everybody accessible. The intent was not to provide any deliverable but to bring questions. As Alain Findeli said: in such a short period of time, the young community of french design researchers raised “good questions” – even if they are sometimes a bit simple or straight forward – and that is already encouraging. Soon we will provide a full report including the video of the event, on the website of the association: Stay tuned.








Photos by Max Mollon

Frederic Valentin, PhD Candidate

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Fred – PhD Candidate

Supervision : Annie Gentès



Frédéric Valentin is a PhD candidate in the Codesign Lab at Telecom Paris tech since 2014. Frédéric Graduated from école Boulle in product design and from ENS (école Normale Supérieure) de Cachan.

His researches take interests in the impact of auto-production (both the means of conception and fabrication and the new social context it represent) on the design practice. How to define a design practice in the context of diversity brought by the variety of individual interpretation? What does the end of single-sized production means for design’s conceptual tools? How can a design integrate these new figures of users into its own means of conception?


Anthony Ferretti, Research associate

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Anthony Ferretti – Research associate

Designer and co-founder of Collectif Bam | Research associate in CoDesign & Media Studies Lab, at Telecom ParisTech.


Anthony Ferretti is an associate researcher of the CoDesign & Media Studies Lab at Telecom ParisTech. Graduated from ENSAAMA – Olivier de Serres (MA Industrial Design), and Paris 1 – Sorbonne (MA Design & environments), he is designer and co-founder of Collectif Bam, a designers’ team who creates services, objects, spaces and other applications by collaborative and participatory design. His tools: drawing, volume and words! His research focuses on digital transformations, ICT and practices of design (co-design, critical and ludic design). He works with different profils on various topics like smart grids, connected objects and personal data.

Collectif Bam:

Born in Paris in 2013, this collective leads workshops using tools and methods to help in the reflection and the creating process. Moreover, it imagines how can evolve uses in a collaborative economy, analyses their impacts and create a design closed to the human aspiration. Acting for the openness of the design practice politic, they also work on digital transformations by co-design. Collectif Bam follows firms and associations throughout the development of their projects.

Contact :

External links :

@CollectifBam | Twitter

@Anth_Ferretti | Twitter

Émeline Brulé – PhD Student

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Émeline Brulé – PhD Student

Supervision: Annie Gentès


Since september 2014, Émeline Brulé is a PhD candidate in Media Studies in the Codesign Lab at Telecom ParisTech. She graduated from “École de Recherche Graphique” of Brussels in 2012 and has been working as an interactive designer ever since. She’s also part of EnsadLab, the research laboratory of the “École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs”.

Research Topic:

Her PhD research will focus on the various implications  of the current development of wearables. She will be working, in collaboration with IRIT, in Toulouse, on the ANR project called AccessiMap, on the design of interactive and hybrid maps desting to people living with visual impairement.