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Designing the Future - investigating the visual language used to depict the future. Overview of my PhD research topic, key questions and sources used. In my work I look at the grand narrative of the ...

Designing the Future - investigating the visual language used to depict the future. Overview of my PhD research topic, key questions and sources used. In my work I look at the grand narrative of the utopian modern future, and how this narrative may influence the work of the designer who creates the future.

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    Designing the Future Designing the Future Presentation Transcript

    • designing the futureaalto university media lab akseli anttila 10.10.2013 Time of Roses. Dir. Risto Jarva. Filminor, 1969. Film.
    • research topic the material culture of the future The material culture of the future refers to depictions of future products and the visual language used to portray these possible artefacts. I am interested in the mechanisms by which some artefacts become iconic representations of the future, and whether or not these representational icons shape the ideation and creation of new concepts and products.
    • design idioms of the future As designers we create visions of a possible future and then make that vision tangible. New and radical ideas need to be communicated through recognisable design idioms. Are we forming cultural conventions of the future, that influence the thinking of designers when they create new concepts and articulate these ideas to others? research topic
    • relationship between representation and design practice The designer’s goal is to create a verisimilar description of a product or concept. A key resarch topic is what is the system and language we use to create this truthlike description, and are we assisted or hindered if there is a shared language of “the future”. research topic
    • design practice and science fiction films
    • affordance function utility value meaning excitment pleasure drama what is design create
    • practice concept design “Our vision is to make the city more accessible and enjoyable for both residents and visitors through a situated interactive service. By sharing real-time data and feedback about the city, we aim to create a more efficient, transparent relationship between city administrators and citizens.” Nordkapp. Urbanflow vision video. 2011.
    • practice sf prototypes “SF prototypes... endeavour to create science fiction developed specifically on science fact as a way to inspire a conversation about the future and ultimately explore the implications of that science on the everyday lives of people” Brian David Johnson. Science Fiction Prototyping. 2011
    • critical design “Critical Design uses speculative design proposals to challenge narrow assumptions, preconceptions and givens about the role products play in everyday life. It is more of an attitude than anything else, a position rather than a method... Its opposite is affirmative design: design that reinforces the status quo.” Dunne and Raby, After Life Euthanasia Device, 2009. practice
    • inspiration “[Douglas Caldwell] was amazed to see a solution to a 2,000-year-old problem that he dealt with every day. In a scene near the climax, the X-Men are gathered around a large display surface... the map changes practice shape, as if it was made of hundreds of tiny pins, each rising and falling to form the topography needed...The reason this speculative technology was so important to Douglas was that he worked for the US Shedroff, Nathan; Christopher Noessel (2012-09-17). Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction (p. 11). Rosenfeld Media. Kindle Edition. Army Topographic Engineering Center. Part of his job was to create 3D maps and ship them to generals in the field, so they could study the theater of battle and consider tactics.”
    • “In general, there is at least one important difference between a filmmaker’s goals and those of an HCI researcher: While in the field of ubiquitous computing, it is a widespread ideal to create ‘calm technology’, movies tend to present shiny and flashy ”loud” interfaces, because of their visual appeal and effects.” fiction and design different worlds Schmitz, M, Endres, C, and Butz, A. 2008. A survey of human-computer interaction design in science fiction movies.
    • “I’m a science fiction writer, and as I became more familiar with design, it struck me that the futuristic objects and ser- vices within science fiction are quite badly designed. Why? That’s not a question of- ten asked. The reason is pret- ty simple: Science fiction is a form of popular entertainment. The emotional payoff of the sci- ence fiction genre is the sense of wonder it conveys. Science fiction “design” therefore de- mands some whiz-bang, where- as industrial design requires safety, utility, serviceability, cost constraints, appearance, and shelf appeal. To these old- school ID virtues nowadays we might add sustainability and a decent interface. The classic totems of sci-fi: the rayguns, space cruisers, an- droids, robots, time machines, artificial intelligences, nano- technological black-boxes. They have a deep commonality: They’re imaginary. Imaginary products can never maim the consumer, they get no user feedback, and lawsuits and regulatory boards are not a problem. That’s why their de- sign is glamorously fantastic and, therefore, basically, crap.” fiction and design different worlds Bruce Sterling. 2009. COVER STORY: Design fiction. interactions 16, 3 (May 2009), 20-24
    • Creating a real world space suit has a completely different set of design requirements than a movie prop. The audience wants to see the face of the actor, while the real world astronaut has to be protected from radiation and glaring sunlight. different worlds space suit NASA photo. Apollo 13 suit. Star Trek Into Darkness. Dir. J. J. Abrams. Paramoount pictures, 2013. Film.
