Design Fiction Reflection

Before this class, I saw design as a way to solve problems practically and beautifully.  I saw the difference between art and design to be that one was from the creator to the world and the other was for the world by the creator.  Design fiction is a combination of these differences and solves the problem of a closed mind.  It works because it is designed to provoke, created with a goal in mind.  Throughout the class, we were able to learn about all kinds of design fiction works and discuss the ways that they were and weren’t successful.  I loved learning about these works, but the art of successful design fiction became much more apparent to me when our class presented their final projects.

I really enjoyed seeing the progression of how these projects evolved and developed, especially since there was such a variety of projects and topics.  It was also intriguing to see the correlation between project and student.  I love that students used their strengths to create projects that showed what they care about, in a way that is important to them.  Sankalp created a beautiful video to show his concept.  The video was thoughtfully made and that extra touch of care made it even more successful.  I was also blown away by the creativity behind John’s business card project and the way that it was presented because it felt incredibly real, like it could actually work.  He was able to use his knowledge of code and programming to make his project even more compelling.  Finally, I really enjoyed reading through Joe’s website about the placebo effect because the content was well thought out, making it incredibly provoking.  His project felt like a beautifully designed experience that achieved its goal.  I really appreciated the way that his and many other projects showed the power of design in a different space/solving a different problem.

After this whole experience, I think that it’s incredibly important for all designers to understand the significance of design fiction.  For me, the power of design was revealed to me when I saw design achieving a different goal, one that is important and often less embraced.  Design should be a part of all aspects of society and our personal lives.  When the principles of design are thoughtfully put into play, it can open doors and set ideas into motion.

Creepy Technology

For our final project, So-Hee and I decided to create a collection of gifs that depict little snippets of technological scenarios that highlight certain fears we have with technology. While all the gifs capture some genuine fear we have with technology, some of the gifs appear to be more comically fantastically than others. We thought humor would be an interesting component in making these technological fears approachable and relatable but also instill an erie undertone of concern as well. We chose to encompass our gifs in a social media campaign called Creepy Technoloy that people can follow and spread online.

Our aim is to remind people that we sometimes forget to think about the implications that technology has. What does it mean that Facebook has our faceprint? What does it mean that uber is working on creating autonomous vehicles to replace drivers? As our Facebook “About” section states: “There are daunting facts about technology that creep up on us. These gif serve as reminders that we are not always aware of what kinds of things surround us. Are these fears rooted in legitimacy….or are they falsified fictions?” We hope that Creepy Technology will uproot the discussion that tends to be overlooked with technology. 

The following are the social media platforms we have used to house our campaign Creepy Technology:

  • Facebook:
  • Twitter:
    Twitter username: Creepy_Tech
  • Instagram:
    Instagram username: creepytechnology
  • hastags: #creepytech, #techfears
  • buzzfeed
    We created a fake buzzfeed article to demonstrate the collection of our gifs:

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ArchiArchiZoomZoom is a virtual world accessible via website, where the user can attempt to build a city around them. Conceptually, it’s an exploration of a couple of things.

Duplitecture is a term relating to copying of architecture, most of which is currently happening in China. Every building on this slide is an example of duplitecture. There are entire Chinese communities made to resemble western cities — Venice and Paris, for example — and there are vast amounts of one-off copies and caricatures of western architecture. The buildings within my project are pieces of duplitecture, ripped from their place of origin, dropped on a blank canvas, and distorted just enough to make them uncanny.

ArchiArchiZoomZoom is also an exploration of the act of making digital copies, particularly bringing attention the the ease of creating unlimited amounts of things.

Finally, it’s an echo to the avant-garde, neo-futurist architects of the past, like Archigram, Archizoom, and Superstudio. These groups spent their careers combining technology and architecture, envisioning utopian landscapes, and criticizing contemporary architectural theory and practice.

When the user enters ArchiArchiZoomZoom, they are presented with a series of quotes from these groups. From these quotes, three key phrases are highlighted, each one a global rule enacted in the virtual world:

For those who, like ourselves, are convinced that architecture is one of the few ways to realize cosmic order on earth, to put things according to reason, it is a ‘moderate utopia’ to imagine a near future in which all architecture will be created with a single act, from a single design capable of clarifying once and for all the motives which have induced man to build dolmens, menhirs, pyramids, and lastly to trace (ultima ratio) a white line in the desert. ―Superstudio, 1969

The fundamental characteristics of futuristic architecture will be expendability and transience. Our house will last less time than we do, every generation must make its own city. ―Archigram

Today, in order to create a new architecture and new urban spaces … one has to plunge one’s hands into that vast planktonic soup of products, technologies, pictures, signs and data which make up the artificial universe in which man is completely immersed. … Design, bravely operating within the world of production and consumption, has gained its new found supremacy through being the only planning entity able to transform reality. ―Andrea Branzi, Archizoom, 1993

The project can be viewed in a browser, but is mainly meant to be explored using a virtual reality headset, in this case, a Google Cardboard.




Artificial intelligence designed business cards are better than yours. Get one designed to show others who you really are.

AutoCard automatically designs personalized business cards based on the things someone likes on Facebook. Facebook likes have been used to compute personality and philosophical traits of the user (e.g. big five)[1,2], which can then be applied to a parameterized model of the business card to provide users with an ideally designed result. Parameter weighting  coefficients were learned by iteratively presenting users with weighted randomized cards and allowing them to select their preferred design. Psychological traits are assumed to transcend preferences for cards, between users.

This project aims to highlight challenges with automating design that stem from issues in design and machine learning. While it’s important to make creative decisions well, we often use poor mechanisms to do so in design. Computational approaches have been applied to this buts its very hard to do so with an appropriate level of depth, so computational decision making often ends up being very naive.

The project is currently not available for public use but I’m working toward making it easily accessible.


  1. Farnadi, Golnoosh, et al. “How are you doing? Emotions and personality in Facebook.” Proceedings of the EMPIRE Workshop of the 22nd International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (UMAP 2014). 2014.
  2. Youyou, Wu, Michal Kosinski, and David Stillwell. “Computer-based personality judgments are more accurate than those made by humans.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2015): 201418680.