Two thoughts on points by Malpass & Sterling

From the readings, two key things within two of the articles particularly stood out to me, inspiring additional thought which momentarily hindered my ability to focus on reading the rest of the articles.

The first of those two was Malpass’ discussion of design’s ability to have an intellectual credibility rather than directly feeding a capitalist desire to create more items and in turn sell those items. Coming from a background of working within an advertising agency, I often struggled with the enjoyment I received engaging in visual design vs the nagging feeling that the ultimate goal of my works was intended to make the viewer take out their wallet and purchase a service or product. This struggle was on the exact opposite of the spectrum from my experiences as an undergraduate fine arts major where every creation was a purely personal endeavor with no thought as to what purpose it may serve outside of it’s perceived aesthetic beauty (most of the time … hopefully).  As I’ve grown as a designer, person, artist, and individual, trying to find a happy medium between these two extremes has become much more of a focus of mine.

The second point I found interesting was within the wired article where the concept of vaporware was mentioned as an example of design fiction.  My thoughts began to wander towards Kickstarter as a means of design fiction, featuring many different products where contributors can purchase a piece of speculative design in the hopes that it may become a reality.  Many of those products never come to be, since the technology to create the product is not available, feasible, or at times even possible.  Last semester, a professor spoke of a Kickstarter project he contributed nearly $500 to which promised to ship him a wand you wave over a piece of food, which in turn tells you its caloric content.  While this clearly seems like something that is not quite possible, the campaign still reached its goal due to so many contributors wishing that this piece of design fiction could in fact be real.



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