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Anne Galloway 'Speculative Design and Glass Slaughterhouses' - This is HCD
"Andy: You’ve got quite an interesting background. I’m going to ask you about in a second. I wanted to start with the quote from Ursula Le Guin that you have on your website. It’s from the Lathe of Heaven. “We’re in the world, not against it. It doesn’t work to try and stand outside things and run them that way, it just doesn’t work. It goes against life. There is a way, but you have to follow it, the world is, no matter how we think it ought to be, you have to be with it, you have to let it be.

Then on the More Than Human website, you have these three questions. What if we refuse to uncouple nature and culture? What if we deny that human beings are exceptional? What if we stop speaking and listening only to ourselves? The More Than Human lab explores everyday entanglements of humans and non-humans and imagines more sustainable ways of thinking, making, and doing. Anne, let’s get started by first talking about what do you mean by all of that?

Anne: The Ursula Le Guin quote I love mostly because a critical perspective or an activist perspective, anything that says we ought to be changing the world in any way, it always assumes that we need to fix something, that the world is broken and that designers especially are well-suited to be able to solve some of these problems. I like thinking about what it means to respond to injustice by accepting it, not in the sense of believing that it’s okay or right, because clearly, it’s been identify as unjust. I love Le Guin’s attention to the fact that there is a way to be in the world.

As soon as we think that we’re outside of it, any choices or decisions or actions that we take are, well, they sit outside of it as well. I like being embedded in the trouble. I like Donna Haraway’s idea of staying with the trouble. It’s not that we have to accept that things are problematic, but rather that we have to work within the structures that already exist. Not to keep them that way, in fact, many should be dismantled or changed. Rather, to accept that there is a flow to the universe.

Of course, Le Guin was talking about Taoism, but here what I wanted to draw attention to is often our imperative to fix or to solve or to change things comes with a belief that we’re not part of the world that we’re trying to fix and change. It’s that that I want to highlight. That when we start asking difficult questions about the world, we can never remove ourselves from them. We’re complicit, we are on the receiving end of things. We’re never distant from it. I think that subtle but important shift in deciding how we approach our work is really important."



"Andy: Yes, okay. I was thinking about this, I was reading, in conjunction, this little Le Guin quote, I was trying to think, it’s unusual in the sense that it’s a discipline or a practice of design that uses its own practice to critique itself. It’s using design to critique design in many respects. A lot of what speculative design is talking about is, look what happens when we put stuff into the world, in some way, without much thought. I was trying to think if there was another discipline that does that. I think probably in the humanities there are, and certainly in sociology I think there probably is, where it uses its own discipline to critique itself. It’s a fairly unusual setup.

Anne: I would think actually it’s quite common in the humanities, perhaps the social sciences, where it’s not common is in the sciences. Any reflexive turn in any of the humanities would have used the discipline. Historiography is that sort of thing. Applied philosophy is that sort of thing. Reflexive anthropology is that sort of thing. I think it’s actually quite common, just not in the sciences, and design often tries to align itself with the sciences instead.

Andy: Yes, there was a great piece in the Aeon the other day, about how science doesn’t have an adequate description or explanation for consciousness. Yet, it’s the only thing it can be certain of. With that, it also doesn’t really seem to come up in the technology industry that much, because it’s so heavily aligned with science. Technology, and you’ve got this background in culture studies and science and technology and society, technology is a really strong vein throughout speculative design. Indeed, your work, right? Counting sheep is about the Internet of Things, and sheep. Do you want to tell us a little bit about that and why I am talking to you from the picture things to the Lord of the Rings, it basically looks like you’re living in part of the Shire in Middle Earth?

Anne: I do live in a place that looks remarkably like the Shire. It’s a bit disconcerting at times. The science and technology question in speculative design I think is first of all a matter of convenience. Science fiction, speculation, they lean historically, habitually towards science and tech. It becomes an easy target for critique. Not that it’s not necessary, but it’s right there, so why not? There’s that element to it. It has an easier ability to be transformed into something fanciful or terrifying, which allows for certain kinds of storytelling through speculation, that I think people, both creators and audiences or readers really enjoy.