    • Transparent information walls are an excellent dramatic vehicle to show both exciting visuals and the actor at the same time. Real world ergonomics are ignored for maximum visual and dramatic impact. info walls U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class William L. Vandermate. Minority Report. Dir. Steven Spielberg. Twentieth Century Fox, 2002. Film. different worlds
    • source material
    • sources 1963-2013
    • Films with significant mainstream appeal and decent production value. research scope mainstream Alien. Dir. Ridley Scott. Brandywine Productions, Twentieth Century-Fox Productions, 1979. Film.
    • Films that portray everyday environments and show examples of design solutions that are close to the questions encountered in normal design practice. research scope realistic worlds Star Trek. Desilu Productions, Norway Corporation, Paramount Television 1966-69. TV Series. A Clockwork Orange. Dir. Stanley Kubrick. Warner Bros., Hawk Films, 1971. Film.
    • Moments in the life of the protagonists that are every day occurences a normal viewer can identify with. research scope near future mundane Saturn 3. Dir. Stanley Donen, John Barry. Incorporated Television Company, 1980. Film.
    • Eating and drinking are the most basic and mundane of human activities. Small changes in the artefacts and practices can be powerful indicators of a change in what is considered everyday normal. mundane cutlery Star Wars. Dir. George Lucas. Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox. 1977. Film. THX-1138. Dir. George Lucas. American Zoetrope, Warner Bros. 1971, 1998. Film.
    • Sliding doors are one of the most common elements of futuristic environments. Their automated behaviour and machined form is a clear indication how our environment has changed through technology. mundane doors Star Trek. Desilu Productions, Norway Corporation, Paramount Television 1966-69. TV Series. Soylent Green. Dir. Richard Fleischer. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1973. Film.
    • Effortless, ubiquitous wireless and video communication is one of the science fiction predictions that has actually become a reality for most of us. mundane communication 2001: A Space Odyssey. Dir. Stanley Kubrick. MGM, Stanley Kubrick Producions , 1968. Film. Time of Roses. Dir. Risto Jarva. Filminor, 1969. Film.
    • three eras modern utopia science noir digital intangible
    • modern utopiaera 2001: A Space Odyssey. Dir. Stanley Kubrick. MGM, Stanley Kubrick Producions , 1968. Film.
    • theme modern Visiona I Joe Colombo, Inneneinrichtung des experimentellen Interieurs Visiona I auf der Kölner Möbelmesse für die Firma Bayer, Leverkusen, 1969 Ignazia Favata/Studio Joe Colombo, Milan progress and evolution
    • designer verner panton Danish designer who created not only radical living space designs for the Bayer AG Visiona exhibitions but also the iconic Panton chair still in production in 2013. Verner Panton VISIONA 2, PHANTASY LANDSCAPE, furniture fair Cologne, D 1970
    • Key designer of the Italian radical design scene. His modular capsule living concepts were inspired by space exploration. designer joe colombo Interior of the apartment by Joe Colombo IV, via Argelati 30b, Milan, 1970 Ignazia Favata/Studio Joe Colombo, Milan
    • star trek 1966-69 Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry. Desilu Productions, Norway Corporation, Paramount Television 1966-69. TV Series. Star Trek is one of the most influential science fiction serials in the modern age. Running for four years, it inspired a generation of designers, engineers and scientists.
    • Space station Hilton hotel interior. Striking example of space age modern in the form of Djinn chairs by Olivier Mourgue. 2001 1968 2001: A Space Odyssey. Dir. Stanley Kubrick. MGM, Stanley Kubrick Producions , 1968. Film.
    • a time of roses 1969 Time of Roses. Dir. Risto Jarva. Filminor, 1969. Film. Rare example of a a future that realistically combines historical layers with contemporary radical design concepts.
    • Space age modern rejects the stagnant past and embraces the progress of science, technology and man. Conquest of space in machines of gleaming metal and scintillating plastic was the tangible proof of the bright future ahead. theme space age modern La decima vittima. Dir. Elio Petri. Compagnia Cinematografica Champion, Les Films Concordia. 1965. Film.
