About

Stéphane Vial HD full

Stéphane Vial, Ph.D., H.D.R. (*), is an Associate Professor of Design at the University of Nîmes, France. Succeeding Prof. Alain Findeli, he leads the university’s design research as a Co-Founder and Director of the PROJEKT Design Lab, a research center for design and social innovation. He is also a Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of French language international design research journal Sciences du Design, published at Presses Universitaires de France. Dr. Vial works at the intersection of three fields: design research, phenomenology of technology and digital media. His areas of expertise include design theory and design thinking, design research theory and methods, social design and digital social innovation, phenomenology of digital age and digital service design. His current research-through-design projects are concerned with design for mental health and digital academic publishing.

Vial is the author of four books about digital age and design. He has published and presented in international journals and conferences such as Design Studies, She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, the Design Research Society (DRS), the International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR), or the European Academy of Design (EAD). Prior to the University of Nîmes, Vial was a full-time philosophy teacher for design students in Paris at the École Boulle, one of the top 6 product design schools in France, and a part-time lecturer (teaching UX/UI design) in the Interactive Multimedia Master program at the Sorbonne University (in which he still serves). He is also a former Founder and CEO of LEKTUM, a Paris-based web & graphic design studio dedicated to creatives industries, public sector and non-profit.

Contact

(*) “Habilité à Diriger des Recherches”. The award of the French Habilitation is a general requirement for supervising PhD students and applying for Full Professor positions.

Education

  • Ph.D. Philosophy, Paris Descartes University (Paris), 2012
    Dissertation: The Structure of the Digital Revolution
  • Master’s degree Clinical Psychology, Paris Diderot University (Paris), 2005
  • Bachelor’s degree Clinical Psychology, Paris Diderot University (Paris), 2003
  • Master’s degree Philosophy, Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University (Lyon), 1997
  • Bachelor’s degree Philosophy, Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University (Lyon), 1996

Research interests

  • Design Studies
    #philosophy of design
    #design theory
    #design research theory and methods
    #social design
  • Media Studies
    #philosophy of digital media
    #phenomenology of digital age
    #media archaeology
  • Research Through Design
    #digital social innovation
    #digital service design for mental health
    #editorial design
    #digital publishing

Honors, awards and grants

  • (2018-2020). Second fundraising for the journal Sciences du Design (Presses Universitaires de France) from academia and private sector (Université de Nîmes, Head-Genève, L’École de design Nantes Atlantique, Strate École de design, Institut Acte UMR 8218, KEDGE Design School, Orange).
  • (2017, October 31) Invited Participant at the “Design Journal Editors’ Meeting” organized by Mike Zender and Ken Friedman during the 2017 IASDR conference, University of Cincinnati, DAAP, Myron E. Ullman Jr. School of Design, USA.
  • (2017, October 1st). Beneficiary of the PEDR Research and Doctoral Advisory Award [Prime d’Encadrement Doctoral et de Recherche], awarded nationally because of a high level research activity.
  • (2017-2020). Research grant for Doctoral advising from EDF Lab Paris-Saclay (EDF R&D research center). PhD Student: Zoé Bonnardot.
  • (2017, March 1-3). President of the Jury for the National Design Award of Latvia, Riga (Latvia).
  • (2015-2018). Research grant for Doctoral advising from Orange Labs, SENSE unit (Orange research center). PhD Student: Rose Dumesny.
  • (2015, September 22). Invited Participant to a Lunch about Digital Age with French president François Hollande at the Elysée Palace, Paris (France).
  • (2015-2017). First fundraising for the journal Sciences du Design (Presses Universitaires de France) from academia and private sector (Université de Nîmes, Head-Genève, L’École de design Nantes Atlantique, Ensci-Les Ateliers, Strate École de design, Institut Acte UMR 8218).