Now, the irony of all of this, of course is that arguably one of the greatest concerns that people have would be tied to technological determinism, the idea that we’re going to have these technologies anyway, so what are we going to do about it? Now, when you speculate using these technologies, what you’re doing is actually reinforcing the idea that these technologies are coming, you play right into the same technological determinism that you’re trying to critique. In fact, one of the counting sheep scenarios was designed specifically to avoid the technology. It was the one that got the most positive responses."



"Andy: With all of this, and I may this pop at the beginning, just before we were recording, that there’s a sense of, because of everything going on in the world, that if only designers could run the world, everything would be fine, right, because we can see all of the solutions to everything. What would you want designers to get out of this kind of work or this kind of perspective?

Anne: Humility. That simple. I am one of those people. It’s because of being an ethnographer as well and doing participant observation and interviewing many people and their ideas about design. I’ve run into far more people who think that designers are arrogant than ones who don’t. This has always really interested me. What is it that designers do that seems to rub non-designers the wrong way? Part of it is this sense of, or implication that they know better than the rest of us, or that a designer will come in and say, “Let me fix your problem”, before even asking if there is a problem that the person wants fixed.

I actually gave a guest lecture in a class just the other day, where I suggested that there were people in the world who thought that designers were arrogant. One of the post-graduate students in the class really took umbrage at this and wanted to know why it was that designers were arrogant for offering to fix problems, but a builder wasn’t, or a doctor wasn’t.

Andy: What was your answer?

Anne: Well, my answer was, generally speaking, people go to them first and say, “I have this problem, I need help.” Whereas, designers come up with a problem, go find people that they think have it and then tell them they’d like to solve it. I think just on a social level, that is profoundly anti-social. That is not how people enjoy socially interacting with people.

Andy: I can completely see that and I think that I would say that argument has also levelled, quite rightly, a lot of Silicon Valley, which is the answer to everything is some kind of technology engineering startup to fix all the problems that all the other technology and engineering startups that are no longer startups have created. It’s probably true of quite a lot of areas of business and finance, as well, and politics, for that matter. The counter, I could imagine a designer saying, “Well, that’s not really true”, because one of the things as human-centred designers, the first thing we do, we go out, we do design ethnography, we go and speak to people, we go and observe, we go and do all of that stuff. We really understand their problems. We’re not just telling people what needs to be fixed. We’re going there and understanding things. What’s your response to that?

Anne: Well, my first response is, yes, that’s absolutely true. There are lots of very good designers in the world who do precisely that. Because I work in an academic institution though, I’m training students. What my job involves is getting the to the point where they know the difference between telling somebody something and asking somebody something. what it means to actually understand their client or their user. I prefer to just refer to them as people. What it is that people want or need. One of the things that I offer in all of my classes is, after doing the participant observation, my students always have the opportunity to submit a rationale for no design intervention whatsoever.

That’s not something that is offered to people in a lot of business contexts because there’s a business case that’s being made. Whereas, I want my students to understand that sometimes the research demonstrates that people are actually okay, and that even if they have little problems, they’re still okay with that, that people are quite okay with living with contradictions and that they will accept some issues because it allows for other things to emerge. That if they want, they can provide the evidence for saying, “Actually, the worst thing we could do in this scenario is design anything and I refuse to design.”

