With the goal of articulating “the material and epistemic conditions under which the design fields labor,” Design Technics aptly positions itself within the modern tradition of inquiry into architecture, technology, and civilization, one forged by luminaries such as Lewis Mumford, Sigfried Giedion, and Reyner Banham. With its original and provocative essays, Design Technics extends this tradition in its conviction that technics “might be the most promising arena for a theoretical line of inquiry in the discipline” (ix).

However, as engaging as the contributions are, it is difficult to concur with coeditor Zeynep Çelik Alexander’s further claim that each essay “summons a different kind of archive and excavates it using a slightly different method, but each begins with a single technique, which is then historicized in the hopes of shedding light on concepts and practices that are used in the design studio today” (xii). On the contrary, the essays are vastly...

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