Publications and outcomes

books

Books

in French

  • Vial, S. (2015). Le design [Design]. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, “Que sais-je ?” series (2nd revised edition 2017, 128 pages).
  • Vial, S. (2013). L’être et l’écran : comment le numérique change la perception [Being and Screen: A Phenomenology of the Digital Age]Paris: Presses Universitaires de France (2nd revised edition 2017, 300 pages).
  • Vial, S. (2010). Court traité du design [Short Treatise on Design]. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France (2nd revised edition 2014, 90 pages). Translated into Swedish (Stockholm: Dolhem), Korean (Séoul: HongC Communication), Chinese (Shanghai: Shanghai Bookstore Publ. House).
  • Vial, S. (2007). Kierkegaard, écrire ou mourir [Kierkegaard, to write or to die]. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, “Perspectives critiques” series (154 pages).

Edited Volumes

in English

  • [forthcoming] Vermaas, P. and Vial, S. (Eds.) (2018). Advancements in the Philosophy of Design. Dordrecht: Springer, “Design Research Foundations” series (500 pages).

in French

Special Issues

in French

  • Darras, B. and Vial, S. (Eds.) (2017). Design et communicationMEI : Médiation Et Information, n° 40 (Paris: L’Harmattan).
  • Vial, S. and Findeli, A. (Eds.) (2015). Quelles sciences du design ?Sciences du Design, 01, May 2015 (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France).

Book Chapters

in English

  • [forthcoming] Vial, S. (2018). Ontophany Theory: Historical Phenomenology of Technology and Digital Age. In Bensaude-Vincent, B., Guchet, X., Loeve, S. (Eds.), French Philosophy of Technology. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Vial, S. (2017), “The Project, or the Specificity of Design Thinking”, in Darbellay, F., Moody, Z., Lubart, T. (eds), Creativity, Design Thinking and Interdisciplinarity. Dordrecht: Springer < http://www.springer.com/us/book/9789811075230 >

in French

  • Vial, S. (2016). Voir et percevoir à l’ère numérique : théorie de l’ontophanie. In Carbone, M., Bodini, J., Dalmasso, A. C. (Eds.) (2016), Vivre par(mi) les écrans (pp. 63-85). Dijon: Les Presses du Réel, “Perceptions” series.
  • Vial, S. (2016). L’image numérique : du virtuel à l’ontophanie. In Fourmentraux, J.-P. (Ed.), Digital Stories (pp. 135-149). Paris: Hermann, “Cultures numériques” series.
  • Vial, S. (2016). La fin des frontières entre réel et virtuel : vers le monisme numérique. In Hachour, H., Bouhaï, N., Saleh, I. (Eds.) (2016), Frontières numériques et artefacts (pp. 135-146). Paris: L’Harmattan, “Local et Global” series.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

in English

in French

  • Vial, S. (2016). Le tournant design des humanités numériques. Revue française des sciences de l’information et de la communication, no. 8, online, March 29, 2016.
  • Vial, S. (2015). Qu’est-ce que la recherche en design ? Introduction aux sciences du design. Sciences du Design, 01, May 2015, 20-34.
  • Vial, S. (2014). De la spécificité du projet en design : une démonstration. Communication & Organisation, no. 46, 17-32.
  • Vial, S. (2014). Le design, un acte de communication. Hermès, n° 70, 174-180.
  • Vial, S. (2014). Pour introduire le ‘playsir’ : pourquoi les appareils numériques sont ‘ludogènes’. Interfaces numériques, vol. 3/1, 149-161.
  • Vial, S. (2014). Critique du virtuel : en finir avec le dualisme numérique. Psychologie clinique, no. 37, 2014/1, 38-51.
  • Vial, S. (2014). Ce que le numérique change à autrui : introduction à la fabrique phénoménotechnique de l’altérité. Hermès, n° 68, 151-157.
  • Vial, S. (2014). Contre le virtuel : une déconstruction. MEI : Médiation et information, no. 37, 177-188.
  • Vial, S. (2013). Design et création : esquisse d’une philosophie de la modélisation. Wikicreation : l’encyclopédie de la création et de ses usages, Institut ACTE UMR 8218 (Univ. Paris 1 Sorbonne, CNRS) / LabEx CAP.
  • Vial, S. (2013). Le geste de design et son effet : vers une philosophie du design. Figures de l’art, n° 25, 93-105.
  • Vial, S. (2012). Qu’appelle-t-on design numérique ?. Interfaces numériques, vol. 1/1, 91-106.
  • Vial, S. (2010). Il était une fois pp7 ou la naissance d’un groupe sur l’Internet : retour sur la socialisation en ligne d’une communauté étudiante. Réseaux, n° 164, 51-70.

