Jacques Lafitte

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Jacques Lafitte (1884-1966) was a French civil engineer.

Lafitte's Réflexions sur la science des machines [Reflections on the Science of Machines], published in 1932, suggested a classification of “machines” divided in three general divisions: passive, active and reflex. Passive machines included those human constructions that are independent of a constant flux of exterior energy, such as roads, primitive shelters, poles, bowls: while they do not move, they afford and orient the motion of others either by their form, mass or volume. Gilbert Simondon later considered the awareness of architectural bodies as machines to be Lafitte’s fresh contribution to a philosophy of technique. (Thibault 2013)


  • Réflexions sur la science des machines, Paris: Librairie Bloud & Gay, 1932; Paris: Vrin, 1972, 136 pp. Based on his two earlier essays from 1911 and 1919. (French)


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