CFP: 4S Conference 2015, Panel on technologies of representation

4S Conference 2015 – Denver, Colorado (USA), 11-14 November 2015
Call for Papers for Open Panel
From one thing to another: Technologies of representation in design and making

Panel Chairs:
Arlene Oak, Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta (
Claire Nicholas, Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta (
We would like to invite abstract submissions for an open panel at the 4S Conference (Society for the Social Study of Science) in Denver (11-14 November 2015).  The deadline to submit an individual paper abstract to the conference is March 29, 2015.  When you submit on the conference website, you will be prompted to indicate the panel to which you would like to contribute.  Please email Arlene or Claire if you anticipate submitting an abstract.
Please find the panel abstract below, and the instructions and deadline for submitting the paper abstracts follow.
Open panel #36
From one thing to another: Technologies of representation in design and making
Technologies of visualization are a well-established matter of concern to STS scholars interested in questions of knowledge production and representation (Hacking 1983, Latour and Woolgar 1986, Latour 1990, Kaiser 2005).  Recent work extends this consideration to acoustic technologies (Helmreich 2007, Pinch and Bijsterveld 2004, Roosth 2009).  This panel opens an adjacent conversation in relation to the use of digital and analog media in the design processes of fields such as industrial design, architecture, planning, engineering, and visual communication design.  Here the issues are less about constituting pattern, order, and meaning from scientific data, with the digital/analog question instead highlighting issues of translatability, or “transductivity” (Helmreich 2007, Silverstein 2003) across representational mediums, and in relation to problems of scale and complexity.  It also bears on professional debates on craft, making, and aesthetics.
In this panel we are interested in tracking how designers and others involved in creative processes view these categories through both technical and moral frames: for example, sentimental attachments to hand drawing, making skills, physical materials; or, fascination with the possibilities opened up by digital simulation software.  How do design actors construct category distinctions such as “digital” and “analog,” and link these to questions of scale and complexity, permanence and ephemerality, real and imagined?  We also invite discussions on the uses of and interactions with digital and analog design media in the practices and processes of designing in real time.  What might practices of transmodality (Murphy 2012) —the movement across or play of different semiotic modalities (Keane 2008) —illuminate about the nature of design collaboration and processes, or the social dimensions of innovation and creativity?  This panel brings together ongoing discussions around materiality, media, making and representation with questions of professional ethics and views on the nature and future of design, architecture, and other fields of creative practice.
Description also listed on the Open Panels page of the meeting website.
Submission Instructions:
Individual submission abstracts should be up to 250 words. They should include the main arguments, methodology, and their contribution to the STS literature. Paper titles should not exceed 10 words. Please list five key words to assist the program chair to group individual papers into a session. You may choose to submit your paper abstract to an open panel where you would prefer your paper to be included, or you can leave panel selection to the program chairs.
Submission Deadline: March 29, 2015
More information can be found on the meeting website.

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