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An Architectural
Critique of
Connected Utopias
Thomas Wendt
Surrounding Signifiers
@thomas_wendt
thomas@srsg.co
srsg.co
OR
Promethean
Provocations
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
Thomas Wendt
pronouns: they or he
Design Facilitator
Strategist and Resea...
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0e/Prometheus_Adam_Louvre_MR1745_edit_atoma.jpg
Prometheus = “forethought...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
The connection being sold to us
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
We are so alienated from our food sources in modern industrial capitalism that we rely on packaged garbage to feed us. So ...
The combination of sodium, carbohydrates, and artificial everything makes us dehydrated, so we turn to Gatorade to quench o...
All this sweetened, artificial food packed with preservatives upsets our digestive systems, so we always need an abundance ...
We use Clorox wipes to clean the kitchen, because anything less than clinical sterilization is unacceptable.
And since the wipes are conveniently disposable, we throw them away in a Glad trash bag to be shipped off to the landfill.
We put on some Loreal Youth Code after dinner to ward off any signs of natural aging.
Now it’s time to tend to the children, feeding them their own form of packaged garbage in the form of Gerber baby food.
And changing their Huggies diaper
And throwing the old one out in the Glad bag (it always ends in trash)
Problematize thes...
Why Architecture?
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
Reviewer comment.
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
“Architecture” = “master builder”
Article about Google turning NYC paypho...
"One thing I know about my fellow
New Yorkers, they like things that are
completely free of charge.”
Mayor Bill De Blasio
...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
Master ≠ Skilled
Master = Holder of Power
These corporations are our mast...
“Architecture is too important to be left
to architects.”
Giancarlo De Carlo
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc...
Points of Critique
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
“Practicing criticism is a matter of
making facile gestures difficult.”
Michel Foucault
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct...
This Stuff Critiques
Itself
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
This stuff critiques itself.
Coming from an A...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
(In)visibility
Solutionism
Sustainability
3 Critical Points
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
1. (In)visibility
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
“Our society is one not of spectacle,
but of surveillance […] Behind the
great abstraction of exchange, there
continues th...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=&ur...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=&ur...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=&ur...
2. Solutionism
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
Solutionism
The belief that all problems have easy,
often technological solutions.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q...
“One could say that
nothing conceals the
emergency of the
unsustainable more
effectively that the
blinding and enduring
po...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiwn5aeybfOAhXQZiYKHTQQDS8QjRwIBw&url=http%3A%...
Febreeze Home
Instead of cleaning your house, release scent with your phone.
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
Innovation for innovation’s sake.
The world as material to be hacked at t...
3. Sustainability
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwit6uKBiMnOAhXHHB4KHfcwBZwQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%...
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjirNrIiMnOAhWIVh4KHbj2C78QjRwIBw&url=http%3A%...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://aeon.co/essays/innovation-is-overvalued-maintenance-often-matters...
“An activity is sustainable if it does not
damage the capacity of the landbase
to support its members.”
Derrick Jensen
htt...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ah...
Politics
Ecology
Conviviality
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
Being good little designers, you’re all ask...
Ecological Thinking
=
How We Dwell
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
Ecology = the study of dwelling
Not ho...
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
Tim Morton says ecological thinking is the thinking of the trickster, and...
Be cunning
Resisting Connection
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
We’re caught up in an industrial system t...
Be cunning
Be critical
Resisting Connection
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
Bright and shiny IoT products...
Be cunning
Be critical
Be political
Resisting Connection
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
We all know desi...
Be cunning
Be critical
Be political
Be co-operative
Resisting Connection
Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
...
“I choose the term 'conviviality' to designate the opposite
of industrial productivity. I intend it to mean autonomous
and...
Thomas Wendt
srsg.co
thomas@srsg.co
@thomas_wendt
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Architectural Critique of Connected Utopias

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Presentation given at EuroIA 2016 offering a critical perspective on the concept of "connectedness" in the Internet of Things. It argues that "connection" is a thinly veiled label for neoliberal acceptance of corporate control, and all of our experimentation with solving inconsequential problems with IoT solutions is fundamentally unsustainable.