Proceedings

in English

  • Catoir-Brisson, M.-J., Vial, S., Deni, M., Watkin, T. (2016). From the specificity of the project in design to social innovation by design: a contribution. In P. Lloyd and E. Bohemia (Eds.), Proceedings of DRS2016: Design + Research + Society – Future-Focused Thinking, Volume 6 (pp. 2287-2300). DOI: 10.21606/drs.2016.143.
  • Vial, S. (2013, August 26-30). Designers and paradoxical injunctions : how designerly ways of thinking are faced with contradiction. Paper presented at the 5th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR 2013), Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan.

in French

  • Vial, S. (2014 November 18-19). La fin des frontières numériques : vers le monisme numérique. Paper presented at the international conference Frontières Numériques, Université Paris 8 & ESISA, Fes, Morocco.
  • Vial, S. (2011, November 14-16). Le processus créatif en design : à propos du travail du designer. Paper presented at the 7th conference of Les Ateliers de la Recherche en Design (ARD7), Université de la Manouba, Tunis, Tunisia.

Invited Lectures or Keynote Speaker

in English

  • Vial, S. (2017, October 30). What is the “social” in social design?. Presentation and workshop at the faculty seminar “Untangling Social Design” organized by Prof. Sébastien Proulx, The Ohio State University, Department of Design, Columbus, USA.
  • Vial, S. (2017, October 26). Being and Screen: a Phenomenology of the Digital Age. Special Guest Lecture within Prof. Sébastien Proulx’s course “Designing in the Face of Uncertainty”, The Ohio State University, Department of Design, Columbus, USA.
  • Vial, S. (2017, October 23). Being and Screen: a Phenomenology of the Digital Age. Special Guest Lecture within Prof. Babette Babich’s course “Philosophy and Digital Media”, Fordham University, New York, USA.
  • Vial, S. (2017, July 5). Being in the World in the Digital Age: a Phenomenology of Technology and Design. Closing Keynote for the symposium “Creativity, cognition and design” at the 4th Congreso Iberoamericano de Filosofía de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (“Cultura científica y cultura tecnológica”), Salamanca, Spain.
  • Vial, S. (2016, September 26). Ontophany Theory: Historical Phenomenology of Technology and the Digital Age. Invited lecture at the Departement of Philosophy of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Delft, The Netherlands.

