Design Fiction
     Something and the Something in the
     age of the Something.
     [ideas in process. tread lightly.]
...
Design Fiction
  Why Engage Design?
Design Fiction
  Thinking of design as something that can shape the
future, bring about change, craft new sorts of habitab...
Design Fiction
But, like..Design? You’re an Engineer? And the Art stuff?
                 And that Teaching thing?
Presentation Schema
   1. Representations of the Future
2. Relating the Future and the Present
        3. Props and Protot...
1. Representations of the
                Future
      How do we imagine what can come to be?
What are the ways the future...
3 Representations of the Future.
             ..and
 2.5 Provocative Quotes to go
       along with them.
Quote One.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To
  change something, build a new model that makes ...
Quote One (and it’s diagram).

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To
  change something, build a ne...
Quote Two.

“As I’ve said many times, the future is here. It’s just not
           evenly distributed.” - William Gibson
“As I’ve said many times, (andfuture is here. It’s just not
              Quote Two the its diagram)
               evenly...
Quote Two and a half..kinda

    “...” - Bruno Latour
Quote Two and a half..a bit more.

                  “...” - Bruno Latour

  “Νέα ως, Knots εκτελέσει Entanglements . Στο
...
Quote Two and a half (and a diagram).

         “...” - Bruno Latour



                                    The 3D
       ...
Two and a half.
“In 50 years, social scientists will be able to visualise the connections between human organisations and
...
Recap..




     Linear
Representation
 of the Future
Recap..



A planar representation of the
future, it exists in different places
simultaneously and you can smear it
about ...
A spherical representation of the future, collections/collectives of
conversations & objects, human/non-human agents. Ther...
2. Ubicomp + SciFi
An example of a quot;collectivequot; construction of a future world in this third representation; what ...
2. Ubicomp + SciFi
     Why Ubicomp?
2. Ubicomp + SciFi
 Considering a response to Bell & Dourish, “Resistance is Futile:
Reading Science Fiction Alongside of ...
quot;..we are interested in the ways in which science fiction – the literary figuring 
of future technologies rather than th...
The look at:

 Five Shows: Dr. Who, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, Blake's 7, Hitch-
                   Hikers Guide to th...
But..I Would Say..
Ubicomp Is SciFi!
Huh?
Ubicomp ties intricately and plainly to a larger cultural
  imaginary; more so than many other “engineering”
practice...
For example: How is the “Minority Report Interface”
Claimed? Who Stakes Out This Idiom? How is this phrase a
             ...
Blurry lines between the sci-fi props
      and research prototypes
“The Film”
Right alongside of “Science”


“Turtle-necked Jeff Hahn”
             (friend, so it’s all good)




  Whole bunch of link...
More blurry sci-fi science
More blurry sci-fi science




                          Text


 Realistic dinosaurs as a special-effect, produced to be
vi...
More blurry sci-fi science
More blurry sci-fi science

                                                                             Wow..




cf. Davi...
Conversation Collectives
      Deployment, refraction and idea-mass, a 3D Latourian
                 representation of the...
3. Props & Prototypes
3. Props & Prototypes
Let’s look quickly at two kinds of prototypes

   1. Prototypes in their canonical form.
           ...
Canonical Prototypes. Functionality.
Canonical Prototypes. Fit and Mechanics.
Canonical Prototypes
Diegetic Prototypes (“Props”)
Space may be the final frontier but it’s made in a Hollywood basement. 
- Red Hot Chili Peppe...
Diegetic Prototypes (“Props”)


quot;..cinematic depictions of future technologies are actually “diegetic prototypes”
that...
Diegetic Prototypes (“Props”)


quot;..cinematic depictions of future technologies are actually “diegetic prototypes”
that...
Diegetic Prototypes (“Props”)


        quot;..cinematic depictions of future technologies are actually “diegetic prototyp...
Props & Prototypes
Think of design as prop-making for the near future. Design makes objects
(non-humans) around which stor...
Prototypes/Props are Idea-Mass
 Offer ways of telling stories and crafting adhesion to these collectives of
ideas and conv...
Prototypes/Props are Idea-Mass

Design can also be a kind of fiction making; design-fiction.
Prototypes/Props are Idea-Mass

Design is speculative prototypes; things that are real sci-fi, really curious and orthogona...
So..what?
   Objects tell stories for people, not scenarios for users.
         There are many futures, no inevitabilities...
Thanks.


julian at nearfuturelaboratory dot c
julian dot bleecker at nokia dot c
Design Fiction: Something and the Something in the Age of the Something
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Design Fiction: Something and the Something in the Age of the Something

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Presentation at Design Engaged 2008 of some early thinking on props, prototypes and fiction as frameworks for engaging design activities. Ideas in process.
More at: http://tinyurl.com/45sv3z

