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robertogreco : koertvanmensvoort   3

How design fiction imagines future technology – Jon Turney – Aeon
"As technological choices become ever more complex, design fiction, not science, hints at the future we actually want"



"Design fiction’s efforts to create imaginative realisations of technology, which consciously try to evoke discussion that avoids polarising opinion, have a key ingredient, I think. Unlike the new worlds of sci-fi novels, or the ultra-detailed visuals of futuristic cinema, their stories are unfinished. Minority Report is not about critical design because its narrative is closed. In good design fiction, the story is merely hinted at, the possibilities left open. It is up to the person who stumbles across the design to make sense of how it might be part of a storied future."



Design fiction’s proponents want to craft products and exhibits that are not open to this simplified response, that fire the imagination in the right way. That means being not too fanciful, not simply dystopian, and not just tapping into clichéd science‑fictional scripts. When it works, design fiction brings something new into debates about future technological life, and involves us – the users – in the discussion."



"As design fiction comes to be recognised as a distinctive activity, it will continue to find new forms of expression. The US design theorist Julian Bleecker of the Near Future Laboratory suggests that the TBD Catalog with its realistic depictions of fictional products models a different way of innovating, in which designers ‘prototype and test a near future by writing its product descriptions, filing bug reports, creating product manuals and quick reference guides to probable improbable things’. The guiding impulse is to assist us in imagining a new normality. Design and artistic practice can both do that.

Design fictions are not a panacea for some ideal future of broad participation in choosing the ensemble of technologies that we will live with. Most future technologies will continue to arrive as a done deal, despite talk among academics of ‘upstream engagement’ or – coming into fashion – instituting ‘responsible research and innovation’. The US Department of Defense, for instance, and its lavishly-funded, somewhat science-fictional Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has an extensive catalogue of research and development (R&D) projects on topics from robotics to neural enhancement, selected according to a single over-riding criterion: might they give the USA a military advantage in future? DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office tells us, in a ghastly combination of sales talk and bureaucratese, that it is ‘looking for the best innovators from all fields who have an idea for how to leverage bio+tech to solve seemingly impossible problems and deliver transformative impact’. Here, as in other fields, military, security and much commercial R&D will probably go its own way, and we’ll get weaponised biology whether we like it or not.

For the rest, though, there is a real contribution to be made through a playful, freewheeling design practice, open to many new ideas, and which is technically informed but not constrained by immediate feasibility. There are already enough examples to show how design fiction can invite new kinds of conversations about technological futures. Recognising their possibilities can open up roads not taken.

Design fiction with a less critical (and more commercial) edge will continue to appeal to innovative corporations anxious to configure new offerings to fit better with as yet undefined markets. Their overriding aim is to reduce the chances of an innovation being lost in the ‘valley of death’ between a bright idea and a successful product that preys on the minds of budget-holders.

But the greatest potential of this new way of working is as a tool for those who want to encourage a more important debate about possible futures and their technological ingredients. This is the debate we’re still too often not having, about how to harness technological potential to improve the chances of us living the lives we wish for."
design  designfiction  2105  jonturney  technology  science  participatory  future  complexity  debate  futures  potential  howwelive  lcproject  openstudioproject  darpa  scifi  sciencefiction  change  nearfuturelaboratory  julianbleecker  tbdcatalog  fiction  prototyping  art  imagination  tinkeringwiththefuture  paulgrahamraven  alexandraginsberg  christinapagapis  sisseltolaas  syntheticbiology  alexiscarrel  frederikpohl  cyrilkornbluth  margaretatwood  anthonydunne  fionaraby  dunne&raby  koertvanmensvoort  hendrik-jangrievink  arthurcclarke  davidnye  julesverne  hgwells  martincooper  startrek  johnunderkoffler  davidkirby  aldoushuxley  bravenewworld  minorityreport  jamesauger  jimmyloizeau  worldbuilding  microworldbuilding  thenewnormal 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Conditional Design: Workbook: Andrew Blauvelt, Koert Van Mensvoort: 9789078088585: Amazon.com: Books
[Book website: http://workbook.conditionaldesign.org/ ]
[See also: http://conditionaldesign.org/archive/ and
http://conditionaldesign.org/ and
http://conditionaldesign.org/pages/about-us/ ]

""Conditional Design" is the name of a new design ethos formulated by graphic designers Luna Maurer, Jonathan Puckey and Roel Wouters, and artist Edo Paulus. It espouses a working method that involves drawing up arbitrary constraints and rules of play, fostering both a strongly collaborative spirit and unpredictable end results. Conditional Design provides beautifully simple ideas for open, collaborative processes in art and design. Its workbook format organizes the material step by step, and the publication as a whole provides exciting ways for others--groups of children as well as artists and designers--to apply the method themselves. In accompanying essays, Andrew Blauvelt elaborates on the implications of such processes for art and design, and Koert van Mensvoort describes how Conditional Design could form the basis for the design and organization of the city of Zhiango, China, in 2050."
design  conditionaldesign  play  lunamaurer  jonathanpuckey  roelwouters  edopaulus  moniker  collaboration  art  openstudioproject  classideas  lcproject  andrewblauvelt  koertvanmensvoort  zhiango  chinaprocess  howwework  organization  2014  contraints  rules  unpredictability  children  books  toread  wcydwt 
february 2014 by robertogreco
halloween-in-january: FRIEZE | NON-LINEAR READING
"With all its formal acrobatics, I Read Where I Am nevertheless enables one to easily scan, leaf or browse—in a word, to watch it. This experience is akin to reading websites & online forums: we process content instead of getting immersed in it; we receive an impression instead of absorbing it. Whether this makes the volume a dubious design construct, or one par excellence, is another question. Either way, it is a sign of the times. For artist Koert van Mensvoort…reading like this – by comparing and linking ambient visual stimuli – creates something of new significance. Before the media existed, Van Mensvoort writes in his essay ‘Reading Surroundings’, ‘we read the landscape, the skies, the tracks in the sand of the prey we were hunting […] In other words, we read our surroundings, in which symbols coincide with events & things.’ According to him, this new kind of reading has a future on the Internet where context, again, is content."

[See: http://frieze.com/issue/article/books2027/ ]
ingoniermann  borisgroys  non-linear  non-linearreading  information  ireadwhereiam  minkekampman  geertlovink  miekegerritzen  koertvanmensvoort  books  scanning  howweread  reading  2012  jennasutela  nonlinear  alinear  linearity 
may 2012 by robertogreco

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