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Architectural Critique of Connected Utopias

  1. 1. An Architectural Critique of Connected Utopias Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt thomas@srsg.co srsg.co
  2. 2. OR Promethean Provocations
  3. 3. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Thomas Wendt pronouns: they or he Design Facilitator Strategist and Researcher Design Critic Author Based in NYC Research Interests: HCD, sustainability, design philosophy, co-operative and participatory design, design ethics and the politics of design
  4. 4. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0e/Prometheus_Adam_Louvre_MR1745_edit_atoma.jpg Prometheus = “forethought”; Epimetheus = “afterthought” Epimetheus tasked to create life, but forgot to equip humans (lack of foresight) Trick at Mecone: tricked Zeus into taking the bones, Prometheus as designer, Zeus took fire Prometheus stole back fire: dissenter, trickster, rule breaker Prometheus punished by being tied to a rock and having liver eaten Trickster, make ourselves at home through technology
  5. 5. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjnjpyGvYzOAhWH0iYKHThED8kQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F %2Fwww.deviantart.com%2Fmorelikethis%2F437842361&bvm=bv.127984354,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNETu1opEuqd2VApGBRU2UB31yXDdQ&ust=1469462602276397 Common connotations of “connection” Intimacy, closeness
  6. 6. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt The connection being sold to us
  7. 7. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjniZykyqrOAhUNySYKHULVBokQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Ftechcrunch.com %2F2016%2F06%2F28%2Famazon-expands-its-dash-button-program-to-50-more-brands-says-orders-taking-place-twice-a-minute%2F&bvm=bv.128617741,bs. 1,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNHk53IK-_iuoOOZQ_6CIJrJffKjkw&ust=1470496941706454 Connected ecosystems increasingly only serve capital. What are we trading for convenience? They create cycles of consumption that are illustrative of our many people’s daily lives.
  8. 8. We are so alienated from our food sources in modern industrial capitalism that we rely on packaged garbage to feed us. So we might cook up some Kraft Mac and Cheese for dinner.
  9. 9. The combination of sodium, carbohydrates, and artificial everything makes us dehydrated, so we turn to Gatorade to quench our thirst.
  10. 10. All this sweetened, artificial food packed with preservatives upsets our digestive systems, so we always need an abundance of Cottonelle toilet paper.
  11. 11. We use Clorox wipes to clean the kitchen, because anything less than clinical sterilization is unacceptable.
  12. 12. And since the wipes are conveniently disposable, we throw them away in a Glad trash bag to be shipped off to the landfill.
  13. 13. We put on some Loreal Youth Code after dinner to ward off any signs of natural aging.
  14. 14. Now it’s time to tend to the children, feeding them their own form of packaged garbage in the form of Gerber baby food.
  15. 15. And changing their Huggies diaper And throwing the old one out in the Glad bag (it always ends in trash) Problematize these cycles
  16. 16. Why Architecture? Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Reviewer comment.
  17. 17. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt “Architecture” = “master builder” Article about Google turning NYC payphone booths into advertising hubs. Sign in once and receive personalized ads whenever you walk by.
  18. 18. "One thing I know about my fellow New Yorkers, they like things that are completely free of charge.” Mayor Bill De Blasio https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjx77vS7O7OAhVJlR4KHUqoAxoQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FBill_de_Blasio&bvm=bv.131669213,d.dmo&psig=AFQjCNG5zE1H909KO14tQTY7MP4UVK_apA&ust=1472842656619228 Irony is that they’re not free at all. Costing us a sense of dwelling. I’m scared by this neoliberal acceptance of invasive advertising.