Andy: Right, that and the people made trade-offs all the time because of the pain of change is much … [more]
annegalloway  design  2019  speculativefiction  designethnography  morethanhuman  ursulaleguin  livestock  agriculture  farming  sheep  meat  morethanhumanlab  activism  criticaldesign  donnaharaway  stayingwiththetrouble  taoism  flow  change  changemaking  systemsthinking  complicity  catherinecaudwell  injustice  justice  dunneandraby  consciousness  science  technology  society  speculation  speculativedesign  questioning  fiction  future  criticalthinking  whatif  anthropology  humanities  reflexiveanthropology  newzealand  socialsciences  davidgrape  powersoften  animals  cows  genevievebell  markpesce  technologicaldeterminism  dogs  cats  ethnography  cooperation  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  slow  slowness  time  perception  psychology  humility  problemsolving  contentment  presence  peacefulness  workaholism  northamerica  europe  studsterkel  protestantworkethic  labor  capitalism  passion  pets  domestication 
june 2019 by robertogreco
The Soul of Web 2.0 | the human network
"This is the essential starting point for any discussion of what the Web is, what it is becoming, and how it should be presented. The individual, with their needs, their passions, their opinions, their desires and their goals is always paramount. We tend to forget this, or overlook it, or just plain ignore it. We design from a point of view which is about what we have to say, what we want to present, what we expect to communicate. It’s not that that we should ignore these considerations, but they are always secondary. The Web is a ground for being. Individuals do not present themselves as receptacles to be filled. They are souls looking to be fulfilled. This is as true for children as for adults – perhaps more so – and for this reason the educational Web has to be about space and place for being, not merely the presentation of a good-looking set of data."

[via: http://willrichardson.posterous.com/quote-of-the-day-mark-pesce ]
markpesce  sharing  internet  socialnetworking  social  iteration  regulation  contribution  connecting  open  facebook  twitter  web  online  openness  williamgibson  streetuse  design  user-centered  self-directedlearning  communication  existence  edtech 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Paperworks / Padworks | the human network
"We know that children learn by exploration – that’s the foundation of Constructivism – but we forget that we ourselves also learn by exploration. The joy we feel when we play with our new toy is the feeling a child has when he confronts a box of LEGOs, or new video game – it’s the joy of exploration, the joy of learning. That joy is foundational to us. If we didn’t love learning, we wouldn’t be running things around here. We’d still be in the trees."
education  future  ipad  paper  sharing  technology  web  markpesce  gmail  google  cloudcomputing  computing  play  constructivism  twitter  facebook  dropbox  paperless  learning  unschooling  deschooling  2010  schools  tcsnmy  curriculum  wikipedia  cloud  lego 
august 2010 by robertogreco
The Unfinished Project: Exploration, Learning and Networks | the human network
"There is no authority anywhere. Either we do this ourselves, or it will not happen. We have to look to ourselves, build the networks between ourselves, reach out and connect from ourselves, if we expect to be able to resist a culture which wants to turn the entire human world into candy. This is not going to be easy; if it were, it would have happened by itself. Nor is it instantaneous. Nothing like this happens overnight. Furthermore, it requires great persistence. In the ideal situation, it begins at birth and continues on seamlessly until death. In that sense, this connected educational field mirrors and is a reflection of our human social networks, the ones we form from our first moments of awareness. But unlike that more ad-hoc network, this one has a specific intent: to bring the child into knowledge."

[mentioned: http://weblogg-ed.com/2010/opportunity-not-threat/ ]
markpesce  curriculum  education  teaching  technology  authority  learning  schools  networks  networkedlearning  socialnetworks  informallearning  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  constructivism  tcsnmy  pedagogy 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Digital Citizenship | the human network
"the younger generation has different values where the privacy of personal information is concerned, but even they have limits they want to respect & circles of intimacy they want to defend. Showing them how to reinforce their privacy with technology is a good place to start in any discussion of digital citizenship. Similarly, before a child is given a computer – either at home or in school – it must be accompanied by instruction in the power of the network. A child may have a natural facility with the network without having any sense of the power of the network as an amplifier of capability. It’s that disconnect which digital citizenship must bridge. It’s not my role to be prescriptive. I’m not going to tell you to do this or that particular thing, or outline a five-step plan to ensure that the next generation avoid ruining their lives as they come online. This is a collective problem which calls for a collective solution. Fortunately, we live in an era of collective technology."

