Artful Design: Technology in Search of the Sublime!


What is the nature of design, and the meaning it holds in human life? What does it mean to design well? To design ethically? How can the shaping of technology reflect our values as human beings? This talk explores how we shape technology and how technology shapes all of us in turn. Drawing from Ge Wang's new book on artful design and using music technology as a vehicle, we will examine everyday examples of design – tools, instruments, toys, games and social experiences – while breaking down the design of music programming languages, instruments for laptop orchestra, toy-like mobile phone apps like Ocarina, and social media. This will be a meditation on design for engineers, builders and anyone curious or concerned about shaping of technology – not only what it does for us, but also what it does to us.

About the Speaker

Ge Wang is an associate professor at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He researches artful design of tools, toys, games and social experiences. Ge is the architect of the ChucK music programming language, director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra, co-founder of Smule and designer of the Ocarina and Magic Piano apps for mobile phones. He is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and the author of “Artful design: Technology in search of the sublime,” a photo comic book about the ethics, aesthetics and craft of shaping technology. (

Event Date/Time
Thursday January 24, 2019 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Panofsky Auditorium, B53, 2575 Sand Hill Rd, Menlo Park

SLAC Communications
Phone: 650-926-8703