  19. 19. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Master ≠ Skilled Master = Holder of Power These corporations are our master builders. Not masters in the sense of highly skilled; masters in the sense of those in power. Questioning the very idea of a master builder
  20. 20. “Architecture is too important to be left to architects.” Giancarlo De Carlo https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwi4gM7m8e7OAhVJlR4KHf6vDdwQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Falchetron.com %2FGiancarlo-De-Carlo-767428-W&bvm=bv.131669213,d.dmo&psig=AFQjCNGN-ma0lCfhA0Cw8hU_XVdQtKoDWw&ust=1472844048049211 Where Tim Brown got the “design version” Anarchism, Participatory architecture Epimetheus was supposed to be a master builder [don’t tell the steelworks story yet]
  21. 21. Points of Critique Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
  22. 22. “Practicing criticism is a matter of making facile gestures difficult.” Michel Foucault https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwi4-LGJ7e7OAhVJ1R4KHcOVDPAQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Fredaccion.lamula.pe%2F2016%2F05%2F04%2Fcinco-peliculas-para-acercarnos-al-pensamiento-de-michel-foucault%2Fmanuelangeloprado%2F&bvm=bv. 131669213,d.dmo&psig=AFQjCNE3qL9R4PaBFzANOa50w_DK0aGHgw&ust=1472842773590572 The point of criticism is not to offer solutions, it is to make the normal ways of doing things problematic. Google Booth
  23. 23. This Stuff Critiques Itself Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt This stuff critiques itself. Coming from an American context. Silicon Valley.
  24. 24. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjbipnLsYzOAhXGJiYKHWjQDMcQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Flaughingsquid.com%2Fegg-minder-a-smart-egg-tray-that-uses-an-app-to-provide-updates-on-how-many-eggs-are-inside%2F&bvm=bv. 127984354,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNEauJ6Z3tKMe4OfzJoAWyDMhMRd_Q&ust=1469459559853243 Quirky’s egg minder Tells you how many eggs you have Assuring abundance
  25. 25. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiCyr3OsozOAhWCSCYKHVN6ASQQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Fwww.wezzoo.com%2Foombrella&bvm=bv.127984354,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNFW9f-w2Ufj03AtTfV8df-PvqDzeQ&ust=1469459832355942 https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwj86Yq7s4zOAhVKgiYKHacOAKMQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.leeo.com %2Fdesign-and-the-internet-of-things%2F&bvm=bv.127984354,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNF53P6bO-02UhXnbT5hhQ8R8U58ZA&ust=1469460062384279 https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjX3pGEtYzOAhVMOSYKHePgBpwQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fnews%2Fanimalia%2Fwp%2F2016%2F07%2F22%2Fso-it-has-come-to-this-an-app-that-finds-someone-to-pick-up-your-dogs-poop %2F&bvm=bv.127984354,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNHG2K6LGrWC1zrMv4z-3n4CaVVQUg&ust=1469460466094999 Pooper Finds someone to pick up your dog’s shit Labor exploitation
  26. 26. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiCyr3OsozOAhWCSCYKHVN6ASQQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Fwww.wezzoo.com%2Foombrella&bvm=bv.127984354,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNFW9f-w2Ufj03AtTfV8df-PvqDzeQ&ust=1469459832355942 Kars 4 Kids Alerts when child is still in car. Basically, we pay more attention to phones than children
  27. 27. (In)visibility Solutionism Sustainability 3 Critical Points Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
  28. 28. 1. (In)visibility Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
  29. 29. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwj0i7uaqK3OAhXLmh4KHW0ICqIQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F %2Fwww.amsvans.com%2Fblog%2Fbrain-computer-interface-can-help-those-with-disabilities %2F&psig=AFQjCNGJ27gT6AJHgwlA3wKhlUobdbLzrQ&ust=1470590904970973 Invisible interfaces hold promise for certain applications, such as for those with differing abilities
