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So I just finally pieced together what I want to do and am currently pulling quotes from different papers. The basic idea comes from Don Norman’s Emotional Design.

When machines display emotions, they provide a rich and satisfying interaction with people, even though most of the richness and satisfaction, most of the interpretation and understanding, comes from within the head of the person, not from the artificial system

I basically want to argue that emotional intelligence is important for the future developments of computers and robots. I will contrast R2D2 and C3P0 with Siri and Cortana (apple and Windows phone) and show the difference in interactions of systems that are capable of emotional intelligence vs systems that only interpret commands.

For example, the other day Jeff Gadzala was showing off Cortana and was trying to get Cortana make a reference to the video game. Unfortunately, Cortana took him literally (“Cortana can you tell me about Master Chief”) and gave him a wiki answer! In this situation for example, had his phone been able to recognize the emotions (casual, joking), it would have been able to offer a joke or two!

I am probably going to dissect each example based on the readings (Sutcliff, McCarthy and Wright, Folkman, Bradzell and Bradzell) and show why emotional intelligence is important.

My question is, does this seem reasonable and narrowed down enough? Are there any seminal papers that I am missing out? Other thoughts and concerns?


Something Julia mentioned briefly in our discussion last Thursday stuck with me, and I wanted to bring it up – basically this notion of the audience or a cultivation of appreciation for aspects of a concept being important for conceptual design to be done at all. Put succinctly, there has to be a place to see these concepts. And moving it out of strictly the academic/curatorial level and into everyday homes breaks whatever barriers or walls of thought are brought in by even those institutions.

Now Julia had said something about the ‘everyday artist’ who works at some job which doesn’t necessarily fit his goals in order to pay the bills, but creates all sorts of artwork in their spare time. I think to make it a bit more specific, it should be someone who does this on the side, not as their job, and they should be ‘un-trained’ (Not have gone to school for it). And what I’m wondering if this sort of amateur level work is somehow necessary for a audience or a culture to build up around these designs.

In each of the other fields that Dunne and Raby bring up I believe this amateur level work is at play to some extent. Graphic Design, Fashion, Film and Game are all pretty obvious. Vehicles and architecture are more about remaking/remodeling than creating from scratch, but still I think the thought is there.

I think we’re beginning to see this in Product design/IT – Notions of everyday design, as explored in Methods, takes in this amateur aspect. Participatory design in a step in the right direction. The Maker Movement is probably the closest and best thing to this amateur product/IT design culture, and it’s growing in leaps and bounds… but still I don’t think it’s quite made the pervasive mark on our everyday to make ‘doing design’ be seen as a thing.

Once it does, or if it can, we as a society can begin to comment on the highfalutin top of the line designs that are only shown at trade shows, research papers, or inaccessible labs. Not to say that the expert opinions need defer to the masses, but at the moment it seems there’s only talk on one side of the table.


I wanted to start my first post with this image and talk about ‘speculative design’. Here are some quotes that stuck out to me during the reading.

“futures are not a destination or something to be strived for but a medium to aid imaginative thought ”

“the role of the expert is often, not to prevent the impossible but to make it acceptable.”

“We believe that by speculating more, at all levels of society, and exploring alternative scenarios , reality will become more malleable”

“We live in a very different world now but we can reconnect with that spirit and develop new methods appropriate for today’s world and once again begin to dream.”

What I found odd during the reading is this idea of speculative design, and how now, Dunne and Raby believe ” several key changes have happened since the high point of radical design in the 1970s that make imaginative, social, and political speculation today more difficult and less likely.”

I personally have never felt that I am limited to speculate on design or social implications because of design due to some of the examples they provide. The authors made it seem that speculation is restricted and therefore can’t led to radical designs. I do not agree with this statement and I feel that this is actually changing.

Something I found online recently that touches on how I feel can be seen in this video.

Reverberating Across the Divide: Digital Design Meets Physical Context

For me, this is a new and rather radical way to create a necklace. What I like about this video is the idea, I will speculate here, that someone at home could create custom necklaces that are custom fitted to their bodies in one fitting. I would love input on this video or the idea of radical design, but does anyone else feel limited or that a few changes in history has really changes since the 1970’s?