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05 OCTOBER 2014

Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming

"Today designers often focus on making technology easy to use, sexy, and consumable. In Speculative Everything, Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby propose a kind of design that is used as a tool to create not only things but ideas. For them, design is a means of speculating about how things could be–to imagine possible futures. This is not the usual sort of predicting or forecasting, spotting trends and extrapolating; these kinds of predictions have been proven wrong, again and again. Instead, Dunne and Raby pose 'what if' questions that are intended to open debate and discussion about the kind of future people want (and do not want).

Speculative Everything offers a tour through an emerging cultural landscape of design ideas, ideals, and approaches. Dunne and Raby cite examples from their own design and teaching and from other projects from fine art, design, architecture, cinema, and photography. They also draw on futurology, political theory, the philosophy of technology, and literary fiction. They show us, for example, ideas for a solar kitchen restaurant; a flypaper robotic clock; a menstruation machine; a cloud–seeding truck; a phantom–limb sensation recorder; and devices for food foraging that use the tools of synthetic biology. Dunne and Raby contend that if we speculate more–about everything–reality will become more malleable. The ideas freed by speculative design increase the odds of achieving desirable futures."

(Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, 2013)

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TAGS

2013alternative visionsAnthony Dunne • Belgrade • Belgrade New Media Festival • Charles Avery • conceptual designdesign approachesdesign idealsdesign ideasDesign Interactions (MA) • desirable futures • emerging cultural landscape • extrapolating • Fiona Raby • Frederik Pohl • future contextsfuture forecastingfuturology • how things could be • ictional scenarios • idealism • ideas freed by speculative design • interaction design • literary fiction • Michio Kaku • modelling possible realities • new media festival • open debate and discussion • philosophy of technologyPhysics of the Impossible (2008)political theory • possible futures • potential futures • predictions • Resonate festival • Royal College of Art • scenario building • sci-fiscience fiction • social dreaming • speculative design • Speculative Everything Design (2013) • speculative fictionsuspend disbelief • the future people want • Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance • we speculate • what if

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
23 MARCH 2012

Autumn 2012: Design and Social Innovation

"There is a growing interest in the role that design can play in catalysing, harnessing, spreading and scaling social innovation around the world. This is expressed in two key ways:

> by a growing number of professional designers and design disciplines applying their skills to addressing social issues; and

> by the adoption of design tools, techniques and methods by a growing number of other disciplines focused on developing social innovation.

Perhaps the most recognisable facet of this interest has been the rise of 'design thinking' not only in business, but increasingly in public service and policy fields. Fuelled by design agencies such as IDEO in the US, non–profit bodies such as the Design Council in the UK, and education institutions such as Stanford's 'd.school', design thinking has begun to be recognised as a key ingredient underpinning innovation (whether that be social innovation or not). Indeed, according to Sir George Cox, past chairman of the Design Council, design is what bridges creativity (the generation of new ideas) and innovation (the successful implementation of new ideas). In other words, design could be described as:

'the human power to conceive, plan, and realize products that serve human beings in the accomplishment of any individual or collective purpose' (Richard Buchanan, 2001)."

(Ingrid Burkett, Knowledge Connect)

Fig.1 AT.AW [http://www.at–aw.com]

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2012action learning • catalysing social innovation • change observercitizenshipcivil societyclients • collective purpose • community services • conceive ideas • constituents • consumersCourtney Drake • critical insight • critical literature • critical thinking • cross-sector • d.school • deign approaches • design agenciesdesign approaches • design bridges creativity and innovation • Design Council (UK)design disciplinesdesign fielddesign innovationdesign methodsDesign Observer (magazine)design techniquesdesign thinkingdesign toolsdesignersdifferent perspectives • diversity of disciplines • education institutions • George Cox • harnessing social innovation • idea generationIDEO • individual purpose • Jacqueline Wechsler • Joanne Hutchinson • logframe • logframe analysis • long-term change • NESTAnew ideas • Open Book of Social Innovation • plan ideas • political reactionism • previous learning • professional designersprototypingpublic policy • public service • public services • real change • realise products • Richard Buchanan • scaling social innovation • School of Management • School of Visual Arts in New York • service implementation • serving human beings • significant change • social design • social ills • social innovation • Social Innovation Branch in DEEWR • social interventionsocial issuessocial policysocial sciencesocial sector • spreading social innovation • Stanford Universitystrategic planning • strategy and planning • successful implementation • the role that design • underpinning innovation • User-Centred Design (UCD)users • Vera Sacchetti • William DrenttelYale University • Young Foundation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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