    • “Plastics.” “Exactly how do you mean?” “There is a great future in Plastics. Think about it.” The Graduate. Dir. Mike Nichols. 1967 idiom white plastic Space 1999. Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. Group 3, Incorporated Television Company (ITC), Radiotelevisione Italiana. 1975-77. TV Series.
    • science noirera Blade Runner. Dir. Ridley Scott. The Ladd Company, Shaw Brothers, Warner Bros., 1982. Film.
    • vision modern hangover oil crisis urban terrorism ecology
    • theme dystopia Demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe housing estate St-Louis Missouri 1972-1976 “The modern mind reversed this perception, replacing the certainty of progress with the fear of the coming apocalypse... The nightmare of consciousness and science fiction were the central laboratories of this reversal.” Franco Berardi Bifo. After the Future 2011.
    • clockwork orange 1971 A Clockwork Orange. Dir. Stanley Kubrick. Warner Bros., Hawk Films, 1971. Film. (Top) Thamesmead housing estate. Photo by by Jon Bennet 2006. A dysfunctional world as a candid look at brutalist architecture and pop art.
    • THX 1138 1971 THX 1138. Dir. George Lucas. American Zoetrope, Warner Bros., 1971. Film. Clinical technology embodies the utter inhumanity and desolation of the world.
    • soylent green 1973 Soylent Green. Dir. Richard Fleischer. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1973. Film. A world in the middle of an ecological disaster is divided between the affluent few and the destitute masses.
    • alien 1979 Alien Dir. Ridley Scott. Brandywine Productions, Twentieth Century-Fox Productions., 1979. Film. Lived-in modern environments and the biological other.
    • blade runner 1982 Blade Runner. Dir. Ridley Scott. The Ladd Company, Shaw Brothers, Warner Bros., 1982. Film. Iconic masterpiece, post modern soup of multicultural ingredients.
    • idiom clinical vs. biological Space 1999. Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. Group 3, ITC, RAI. 1975-77. TV Series. Alien Dir. Ridley Scott. Brandywine, 20th Century-Fox, 1979. Film.
    • idiom technology laid bare Futureworld. Dir. Richard T. Heffron. American International, Aburey Company, 1976. Film.
    • idiom urban decay Stalker. Dir. Andrey Tarkovsky. Mosfilm, 1979. Film.
    • digital intangibleera Minority Report. Dir. Steven Spielberg. Twentieth Century Fox, 2002. Film.
    • Design and production methods became increasingly digital. Computer created graphics replace the practical and optical effects used in the past. Digital services and products were the focus of new business and design opportunities. breakpoint physical to digital Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Dir. James Cameron. Carolco Pictures. 1991. Film
    • Designers and makers are no longer constrained by the limitations of what can be physically manufactured. vision anything can be done Silent Running (Making of). Dir. Douglas Trumbull. Universal Pictures, 1972. Film. I, Robot. Dir. Alex Proyas. 20th Century Fox, 2004. Film.
    • The world is overlaid with constant streams of digital information. Public and private space are filled with spectacles of data. Children of Men. Dir. Alfonso Cuarón. Universal Pictures, Strike Entertainment, Hit and Run productions. 2006. Film vision information everywhere
    • minority report 2002 Minority Report. Dir. Steven Spielberg. Twentieth Century Fox, 2002. Film. Designers and futurists team up to create a seminal Science Fiction production.
    • final cut 2004 Final Cut Dir. Omar Naim. Lions Gate Entertainment, 2004. Film. Themes of memory, loss and melancholy are articulated through a dark, nostalgic production design.
    • total recall 2012 Total Recall. Dir. Len Weisman. Total Recall, Original Film, Prime Focus, Rekall Productions, 2012. Film. The future is in Blade Runner with nicer holographics.
    • Oblivion. Dir. Joseph Kosinski. Universal Pictures. 2013. Film. oblivion 2013 A production that plays with audience expectations using the language of modern, nostalgia and dystopian futures.
    • idiom info overlay Iron Man 3. Dir. Shane Black. Marvel Studios. 2013. Film.
    • idiom space age modern Oblivion. Dir. Joseph Kosinski. Universal Pictures. 2013. Film.
    • so...?
    • practice of design critical agenda affirmative agenda progress concept drama
    • the modern utopia offers a set of idioms to portray positive progress hypothesis
    • as a designer it is less effort to communicate progress using familiar idioms of progress... hypothesis
    • design visions practice Ericsson Intel Nokia Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft
    • thank youAkseli Anttila akseli@mandala.fi