[video here: http://blog.futurestreetconsulting.com/?p=141 ]
markpesce  education  learning  pedagogy  children  tcsnmy  computers  laptops  mobile  phones  constructivism  digitalcitizenship  socialmedia  etiquette  networkliteracy  literacy  future 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Inflection Points | the human network
"Make no mistake, this inflection point in education is going inevitably going to cross the gap between tertiary and secondary school and students. Students will be able to do for themselves in ways that were never possible before. None of this means that the teacher or even the administrator has necessarily become obsolete. But the secondary school of the mid-21st century may look a lot more like a website than campus. The classroom will have a fluid look, driven by the teacher, the students and the subject material.
markpesce  education  itunes  ratemyteachers  ratemyprofessors  ratemylectures  alacarteeducation  universities  colleges  explodingschool  teaching  learning  gamechanging  lcproject  tcsnmy  network  itunesu  students  online  internet  1to1  laptops  australia  lifelonglearning  unschooling  deschooling  elearning  e-learning  onlinelearning  self-directedlearning  1:1 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Fluid Learning | the human network
"What’s most interesting about the computer is how it puts paid to all of our cherished fantasies of control. The computer – or, most specifically, the global Internet connected to it – is ultimately disruptive, not just to the classroom learning experience, but to the entire rationale of the classroom, the school, the institution of learning. And if you believe this to be hyperbolic, this story will help to convince you." ... "In this near future world, students are the administrators. All of the administrative functions have been “pushed down” into a substrate of software. Education has evolved into something like a marketplace, where instructors “bid” to work with students."
education  learning  future  socialnetworking  curriculum  crowdsourcing  networkedlearning  connectivism  laptops  pedagogy  networks  control  administration  leadership  management  open  sharing  gamechanging  flattening  e-learning  web2.0  community  freelanceteaching  organization  lcproject  universities  colleges  markpesce 
december 2008 by robertogreco
the human network » Blog Archive » Hyperpolitics (American Style) [video here: http://blog.futurestreetconsulting.com/?p=62]
"We are built to observe & reproduce the behaviors of our parents, mentors & peers...hyperconnectivity produces hypermimesis...unprecedented acceleration of natural processes of observational learning"
politics  democracy  hyperconnectivity  hypermimesis  convergence  networks  mobile  phones  network  governance  future  internet  society  markpesce  observation  learning  culture  human  gamechanging  world  global  history  web 
july 2008 by robertogreco
the human network » Blog Archive » The Nuclear Option
"Twitter...acts as my 21st-century brain trust...The street, ever watchful, will find new uses for it, uses that corporations, governments and institutions of every stripe will find incredibly distasteful, chaotic, and impossible to manage."
twitter  markpesce  networks  change  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  gamechanging  power 
may 2008 by robertogreco
YouTube - Mob Rules (part 1 of 5)
"Closing keynote of WebDirections South 2007 - an exploration of the future of mobile communications, now that half of humanity has a mobile phone."
markpesce  business  medicine  censorship  communication  internet  mob  mobs  gamechanging  cooperative  community  politics  copyright  distributed  economics  expression  freedom  free  future  revolution  innovation  mesh  mobile  networking  networks  social  wireless  wifi  sms  technology  usability  trends  power  poor  phones  strategy  society  web  online  health  services  credentials  wellness  knowledge  change  reform  chaos  hierarchy  meritocracy  learning 
november 2007 by robertogreco
hyperpeople » Blog Archive » Mob Rules (The Law of Fives)
"ONE: The mob is everywhere. TWO: The mob is faster, smarter and stronger than you are. THREE: Advertising is a form of censorship. FOUR: The mob does not need a business model. FIVE: Make networks happen."
markpesce  business  medicine  censorship  communication  internet  mob  mobs  gamechanging  cooperative  community  politics  copyright  distributed  economics  expression  freedom  free  future  revolution  innovation  mesh  mobile  networking  networks  social  wireless  wifi  sms  technology  usability  trends  power  poor  phones  strategy  society  web  online  health  services  credentials  wellness  knowledge  change  reform  chaos  hierarchy  meritocracy  learning 
november 2007 by robertogreco

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