Response and Analysis

Reading commentary

January 15

Between Wit and Reason: Defining Associative, Speculative, and Critical Design in Practice, by Matt Malpass

Dunne and Fiona Raby’s quote strikes a strong nerve in the intent driving much of the design field today. Although design has branched greatly since then, drive is still primarily in the service industry due to the funding and security in design aesthetic. That being said, I disagree that design is not reaching past galleries and conceptual magazines.  Design theory and critical practices has been implemented into many other fields as a work form. The reach of this could always be greater, but legitimacy of design methodology has been proven highly beneficial and successful many times over.

Associative Design- designer maker traditions, draws on mechanisms of subversion and experimentation in conceptual art

Associative design is an intriguing field that seems like it can be applied to conceptual thinking for other forms of design. It’s interesting to use work such as the “100 chairs'” form work to then inspire and apply the connections elsewhere, in systems, services, etc.

Speculative Design- focuses on science and technology, projecting scenarios of use. makes emergence visible by slowing down present to predict future.

Very intriguing method to prompt questioning, provoke new methods of portraying information.

Critical Design- from HCI and interaction design, challenges assumptions/ conceptions of roles objects play

After reading through descriptions of critical practices, the definitions made it much more clear that these are indeed practices that are not commonly seen in other fields. It’s not thinking creatively, but also thinking irrationally, satirically, and impractically before pulling the concept back to a concept applicable to the field’s work. It’s highly beneficial to think outside the confines of what is possible to what could be possible.

Design Fiction: A short essay on design, science, fact, and fiction, by Julian Bleecker

Tom Sachs’ “Space Program” project is an interesting art-irony work. It’s a fun piece to look into its accuracy, but also possible accuracy in a “what-if” scenario that maybe years from now we could have moon excursions that are similar to renting a party bus, or lounge to throw parties. It’s not far off in that other areas we find common place today, such as a party bus with lights and couches and wine coolers in them exist, when cars were a far off fiction to the horse pulled buggies. You never know…

The “Blind Camera” is an incredible concept, and would be an interesting social experiment, being able to log a timeline of a space through the eyes of many passerby’s.


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