Saved by Design? The Case of Legal Protection by Design'

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This discussion note does three things: (1) it explains the notion of ‘legal protection by design’ in relation to data-driven infrastructures that form the backbone of our new ‘onlife world’, (2) it explains how the notion of ‘by design’ relates to the relational nature of what an environment affords its inhabitants, referring to the work of James Gibson, and (3) it explains how this affects our understanding of human capabilities in relation to the affordances of changing environments. Finally, this brief note argues that ‘safer by design’ in the case of nanotechnology will require legal protection by design to make sure that human capabilities are reinvented and sustained in nano-technical environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307–311
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Affordance
  • Capability
  • Computational infrastructures
  • Data-driven architectures
  • Legal protection by design
  • Natural language
  • Rule of Law


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