Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology

Volume 26, Issue 1, 2022

Cristiano Cordeiro Cruz
Pages 115-146

Decolonial Approaches to Technical Design
Building Other Possible Worlds and Widening Philosophy of Technology

Decolonial approaches to technical design are part of a broader category of design methodologies, which actualize unfulfilled sociotechnical potentialities. In this paper, I present some decolonial theory concepts and discuss three decolonial approaches to illuminate philosophical debates that: 1) Can find in them clear traces of a third set of elements that shape every design/technology, along with the well-analyzed technical-scientific and ethical-political ones. In dialogue with Walter Vincenti and some others, I call these elements structured procedures, imagery lexicon, and aesthetical values, which constitute the central aspects of Eugene Ferguson’s art of engineering; 2) Identify, starting from some Gilbert Simondon’s and Andrew Feenberg’s ideas, any invention as triply situated (in the physical environment, the established sociotechnical reality, and the inventor’s culture and knowledge); 3) Can be taught by these decolonial approaches about some of the mainstream philosophy of technology’s colonial limitations, becoming thus able to widen (or decolonize) it.