Technologies are always more than the sum of their mechanical parts. Indeed, technologies are entangled in symbolic forms of a social and cultural nature. Technologies also contribute to the construction of new worldviews and new forms of life. Technological imaginaries are far more than phantasies detached from technological innovation. They are at the heart of innovation itself, of the invention as well as of the implementation and use of technology in our societies.
Technological imaginaries are embodied in the technologies themselves, as well as in norms and social and cultural practices. Technological imaginaries are often crystallized in scientific and non-scientific texts, documents, sounds, and images. They are always distributed on an axis that goes from ideology to utopia. At times, they serve to defend and strengthen the social and cultural status quo. At other times, they announce state of affairs that are not yet present – or never will be. In short, the notion of technological imaginaries places technologies within a wider world, made of nature and matter, but also language, images, ideas, institutions, symbols, intuitions, and dreams.