Joey: a design scenario for an ordinary life in the future
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We occupy a fascinating moment in time when the trajectory of technological development is throwing into doubt the certainty of understandings of the boundary between the human and the technological. Perhaps one of the key contributions that industrial designers have made to humankind has been the way in which they have made the extraordinary potentiality of technology seem utterly ordinary: they call it the 'humanisation of technology' (ICSID 2008). Designers, however, seem to be in something of an intellectual spin; they have done little to mollify the projection of these times as extraordinary and without precedent in the trajectory of the human species. Rather than adding to the many who call for discontinuity, a speculative design scenario is presented taking impetus from the opportunity for designers to reconsider the essential principles that underpin their intellectual community. The scenarios explore how it will be necessary to find a means to analyse the human and the technological without seeking closure through outmoded forms of material and representational analysis. If designers can reveal borders and epistemic heterogeneity to be matters of conceptual and rhetorical convenience, then they might act upon a strategy that understands materiality to be tied to a new form of intellectual complexity in keeping with these times. In that way, it will become possible again for industrial designers to lead the discussion of humanity and technology in a single and productive conversation.
Technoetic Arts: A Journal fo Speculative Research, Volume 7, Issue 1, 2009
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