  30. 30. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjjpejMpq3OAhXB9h4KHXy9DLkQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tbo.com %2Flist%2Fmilitary-news%2Fid-summit-showcases-gadgets-that-can-find-a-face-in-a-crowd-20150922%2F&psig=AFQjCNGOxGPz59JlKJAJK- uSDaWdNN8agw&ust=1470590458149298 “The project of everyware is nothing less than the colonization of everyday life by information technology.” Adam Greenfield Invisibility in this context is not a blending into the background for the sake of anonymity. It is quite the opposite; by making interfaces invisible, corporations are able to extract even more information without needing to be explicit about it. “colonization” Google booths
  31. 31. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwj1gqTbga7OAhVEph4KHU5VDdcQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Fwww.reddit.com%2Fr%2FAbandonedPorn%2Fcomments%2F1yp9zb%2Fpresidio_modelo_a_panopticon_prison_built_on_isla %2F&psig=AFQjCNGO54qqob8EqRrCmkIMxO9o5NsIjw&ust=1470614891216141 “And this invisibility is a guarantee of order.” Michel Foucault Among many other things, Foucault was an architectural theorist. Panopticon -Invisibility of those in power guarantees compliance -Invisibility of fellow prisoners -Ensures that power is always visible in abstract form, never verifiable
  32. 32. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjQ75_isbDOAhUKRCYKHRdfCUwQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fscience- all.com%2Fdungeon.html&psig=AFQjCNG9ixoJC84vpKyQHXdjnaGyLJHp9w&ust=1470696554944679 Foucault argued that the Panopticon functions opposite to the dungeon, the previous method of imprisonment. Dungeon = locking away, invisibility of the undesirable Panopticon = publicizing the undesirable
  33. 33. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjTs9H7srDOAhVC4CYKHeLlBBUQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3AJail_Cell_NMCP.jpg&psig=AFQjCNEchMBiKY7KOruzE0rgbpZtfRwvRQ&ust=1470696877339456 https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mycity-web.com%2Fkatarina-milovanovic %2F&psig=AFQjCNGaGBkJl_INxbwuHMEeKK54v7JNJg&ust=1470697006430502 Control vs Discipline Note the difference in visibility (child looking directly at cigarette)
  34. 34. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjIx8mWsrDOAhUTfiYKHZZrCkUQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F %2Fwww.imedicalapps.com%2F2012%2F11%2Freview-popular-myfitnesspal-app-fitness%2F&psig=AFQjCNG0146Y4fwq2n6cxt10vMzEWgb0- A&ust=1470696660976102 https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjZtsS0srDOAhVLQSYKHUdGBMYQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Fhehaseyes.wordpress.com%2Ftag%2Fpedometer%2F&psig=AFQjCNFTSSgl6l9JC7Sn9kMR1TpyuuA7uw&ust=1470696726772968 Private and public Policing is designed into the app
  35. 35. “Our society is one not of spectacle, but of surveillance […] Behind the great abstraction of exchange, there continues the meticulous, concrete training of useful forces […] The individual is carefully fabricated in it, according to a whole technique of forces and bodies.” Michel Foucault https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiE_NLm9-7OAhWDFR4KHb74D0wQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Falittlemoresauce.com%2Ftag%2Fmichel-foucault%2F&bvm=bv.131669213,d.dmo&psig=AFQjCNGUZ1HRP544i9vsvtd7IXRNjfl6tg&ust=1472845662732862 Techniques of self (dieting) serve discipline designed into our technologies. Submit to power systems we can’t see.
  36. 36. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwivzYbbp7LOAhVBfiYKHTlTA0AQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Fwww.oneonta.edu%2Ffaculty%2Ffarberas%2Farth%2FARTH214%2Fambassadors_home.html&psig=AFQjCNGLNPJb- NlSff_JmaSaTtxkhjXVTw&ust=1470762563580062 We’re left with this sense that something exists in our environment that we cannot readily perceive. Hans Holbein “The Ambassadors”
  37. 37. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dodedans.com%2FEholbein- ambassador.htm&psig=AFQjCNEjZd-x06Uk2891lA8ohuBvlRwrBw&ust=1470762637400146 In Holbein’s case, it was the image of death.
