This post is dealing with the Dunne introduction reading. I’m going to start with a quote:

The project proposes an approach that uses the design of conceptual electronic products as a way of provoking complex and meaningful reflection on the ubiquitous, dematerializing, and intelligent artificial environment we inhabit”

I paraphrased this for my own understanding… By using conceptual products that don’t currently exist, the audience will be prompted to reflect on their current existing environments? I’m not sure if this relationship works but this reminds me of a method we learned in Shaowen’s class. It won’t help that I don’t remember totally what the method was about but she had us do an exercise where she handed out rather organic/abstract looking objects and we were supposed to talk about the emotions of these objects. These objects did not explicitly show emotion but their form and “essence” for some reason made us relate to certain emotions, while also having us reflect on how we characterize these emotions. So by showing the audience some sort of concept that doesn’t actually exist, it’s making them relate somehow to their current products that do exist and reflect on those characteristics in a different context. Right? Am I getting it?

note: if you know the name of the method I am referring to, please inform me as I would like to look it up and clarify.

Another thing that resonated with me in this article was when Dunne talked about Ezio Manzini and the idea of the design visionary. Here’s the quote that I’m referring to:

Ezio Manzini outlined a role for the designer that offers a fresh perspecrive that builds on earlier Italian design thinking. He suggests that the days of the design visionary are over, and a weariness with utopian visions has set in. Instead , he advises the designer to use his or her skills to visualize alternative future scenarios in ways that can be presented to the public, thus enabling democratic choices between the futures people actually want. Designers could then set about achieving these futures by developing new design strategies to direct industry to work with society.

This reminded me of OpenIDEO (http://www.openideo.com/). For those unfamiliar, openIDEO provides design problems and anyone can submit a design. These designs are then taken through different stages where anyone can comment on the designs providing feedback and critique. In the end the winning ideas are selected based off of community evaluation AND expert feedback. I think that this is a good way for the public to provide input on what they believe is a good future design but it’s also needs an expert, educated designer to have a say in the matter.

That’s all for now 🙂

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