in French

  • Vial, S. (2017, April 13). Être et naître à l’ère numérique. Invited lecture at the seminair GSICA of the lab LLSETI and master “Création Numérique”, Université Savoie Mont Blanc, Chambéry, France.
  • Vial, S. (2017, February 14). Percevoir à l’ère numérique : de l’écran à l’écrit. Invited lecture at the School of Design of Laval University, Québec city, Canada.
  • Vial, S. (2017, February 9). Percevoir à l’ère numérique : une approche phénoménologique. Invited lecture at the seminar of the ALN/NT2 lab (Chaire de recherche du Canada sur les arts et les littératures numériques et Laboratoire de recherche sur les œuvres hypermédiatiques), within the research group “Archiver le présent”, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Canada.
  • Vial, S. (2016, October 18). Le selfie, une autophanie. Invited lecture at the symposium Eg/o/nline : le selfie co-chaired by Agathe Lichtenzstein and François Soulages, Université Paris 8, Saint-Denis, France.
  • Vial, S. (2016, October 6-7). Reconception de la conception : la pensée-design aujourd’hui. Invited lecture at the conference La conception d’un artefact: approches ergonomiques et didactiques, Haute école pédagogique du canton de Vaud, Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • Vial, S. (2016, May 18-19). De l’écran à l’écrit. Opening Keynote at the 7th ÉcriTech’ conference about Le numérique : pratiques d’écriture nouvelles et plurielles, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, Nice, France.
  • Vial, S. (2016, May 14). Percevoir à l’ère numérique. Invited lecture at the conference La figure au temps du numérique : soi, moi, self, l’autre ?, Galerie Duchamp, Yvetôt, France.
  • Vial, S. (2015, October 21-24). L’originalité épistémologique du design. Invited lecture at the 10th conference of Les Ateliers de la Recherche en Design (ARD 10), School of Design of the Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada.
  • Vial, S. (2015, June 5). Naî(ê)tre au monde à l’ère numérique. Opening Keynote at the 5th conference Échanger Pour Apprendre en Ligne (EPAL), Université Stendhal-Grenoble 3, Grenoble, France.
  • Vial, S. (2015, January 26-27). D’un savoir du design : l’originalité épistémologique du design. Invited lecture at the conference Le design : une nouvelle culture ?, Université d’Angers, Angers, France.
  • Vial, S. (2013, November 21-23). Contre la dissolution du design dans l’art contemporain : défense et illustration du geste de design. Invited lecture at the conference Le design dans l’art contemporain, CAPC/Musée d’Aquitaine/Cap sciences, Université de Bordeaux 3, Bordeaux, France.

Conference presentations and panels

in English

  • Vial, S. (2014, June 12-14). What is called ‘Social Design’?. Presentation at the 5th STS Italia Conference A Matter of Design : Making Society through Science and Technology, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy.
  • Stimler, N. et Vial, S. (2014, April 26). Digital monism : our mode of being at the nexus of life, digital media and art. Presentation at the Theorizing the Web 2014 conference (TtW14), New York city, USA.
  • Vial, S. (2013, July 4-6). Digital revolution as a phenomenological revolution : introduction to digital ‘ontophany’. Presentation at the 18th International Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, SPT 2013 – Technology in the Age of Information, ISEG, Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Vial, S. (2013, March 1-2). There is no difference between the ‘real’ and the ‘virtual’ : a brief phenomenology of digital revolution. Presentation at the Theorizing the Web 2013 conference (TtW13), The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York city, USA.

in French

  • Vial, S. (2016, December 2). Pédagogie du design, design de la pédagogie. Presentation at the symposium on education at ESPE-LR, Faculté d’Éducation de Montpellier, Montpellier, France.
  • Vial, S. (2015, October 16-17). Le geste d’écrire à l’ère numérique : performation et ontophanie de l’écriture. Presentation at the conference La Science du Mot / The Science of Words, Department of French, University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada.
  • Vial, S and Rinato Y. (2015, June 9). 2DH, Design & Digital Humanities : le design comme méthode pour les Humanités Numériques ?. Presentation at the THAT Camp Paris 2015, Paris, France.
  • Vial, S. (2014, June 26). Qu’est-ce qu’écouter ? Ontophanie et design de l’attention à l’ère numérique. Presentation at the 9th Journées du e-learning conference, Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, Lyon, France.
  • Vial, S. (2014, May 15). La participation pour la démocratie : Internet, la désintermédiation et les techniques du politique. Presentation at the 82nd ACFAS conference, 7th symposiumon citizen participation La participation contre la démocratie, Concordia University, Montréal, Canada.
  • Vial, S. (2012, December 8). Pour introduire le ‘playsir’ : pourquoi les appareils numériques sont ‘ludogènes’. Presentation at the conference Jeu et Jouabilité à l’ère Numérique, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Institut ACTE UMR 8218, Paris, France.
  • Vial S. (2012, May 11). La philosophie de la technologie à l’heure du design : vers une nouvelle culture de recherche ?. Presentation at the symposium Imaginaires, technologies, sociétés, hosted by ETOS/CERSES/ESAD/INSIEE for SIANA festival, Évry, France.
  • Vial, S. (2012, April 12). De l’accélération du temps à l’heure de la révolution numérique : nature et formes de la temporalité technique. Presentation at the doctoral symposium Penser, vivre et dire le temps, École Doctorale 180, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France.
  • Vial, S. (2011, October 18). La part du désir et du rêve dans l’innovation. Presentation at the symposium Innovation et design numérique, hosted by École de Design Nantes Atlantique et Observatoire des Mondes Numériques en Sciences Humaines, Nantes, France.
  • Vial, S. (2011, May 12). Du design au design numérique : petites inquiétudes théoriques. Presentation at the symposium L’imaginaire de la technologie, SIANA festival, Évry, France.
  • Vial, S. (2010, June 1st). L’idée de design numérique : approche critique. Presentation at the symposium PraTIC Design numérique : discours et réalités, hosted by Gobelins/ École de l’image, Université Paris 8 and Observatoire des Mondes Numériques en Sciences Humaines, Paris, France.