  38. 38. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dodedans.com%2FEholbein- ambassador.htm&psig=AFQjCNEjZd-x06Uk2891lA8ohuBvlRwrBw&ust=1470762637400146 Gaze, Lacan. Anxiety felt when one feels they are being watched, objectified. Foucault also referred to the medical gaze. Hieronymus Bosch “The Conjurer” Woman in green is looking at you.
  39. 39. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dodedans.com%2FEholbein- ambassador.htm&psig=AFQjCNEjZd-x06Uk2891lA8ohuBvlRwrBw&ust=1470762637400146 Nest thermostat
  40. 40. 2. Solutionism Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
  41. 41. Solutionism The belief that all problems have easy, often technological solutions. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjewsiK7u7OAhUGKx4KHTfKDBcQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DuYHiE1GX1HI&bvm=bv.131669213,d.dmo&psig=AFQjCNGf09_OBMAyiNDdBVXvwim4U5FfBg&ust=1472843045586497 Evgeny Morozov Silicon Valley. Does a disservice to the complexity of most issues.
  42. 42. “One could say that nothing conceals the emergency of the unsustainable more effectively that the blinding and enduring power of this faith in technology as salvation.” Tony Fry https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjY8JXZ7u7OAhULpR4KHY_LAvgQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F %2Fwww.sd.polyu.edu.hk%2Fen%2Fevent%2Finternational-speaker-series-tony-fry-lecture-workshop&bvm=bv. 131669213,d.dmo&psig=AFQjCNEqafTzdx24wCXx0YFhR5nWq0WVyw&ust=1472843183166135
  43. 43. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjy8syqx7fOAhVLfiYKHXlMDFQQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Fwww.amazon.com%2FPetnet-SmartFeeder-Automatic-Feeding-iPhone%2Fdp %2FB010QYTN2K&psig=AFQjCNE_Kl5_BFmxFvS3lTvEEj1lMpyuiQ&ust=1470942836174148 Pet net. Feed pets remotely so you can stay at work. Don’t rely on social relationships and burden your friends. Problem is not about feeding pets, it’s about not being home enough
  44. 44. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
  45. 45. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiwn5aeybfOAhXQZiYKHTQQDS8QjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fjohnbiehler.com %2F2012%2F10%2F02%2Ftech-tuesday-bluetooth-gloves-the-lifestraw-water-filter%2F&psig=AFQjCNFIkbCZHlKwH9S-zmbRFEQIzHk8Pg&ust=1470943214743833 Bluetooth glove. Instead of not being on the phone while outside in cold weather, we designed around it.
  46. 46. Febreeze Home Instead of cleaning your house, release scent with your phone.
  47. 47. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Innovation for innovation’s sake. The world as material to be hacked at the infrastructural level. Wasted effort on inconsequential problems.
  48. 48. 3. Sustainability Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
  49. 49. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjJwLnSnq3OAhVDHR4KHTLHAPcQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F %2Fwww.scifinow.co.uk%2Ftag%2Ffrankenstein%2F&psig=AFQjCNEaifph2LRa28w2E5CUWjUYXi3GAA&ust=1470588321714850 Dr Frankenstein’s sin was not that he manipulated nature, nor that he created a monster. It’s that he failed to love his monster (Latour).
  50. 50. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwit6uKBiMnOAhXHHB4KHfcwBZwQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.general- ebooks.com%2Fsearch%2Fmary-wollstonecraft-shelley-frankenstein-or-modern- prometheus&psig=AFQjCNFQeWkSOMgBoFDemDfGPb2u4yioSQ&ust=1471544339829339
  51. 51. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjirNrIiMnOAhWIVh4KHbj2C78QjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F %2Fxfilesposterproject.tumblr.com%2Fpost%2F131256048400%2Fthe-post-modern-prometheus-episode-102- instead&psig=AFQjCNHO048U-3WEt_kAIeg3qT_ecG4mXA&ust=1471544486378346
  52. 52. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://aeon.co/essays/innovation-is-overvalued-maintenance-often-matters-more?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=f5f6abc3ac- Daily_Newsletter_7_April_20164_4_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-f5f6abc3ac-68898121 We associate design with creation, but sometimes the best design decision are to not create, to maintain what we have.