Published in: Design, Education

Design Fiction: Something and the Something in the Age of the Something

  1. Design Fiction Something and the Something in the age of the Something. [ideas in process. tread lightly.] Julian Bleecker Design Engaged 2008 Montreal October 3, 2008
  2. Design Fiction Why Engage Design?
  3. Design Fiction Thinking of design as something that can shape the future, bring about change, craft new sorts of habitable worlds.
  4. Design Fiction But, like..Design? You’re an Engineer? And the Art stuff? And that Teaching thing?
  5. Presentation Schema 1. Representations of the Future 2. Relating the Future and the Present 3. Props and Prototypes
  6. 1. Representations of the Future How do we imagine what can come to be? What are the ways the future will be and how does that shape what we consider reasonable, possible futures?
  7. 3 Representations of the Future. ..and 2.5 Provocative Quotes to go along with them.
  8. Quote One. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” - R. Buckminster Fuller
  9. Quote One (and it’s diagram). “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” - R. Buckminster Fuller Linear Representation of the Future
  10. Quote Two. “As I’ve said many times, the future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed.” - William Gibson
  11. “As I’ve said many times, (andfuture is here. It’s just not Quote Two the its diagram) evenly distributed.” - WG “As I’ve said many times, the future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed.” - WG Sandwich Spread Representation of the Future
  12. Quote Two and a half..kinda “...” - Bruno Latour
  13. Quote Two and a half..a bit more. “...” - Bruno Latour “Νέα ως, Knots εκτελέσει Entanglements . Στο Imbroglios εκδόσεις. Assemblages βγήκε περισσότερο ας σαν, μην Collectives .” - Bruno Latour
  14. Quote Two and a half (and a diagram). “...” - Bruno Latour The 3D Linkages of Human/Non- Human Collectives Representation of the Future
  15. Two and a half. “In 50 years, social scientists will be able to visualise the connections between human organisations and technological objects. Today we know how to visualise technological systems using scientific images and technical drawings, but we have no idea of how to hook those designs up with the arrays of emails, spreadsheets, blogs and pieces of paper that organise the people who operate those systems.” - Bruno Latour The 3D Linkages of Human/Non- Human Collectives Representation of the Future Complex knots and linkages between many disparate social practices create thick representations of human activities, including our projections and imaginations about the future.
  16. Recap.. Linear Representation of the Future
  17. Recap.. A planar representation of the future, it exists in different places simultaneously and you can smear it about to get it evenly distributed, but it is lumpy in bits and doesn’t get to everyone evenly.
  18. A spherical representation of the future, collections/collectives of conversations & objects, human/non-human agents. There are many futures, many possible inhabited worlds. A representation that consists of complex, messy knots/collectives/imbroglios. Some collectives are better at maintaining themselves. They’ve got strong objects with lots of attention and adhesion. They have lots of idea-mass that draws other conversations and objects towards them.
  19. 2. Ubicomp + SciFi An example of a quot;collectivequot; construction of a future world in this third representation; what are the elements that constitute the collective knot/embroglio? For ubicomp it's telling that it's more than a linear or planar track because of how much quot;culturequot; is in there, how complicated it becomes because you start involving people and their pragmatic, everyday lives very richly and thickly; anthropology in on the ubicomp game early on with Lucy Suchman's involvement at PARC; it's a more complicated, knotty, thorny, intractable endeavor. (Maybe why it's endlessly deferred.)
  20. 2. Ubicomp + SciFi Why Ubicomp?
  21. 2. Ubicomp + SciFi Considering a response to Bell & Dourish, “Resistance is Futile: Reading Science Fiction Alongside of Ubiquitous Computing” (pre- pub)
  22. quot;..we are interested in the ways in which science fiction – the literary figuring  of future technologies rather than the practical figuring of much contemporary research –  engages with a series of questions about the social and cultural contexts of technology use  that help us reflect upon assumptions within technological research.quot;  Bell & Dourish, “Resistance is Futile: Reading Science Fiction Alongside of Ubiquitous Computing”
  23. The look at: Five Shows: Dr. Who, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, Blake's 7, Hitch- Hikers Guide to the Galaxy Three Themes: Bureacracy, Technological Breakdown, Frontier and Empire Put together to fashion a perspective that tells a story about ubiquitous computing-y things as they’re projected into various sci-fi narratives
  24. But..I Would Say.. Ubicomp Is SciFi!
  25. Huh? Ubicomp ties intricately and plainly to a larger cultural imaginary; more so than many other “engineering” practices. It’s fodder for film and, as importantly (maybe more so?) it provides a reference point for engineers and scientists in the laboratory!