Conference Chair or Track Convenor

  • (June 25-28, 2018) Co-convenor of the track “Philosophical tools in Design Research: From empirical turn to practical”, DRS 2018 Conference “Catalyst”, Limerick (Ireland).
  • (2018, April 30-May 1st) Conference Co-Chair, 2nd international conference ECRiDiL “Écrire, éditer, lire à l’ère numérique”: le livre, défi de design. Montréal (Canada).
  • (upcoming) (2018, March 28-29) Conference Co-Chair with Marcello Vitali-Rosati, L’auteur à l’ère numérique (The Author in the Digital Age). Canada Research Chair “Digital Textualities” and PROJEKT research center for design and social innovation. University of Nîmes, Nîmes (France).
  • (2017, May 17) Symposium Co-Chair with Jérôme Dupont, Pédagogie du design, design de la pédagogie. PROJEKT research center for design and social innovation. University of Nîmes, Nîmes (France).
  • (2016, April 12-13) Conference Co-Chair with Marie-Julie Catoir-Brisson, 1st international conference ECRiDiL “Écrire, éditer, lire à l’ère numérique”: Design et innovation dans la chaîne du livre. University of Nîmes and Carré d’Art Bibliothèques, Nîmes (France).
  • (2015, October 22) Track Convenor “Philosophie du design“, 10th international conference of Les Ateliers de la Recherche en Design (ARD 10). School of Design, Université de Montréal, Montréal (Canada).
  • (2015, October 17) Track Convenor “Canadiana”, international conference La Science du Mot / The Science of Words. Department of French, University of Victoria, Victoria (Canada).
  • (2015, April, 22-24) Track Chair “Design Theory, Design Philosophy”, 11th International European Academy of Design Conference (EAD11) The Value of Design Research, Paris (France).
  • (2014, October 8) Conference Co-Chair with Prof. Fabio La Rocca, Design & imaginaire. University of Nîmes and Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 University, Nîmes (France).
  • (2012, December 8) Conference Co-Chair with Prof. Bernard Darras, Jeu et Jouabilité à l’ère Numérique, Sorbonne University Paris 1, Acte Institute, Paris (France).

Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sciences du Design (PUF)
Sciences du Design Stéphane Vial 3

Co-Founder and Director of the PROJEKT Design Lab (UNÎMES)PROJEKT Stéphane Vial

TV interview

Watch the video below for an overview of Dr. Vial’s theory of digital age (French only)

Innovative teaching

In order to engage students, Dr. Vial is constantly experimenting with new pedagogies, such as:

  • Lectures in studio format

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  • Design sprint in studio class

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  • Peer assessment workshops

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