DF Project III

I would like a speculative device/service that could help me read ideology, not just in texts but in all kinds of things: in forms, in products, in television shows, in services. I want a device that helps me to understand what the underlying assumptions of such a product/service/media could be and then I can read more and more, as much as I might want to, into the given thing.

The people who do this now are primarily writers and journalists: they take something, look at it very closely, look at those who created it, extrapolate about what values are embedded within it and what values it recommends to others. An interpretation device, it does interpretive work. Or, better, it supports interpretive work, even if in a shallow way.

What would this mean: people who are curious about, say, a political argument, can see what the foundations of such a line of reasoning and the rhetoric might be. They can also, however, look at a computer mouse and see what values structure that form, the aesthetic, the relationship to productivity and pleasure. All of the underlying assumptions that inform all of the things that we use and consume everyday.

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2 thoughts on “DF Project III

  1. I’m probably shoehorning. I was trying to think of the efficiency/play and the making-evident-the-ideology problems together. Riffing off of Robin Hunicke’s work, what if the model is Theory (field of study)–> Dynamics–>Mechanics (designer)–>Dynamics–>Aesthetics (consumer). Maybe there are opportunities to “play” at the intersection of theory and the object(game), trying on different theories, perhaps. OR maybe there is a game (guessing game? card game? I don’t know.) that helps either consumers or designers seeing through the eyes of consumers work backwards from the aesthetics to the theory. That’s much less interesting written out than it was in my head. Oh, well…incomplete ideas.

    • No, I am right there with you. I was also considering something to “try on” different theories: what would the same object/text look like through a different theoretical lens? Or through a hybrid theoretical lens? What does the ideal Marxist teapot look like? Darwinist? Social Darwinist? Neoliberal?

      Your second idea is also interesting, a playful tool for the designer to better understand the connection between aesthetic experience to theory: it could be like a research method, almost, that helped you situate/locate useful theoretical frameworks to inform further design work.

      Thanks so much for the suggestions! They’re super useful as I try to move forward here.

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