  53. 53. “An activity is sustainable if it does not damage the capacity of the landbase to support its members.” Derrick Jensen https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjvp7G78-7OAhWBJh4KHYZODYIQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.coach.me %2Fderrick-jensen-interview%2F&bvm=bv.131669213,d.dmo&psig=AFQjCNETAFmz2oEOEYwMpWT_FKROYozIIQ&ust=1472844476561644 Because when we create, we need to think about sustainability. Historically, we are not good at that.
  54. 54. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwi7w6eGl8vOAhUBKB4KHfkqDeQQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Fadambemma.com%2F2013%2F04%2F21%2Fthe-proliferation-of-e-waste-in-africa-full-length-documentary %2F&psig=AFQjCNEfiSgDTYci7I7MAlBTS9_COktU6Q&ust=1471616988180381 https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwimnoPq9O7OAhXGqx4KHetEBY4QjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F %2Fwww.linkedin.com%2Ftopic%2Fewaste&bvm=bv.131669213,d.dmo&psig=AFQjCNENHNAFFEgC3-DUfurB9BVqMJx8ug&ust=1472844679082920 Our inability to love our monsters is fundamentally unsustainable
  55. 55. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjNw_zllsvOAhXIPB4KHeCnBK4QjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fgreatforest.com %2Fsustainability101%2Fwaste-recycling-composting%2Fmaking-difference-transforming-africas-largest-e-waste-dump-model-recycling-center %2F&psig=AFQjCNEfiSgDTYci7I7MAlBTS9_COktU6Q&ust=1471616988180381 These are the people who have to deal with the waste products of bad design. Bad design is not hard to use, but the feral, unloved monsters we have created.
  56. 56. Politics Ecology Conviviality Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Being good little designers, you’re all asking “What can we do?”
  57. 57. Ecological Thinking = How We Dwell Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Ecology = the study of dwelling Not how we exist, but how we thrive and flourish. Architecture’s concern as well
  58. 58. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Tim Morton says ecological thinking is the thinking of the trickster, and Prometheus is one of the most well known tricksters in history. He used cunning intelligence to take power from the gods. Designers and IAs are responsible to take back power from corporations and Silicon Valley
  59. 59. Be cunning Resisting Connection Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt We’re caught up in an industrial system that demands participation, but our cunning intelligence can provide moments of resistance.
  60. 60. Be cunning Be critical Resisting Connection Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Bright and shiny IoT products often begin with borderline slave labor and end in e-waste dumping grounds. Let’s get real about whether this is acceptable.
  61. 61. Be cunning Be critical Be political Resisting Connection Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt We all know design is never neutral. Let’s stop acting like it is.
  62. 62. Be cunning Be critical Be political Be co-operative Resisting Connection Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Fewer architects, more cooperation Story of De Carlo’s steelworks project
  63. 63. “I choose the term 'conviviality' to designate the opposite of industrial productivity. I intend it to mean autonomous and creative intercourse among persons, and the intercourse of persons with their environment; and this in contrast with the conditioned response of persons to the demands made upon them by others, and by a man-made environment. I consider conviviality to be individual freedom realized in personal interdependence and, as such, an intrinsic ethical value. I believe that, in any society, as conviviality is reduced below a certain level, no amount of industrial productivity can effectively satisfy the needs it creates among society's members.” Ivan Illich https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwik0dORr_POAhWDMx4KHcjODEMQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F %2Fnagasenamenandre.blogspot.com%2F&psig=AFQjCNF8dtF9FVC7Jk1VjqF9yjAfMuwA2w&ust=1472997887148422
  64. 64. Thomas Wendt srsg.co thomas@srsg.co @thomas_wendt

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