Design Fellow @ LCC Strange Telemetry Twitter

Speculative de­sign and Valentine’s Day What a weird day with weird de­sign stuff go­ing on, step­ping away from logic. Valentine’s day con­sumer prod­ucts feel like a strange non-log­i­cal thing. Shows what strange as­sump­tions and mean­ings we at­tach to things.

There is no such thing as a bad de­sign, just un­suit­able de­sign

What is good deisng, what is bad de­sign in a non-log­i­cal con­text like Valentine’s day?

History of Speculative Design

Interesting time to be think­ing about truth, is this a real thing we’re de­sign­ing. nigel farage eu­ro­pean pari­a­ment, sign de­signed to be seen on tv, chang­ing the mean­ing of a sit­u­a­tion. How ob­jects can change the mean­ing of things. Trustworthyness of ob­jects and im­ages. Fake news etc.

Critical de­sign has a long his­tory of peo­ple ques­tion­ing what art and de­sign means.

Critical de­sign uses spec­u­la­tive de­sign pro­pos­als to chal­lene nar­row as­sump­tions pro­con­cep­tions and givvens about the role prod­ucts play in every­day life

Anthony DUnne and Fiona Raby

Can re­flect­ing on de­sign prac­tice in­form work, serve as a teach­ing tool

Gentlemen’s Valentine Writer Victorian Valentine’s day cheat sheet. Collection of po­etry to write on a valen­tine’s note to some­one. Would also give you an idea of what the other per­son might write back.

Politics, in­dus­try get in­volved in what love his­tory Mech­a­niz­ing, stan­dar­d­is­ing af­fec­tion

Donald Rumsfeld Things we know we know, things we don’t know we know. Things we know we don’t know, things we don’t we don’t know.

The last one is the scari­est - there’s stuff in the world you can’t en­gage with.

Who would take up the in­ter­net, what might be pos­si­ble. Aol ad from the 90s. Get 10 free hours!. Assumptions about how peo­ple will use the in­ter­net - two white dudes in a stan­dard house with a stan­dard phone line. You get the next it­er­a­tion of that with Google Glass - small nar­row idea of some dude’s bor­ing life. Call me maybe video un­known un­kowns - the aol peo­ple in the 90s could never have pre­dicted this

wait­rose 2 flat iron beef stakes heart but­ter Meat, food, heart shapes has so much mean­ing at­tached to it­er­a­tion

dress­ing the meat of to­mor­row what hap­pens to the next gen­er­a­tion of bio­engi­neered food does it still have to look like meat, what’s our ex­pec­ta­tion. You can cut things in a way that does­n’t have any­thing to do with the an­i­mal it comes from. If we get en­gi­neered food, what is it gonna look like?

Selfmade christina aga­pakis & sissle thomas whats our gis­toric re­la­tion­ship with food, look =ing at early pro­duc­tion meth­ods of cheese. How do we spereate things we eat and we find gross gto swipes from peo­ples armpits, feet and hair and used that to make cheese. Doesn it mat­ter where the bac­te­ria comes from? Raises ques­tions about prod­cust around us, who made things why are they There

Nightingale Farms Tomatoes Fake Farms, made up brand­ing by tesco. Way to cover up sup­ply Chains. Make im­ported food aound more British, make peo­ple think they’re buy­ing some­thing lo­cal. Again a de­sign in­ter­ven­tion changes the prod­uct.

Uncertainty in de­signed ob­jects donal trump in­au­gu­ra­tion cake cut­ting - ripped off a wash­ing­ton baker who made it for the Obama in­au­gu­ra­tion

In the copy the thing was­n’t ed­i­ble - it was made from poly­styrene. It’s sig­nalling to be a cake, it serves a cer­e­mo­nial func­tion but it’s not ac­tu­all the cake.

Trump fake doc­u­ments, fold­ers with empty pa­per in it. Very per­fo­ma­tive, the­atri­cal piece that was go­ing on Amy berg tweet as some­one who pro­fes­sion­al­lly out­sifts fic­tional uni­verses

Fictional ob­jects are used to make you think some­thing is go­ing on.

Hello, I am from Britain, you know, the one that got tricket by a bus £350 mil­lion a week leave cam­paign bus. A piece of work that is in­tended to con­vince peo­ple by the text and also by the pre­se­n­a­tion. Looks solid, but when you ask for de­tails turns out it’s spec­u­la­tive.

Bearina - Ronen Kadushin What if sex­ual health ob­jects were cheap 3d-printed, can be eas­ily changed. Danger: log his­tory of things that go into the body can have huge bad con­se­quences. Idea of pre­sent­ing some­thing sim­ply, giv­ing the mode of pro­duc­tion is hugely dan­ger­ous. Makes it seem like a easy fix, does­n’t re­ally pro­voke a con­ver­sa­tion about health.

Speculative desin can be about re­fram­ing cul­tural per­cep­tiosn of things - ar­ti­fi­cial wombs (matrix). What would it mean to sper­ate out child­birth, dif­fer­ent parts of fam­ily norms etc. What if ar­ti­fi­cial wombs ex­isted. We cre­ate stuff to think things in new ways, not di­cate the ac­tion

I wanna de­liver a dol­phin Ai Hasegawas

Seperate out child­birth from the idea of hav­ing chil­dren Plays with the idea of shock value, what are we shocked by. Unreality prompts you to think about birth etc

Black Mirror antitehsis of the ma­trix idea of hav­ing an on­line space where peo­ple find each other, movign away from cul­tural ex­pec­ta­tions of up­load­ing your con­cious­ness etc.


Are there vil­lains in the field of spec­u­la­tive de­sign / People who use the means of spec­u­la­tive de­sign for ne­far­i­ous pur­poses?

Theres def pro­pa­ganda de­sign - so­viet rus­sia. Story is baked into posters, books, obects, sci­ence your mak­ing. Spec de­sign is not one thing, its con­tested. Spec de­sign asks what if, pro­pa­ganda says this is. What would the world look like if the carter ad­min had in­vested into state of sta­tis­tics inc china, this is the size of the in­au­gu­ra­tion crowd propa­gada aims to shut down con­ver­saiton, spec de­sign broad­ens it.

Is it okay for your au­di­ence to be tricked by your spec de­sign. Are fake memes a le­git­i­mate way to change peo­ple’s be­hav­iour.

Power dy­nam­ics also a part of it - if it’s com­ing down from the top eg from the state or from the bot­tom up

How do you prac­tice spec­u­la­tive de­sign?

ocomes from acad­e­mia, an­thro­pol­ogy. Using de­sign, tech­nol­ogy to ask ques­tions you would oth­er­wise write a book about. Can do things, ma­te­ri­al­ize things in ways that text can­not. You can write about teh cheese things but it does­n’t have the same au­di­ence re­ac­tion than do­ing the real thing. Encourage peo­ple to do crit­i­cal think­ing, in­form other ar­eas of de­sign.

In our work we try to en­gage pub­lic, pol­i­cy­mak­ers etc in global ques­tions. Hows spec de­sign dif­fer­ent to art. A lot of the ter­mi­nol­ogy comee from art.

The way peo­ple en­gage with some­hing that is pre­sented as ar vs de­sign is very dif­fer­ent. Huge pro­por­tion of the work is stu­dent pro­jects - not made for the in­dus­try or acad­e­mia. It is about test­ing bound­ries and stuff

People are say­ing we’re liv­ing in a spec de­sign pro­ject / Stuff that’s hap­pen­ing in the world seems so in­con­ceiv­able (eg President Trump), what is there left to do for a spec­u­la­tive de­signer?

Stuff is only un­usual in a very small con­text.