Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

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Note to Designers: Forget Wearables, Tackle Senseables

Ravi Sawney, CEO of RKS, calls on designers to think about the next stage of personal technology.

Let’s face it: the concept behind wearables—collecting data on oneself—is something people have sought for generations. French philosopher Michel Foucault, for instance, points to the ancient technological development of the hypomnema, a collection of writings one would keep on things one read, heard, saw, or thought throughout the day, which would then be reread in order to better connect to both the world and to, well, oneself. As Foucault explains, “There was a culture of what could be called personal writing…which must be reread from time to time so as to re-actualize their contents.”

So in the tradition of hypnomnema, wearables in their current form, creeping up our arms from wrist to elbow, are just the flavor of the month.

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