CELAB organized the 5th Hungarian MLE with Transferlab at MOME

The 5th Hungarian MLE explored synergies between disabilities, neuro-enhancement and design

Piggybacking on the 2015 MozgasTer2 programme of Transferlab at MOME (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design) had the aim to enable students of design to connect with potential users – in this case, people living with disabilities – and to develop methods of inclusive, socially responsible design so as to address social problems. The event was prepared to engage professionals working with people who have disabilities, scientists and social scientists, and with people who, in the future, will be responsible for designing public and private spaces and instruments and tools available for human use. The main issue discussed was how the different areas understood normalcy, illness and enhancement, and whether in this regard any synergies between them could be established and exploited. The common points between the different areas were found in the discussions on general and individual care, generalization and individualization in normative systems, and on universal and inclusive design. There was a broad agreement on the necessity of personal treatment and personal care. However, the different disciplines offered different insights into how the gap between individual needs and generalized science, treatment, care, governance, or design could be bridged.

CELAB

The MLE generated considerable debate on the availability of infrastructures, treatments and care, and on how these could be made more inclusive and what responsibilities we have in changing our own perceptions, actions and environment. The different perceptions of the capabilities of technologies for improving life received a lot of attention. While scientific and technological development was regarded as beneficial overall, advanced science and high-tech solutions were not favoured automatically against traditional science and low-tech solutions. The negative consequences of scientific and technological advancements and the growing human dependency on technologies were clearly identified. It was raised that technological and scientific advances must be treated with caution. It was argued, in particular, that scientific and technological advancement may be limited to certain geographical spaces, and outside of those areas they have much limited relevance. This latter part of the discussion indicated the necessity of a continuing discussion among stakeholders including people responsible for designing our environment and instruments. Their perception of what is wanted and what is desirable may not meet the expectations of users.