  26. For example: How is the “Minority Report Interface” Claimed? Who Stakes Out This Idiom? How is this phrase a Messy Latorian Assemblage? Ask The Google..
  27. Blurry lines between the sci-fi props and research prototypes
  28. “The Film”
  29. Right alongside of “Science” “Turtle-necked Jeff Hahn” (friend, so it’s all good) Whole bunch of links to people who claim “minority report interface” research
  30. More blurry sci-fi science
  31. More blurry sci-fi science Text Realistic dinosaurs as a special-effect, produced to be visually compelling as a “prop” to help tell a story more compelling than a dowdy documentary.
  32. More blurry sci-fi science
  33. More blurry sci-fi science Wow.. cf. David A. Kirby “Science Consultants, Fictional Films, and Scientific Practice” Social Studies of Science 33/2 (April 2003) pp. 231-268 cf. Julian Bleecker, “The Reality Effect of Technoscience” 2004, unpublished dissertation http://tinyurl.com/3roy6s
  34. Conversation Collectives Deployment, refraction and idea-mass, a 3D Latourian representation of the future. Conversations shaped by human and non-human objects and their deployment, circulation and potential to draw more agents. Con: Biggest mouth, and wallet, makes bigger conversations Pro: Their can be many multiple collectives, with varying degrees of “idea-mass” Con: It can be frustrating to have some good stuff that can make more habitable worlds, and not have the most idea-massive collective. Pro: But..you can still have your future, even if it is not everyone elses.
  35. 3. Props & Prototypes
  36. 3. Props & Prototypes Let’s look quickly at two kinds of prototypes 1. Prototypes in their canonical form. 2. Diegetic Prototypes
  37. Canonical Prototypes. Functionality.
  38. Canonical Prototypes. Fit and Mechanics.
  39. Canonical Prototypes
  40. Diegetic Prototypes (“Props”) Space may be the final frontier but it’s made in a Hollywood basement.  - Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication,” 1999 
  41. Diegetic Prototypes (“Props”) quot;..cinematic depictions of future technologies are actually “diegetic prototypes” that demonstrate to large public audiences a technology’s need, benevolence, and viability. I show how diegetic prototypes have a major rhetorical advantage over true prototypes: in the diegesis these technologies exist as “real” objects that function properly and which people actually use.quot; David A. Kirby, “The Future Is Now: Diegetic Prototypes, and the Cinematic Creation of the Future” (pre-pub)
  42. Diegetic Prototypes (“Props”) quot;..cinematic depictions of future technologies are actually “diegetic prototypes” that demonstrate to large public audiences a technology’s need, benevolence, and viability. I show how diegetic prototypes have a major rhetorical advantage over true prototypes: in the diegesis these technologies exist as “real” objects that function properly and which people actually use.quot; David A. Kirby, “The Future Is Now: Diegetic Prototypes, and the Cinematic Creation of the Future”
  43. Diegetic Prototypes (“Props”) quot;..cinematic depictions of future technologies are actually “diegetic prototypes” that demonstrate to large public audiences a technology’s need, benevolence, and viability. I show how diegetic prototypes have a major rhetorical advantage over true prototypes: in the diegesis these technologies exist as “real” objects that function properly and which people actually use.quot; David A. Kirby, “The Future Is Now: Diegetic Prototypes, and the Cinematic Creation of the Future” Wow. Stories matter when designing the future. Maybe even more than the “real thing” in terms of their ability to flash-bang the imagination of real people. Ideas are more powerful than a crappy product that aspires to the idea.
  44. Props & Prototypes Think of design as prop-making for the near future. Design makes objects (non-humans) around which stories/conversations ensure, and imaginary worlds come into being.
  45. Prototypes/Props are Idea-Mass Offer ways of telling stories and crafting adhesion to these collectives of ideas and conversations through an object. Props and prototypes provide the seeds for evolving conversation-collectives. They behave as constitutive elements for the collectives/knots/embroglios — the collectives need material props of some sort, human/non-human elements to create idea-mass, to collect more attention.
  46. Prototypes/Props are Idea-Mass Design can also be a kind of fiction making; design-fiction.
  47. Prototypes/Props are Idea-Mass Design is speculative prototypes; things that are real sci-fi, really curious and orthogonal to the conventions of technology-market-economies. Measure of success: “Stupidest fucking idea..EVER!” Probes into imaginary, peculiar worlds.
  48. So..what? Objects tell stories for people, not scenarios for users. There are many futures, no inevitabilities. Make lots of stuff, quickly. Assume weird (or no) market models; weird imaginary worlds. Assume you are from a future.
  49. Thanks. julian at nearfuturelaboratory dot c julian dot bleecker at nokia dot c

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