Online Responses for Week 4

  1. Speculative Everything, Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, p. 1-10, 33-47
    The one thing I liked the most about reading this article is the statement saying “futures are not destination or something to be strived for but a medium to aid imaginative thought.” This is such an interesting way to see and understand the speculative design.Reading about illustration of different kinds of potential futures reminded me about my childhood experience. When I was in a kindergarten, my teachers gave me assignment of either drawing a future or describing a future with a crayon. I think my SCD experience started from that point.In the article, the author suggests that the contemporary design has lost the characteristics of radical design and lost its spirit. First of all, the reason why commercialization became abundant in the speculative design area is that the nature of the critical design fits perfectly in commercialization. Critical design helps us to find the shortcoming of the product and gives us vision on how it can be improved. Isn’t it simply too perfect for the commercial design? Secondly, the author suggests that the atomized society prevents us to have top-down mega utopia dreams. However, I do not think the utopia dream needs to be one gigantic design that’s governed by one big leader. I believe the mega change can still happen these days. The mega change won’t be one change but instead it would be waves of millions of smaller changes. With technology and better networking, the society can create a wave of movement, and the Internet will work like a neuro-network that helps for all different small change to create a wave of big change that will act like a mega change in macro scale.Over the article, the author criticize how people are being hopeful about the future problems. Even though I deeply agree with the author that it is a big problem, however, at the same time, it is hard for each individual to have critical thoughts about all the problems we have and problems we will face. For individual, being hopeful is easy and comfortable and not being hopeful is stressful, especially for problems that one cannot even come up with any action that he or she can take.

    Critical design becomes really hard, when it comes to some of the big problems that seem unsolvable. Critical design needs to not only identify shortcomings but also needs to redesign and offer a better version. For some of the problems, it is extremely hard to come up with redesigned better version when the reality is involved.

    Last but not least, the concept of dark design was very interesting. While reading the example of a machine decides the shopper by reading micro expressions on the face, I imagined a machine that reads electronic signals in the human brain and tells people what they want or like. I have faced many situations where I do not know either I want to eat pizza or hamburger, or coke or Dr.Pepper. Even though I wanted to have a machine that can clearly let me know what I really want, but the thinking of such a machine brings fear in my mine. Frankly, this scares me. However, I believe awareness of this negative feeling makes us think about this further does bring excitement to the subject or design.

  2. “Futuristic Gizmos, Conservative Ideals: On Anachronistic Design”
    I agree with what author suggests, and criticizes but without the solid definition or significant firsthand experiences, it is hard to agree that what the author argues It could be helpful to understand if the author provides real cases that reflect what is happening now.Also, the author uses strong argument of telling what artist must do and follow. The author can suggest the direction whatever for the better ways, but somewhat too potent argument with less evidence lead readers to a disagreement-zone.The author seems to put much focus on social injustice and hierarchies of privileges. Even though I agree some political issues or social problems need to be more widely recognized, let those jobs to be done by artists who have strong feelings about those.Because I think the artists working on critical design should be able to work on the subjects whatever they want to deal with.
  3. Design in a Time of Crisis
    This article is short but has various connections with other reading materials that I have read for this quarter.
    Since this project is “framing the present and near-future scenario” it can be connected with <Speculative Everything>.
    The argument of “concentration on events, outside of UK/US/EU” can be connected with < Borderlands>.
    “Challenge and questions the political and ethical accountability of current speculative design practice” –> <“Futuristic Gizmos, Conservative Ideals: On Anachronistic Design”>
    “False illusion of safety: protection against the other … But also of being watched against yourself” –> < “An Artist’s Pioneering Masks Shield Us from Future Surveillance” >
    This project become a good example that I can use as a reference for my future projects.More about this project [Learn more]
  4. Rafael Lozano-Hammer, Level of Confidence
    I cannot repress my astonishment since what happened to those college students is really hard to believe. I heard the official investigation concluded all 43 students were murdered, but it seems like the public distrust this official announcement. The possibility that there will be survivors is probably very low because it has been over a year since that tragedy occurred, but for the possibility of their survival this art project means so many things.First, it is doing good job at catching people’s attention by its unique technique, and that makes people pay attention to this tragedy. Also, people can remember victims’ names or faces that may help to find victims who may be still alive.However, honestly, without knowing there is a small chance that some of victims may be alive, I think this project feels little ghastly, even though it has great intention. Personally, I do not want to check who do I look like the most among people who died by this crucial incident. Even though I still have this negative feeling toward this design, but I am trying to focus on the advantage of this project for now. (Can this art be sorted by dark design?)Second, this project and the meaning of this project can be propagated in convenient way as the art project has a form of a software. This advantage of this art can get people’s attention not just in Mexico but also internationally.
  5. Borderlands / La Frontera, Gloria Anzaldúa
    For me, the chapter 1 “The Homeland, Aztlan / El Otro Mexico” can be divided into two parts.First part is about the history of native human race in American continental. This part taught me several facts about the history of Chicano and Mexicana as human races. In addition, this part informs the illegal migration of Anglos in 1800s, and how they treated Mexican people. For the second part, the author concentrates on describing the most horrible era for Mexican people caused by invasion of Anglos. In addition to that, what happened in their border, and her country.Here is my honest response of this article.First, I feel that I am not the target audience of this article. The author often uses Spanish in the sentences, and I guess the purpose of using Spanish is touching reader’s emotional attachment. It is similar to my personal experience of having more emotional attachment to some Japanese pop songs when those songs put one or two Korean words intentionally. Thus, the author may succeed in stimulating someone’s emotion who is Mexicana, Chicano, or who can understand Spanish. However, I presume that it has a reverse effect for some groups of people.Second, the story about what is happening near the border is quite outdated.Of course, the histories of the massacre, discrimination and rape by Anglos are tragic affairs that should never be repeated again. However, the statistical data for such as a number of people who are unemployed in Mexico, crossing the border per year and etc. are too outdated, which lead me to be less attached to the story.

    Finally, I can assume that the author wanted to insist the first landholder of the America continent is one of her ancestors. That might be historically true. However, I could not feel the sympathy on repeated implications of stating who inhabited that land first to portray the current land owner as evil.

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