La pièce la plus petite

Translated title of the contribution: The Smallest Room

Julian Hanna, James Auger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


What happens when, suddenly, an object in front of us comes to life? How to envision such objects which tend to behave like subjects? Should they be relegated to the rank of parascientific curiosities, paranormal phenomena, surrealistic oddities? Should we consider them as engineering products, appreciate the mimetic feat that brings them to life? Or look at them as works of art, seize the critical openings they bring? Should we take them seriously, like the characters in a moral tale that makes us aware of the need to think about a world inhabited by others? Or, again, should we be afraid of them, like creatures who revolt against their creators, threatening our security, our certainties?

This work brings together a set of texts from different stylistic registers, from narrative to analytical essay, from testimony to dystopia. Constructed as an investigation with several voices, it reveals the potential for fictional and philosophical suggestion of the animation of things, by questioning the persistence of forms of animism within the project of modernity.

In the horizon of a questioning of the anthropocentric foundations of Western culture, these episodes draw another story, which emerges at the border between nature and artifice, between subject and object, between living and non-living, where all these polarities appear suspended by the disturbing strangeness, the dizziness and the doubt that seize us in the face of the behavior of things.
Translated title of the contributionThe Smallest Room
Original languageFrench
Title of host publicationLe Comportement des Choses
Editors Emanuele Quinz
Place of PublicationFrance
PublisherLes presses du réel
ISBN (Print)9782378961497
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Design
  • Design Fiction


Dive into the research topics of 'The Smallest Room'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • REDEMA: Redesigning Madeira

    Auger, J., Hanna, J. & Nunes, N.


    Project: Research project

Cite this