Part 1D: Critical reflection on three text below

When it comes to these text, I mentioned at a question about the capacity of designers to deal with speculative design at ‘Beyond Radical Design’. The field of speculative design strongly relies on the capacity of the designer. It is essential to speculate something with considerations of the matter from various angles deeply and comprehensively. So far, are there suitable educational systems for designers or designers are educated?

On the other hands, in terms of the Society of Control text, it quite has a bright future with various benefits from it by utilising it effectively, not negatively. In the disciplinary societies, the disciplinary moulds are highly limited without any effective method to connect each of them. However, in the societies of control, the public can use everything that they want with technologies such as computer to purchase something on internet shop like Amazon. In addition, every people can access and participate in learning with one of the biggest libraries like Google as educational resources. Even though everything is monitored by the new technologies, it also helps people to be safety rather than exposure in dangerous situations. For instance, thanks to electronic payment systems, without

For instance, thanks to electronic payment systems, without password, the card is useless to pay. It means it is highly safety for people rather than cash by chasing the list of record. It is related to Speculative Design in a way. By using technology, we can speculate the future we want to look at with database accumulated. In short, if a person is robbed, they can chase and trace the robber through the record of payment of the bank card they were stolen. In addition, based on this function of bank card, we can develop or invent the system of bank cards to prevent the criminal as well as catching criminals more effectively than now. This is just a narrow perspective of speculative design. With the advent of huge amount of technologies, we can make more safe and enjoyable society together. Every aspect has both side, positive and negative aspect. We need to have endeavours to maximise benefits of them, and minimise downsides of them.

Part 1C: Postscript on the Societies of Control

  1. History

There is the first society called ‘societies of sovereignty’. After that, ‘disciplinary societies’ was appeared. In terms of this society, Foucault opined that the individual was continuously located within an environment having its laws. There was the family, then the school, and then the barracks, the factory, the hospital, and even the prison, and each environment have their rules and order. And, today, another shift which is not complete is taking place. We call it ‘the society of control’. The environments such as schools, factories, are provided with different forms of power. The control societies control the people with new technologies, molecular engineering, genetic manipulation, and so on.

  1. Logic

When it comes to the changes, in the disciplinary society, the enclosures are independent. We can think about each of them as a kind of psychological mould shaped the mind and behaviour of the people within them. On the other hands, in a society of control, by technological controls, these disciplinary moulds are deformed. In the control society, people never completely leave a particular enclosure due to the fact that this shifts from a disciplinary to a control society. For instance, in the past, people use their “signature” that represented individual’s place within cultural mass, but in the new society, it is more important is their “password” to access information of them.

  1. Program

There will be the increase of the control mechanisms. A computer will be made to track and observe our every position, and it will have an effect on a universal modulation of our behaviour. However, it is not serious moment now because it is just the step of beginning in terms of this new form of control. Paradoxically, a large number of young people are motivated by the new waves as well as changes. They need to train for being adapted with the advent of the new era.

Part 1B: Design and the construction of Publics

Carl DiSalvo references the book ‘The Public and Its Problems’ written by John Dewey in order to support his theory. Publics generally means a group or society composed of a large number of individuals. Dewey articulated that the problem of the public is not related to each. The problem is related to the action of them. In this context, the action is like ‘communication’. Publics are “constructed” by gathering or assembling individuals who interact and communicate with each other.

Thus, DiSalvo argues that the role of designers is to comprehend this core process, and use the public (= the members of society) as tools to form and facilitate the community (or a public) they live. In other words, a public is created through an issue, and people try to solve the problem.

There are two main design tactics to motivate people to solve issues. “Projection” and “Tracing” aim to make a consequence of a problem visible. First of all, the tactic of projection can be outlined as a possible form of future consequences related to an issue with predicting scenarios, and its purpose is to make it (= potential consequences of a topic) apparent. Secondly, the tactic of tracing is tracing the origins of an issue such as following or recording the presence and movement of something. These two tactics interact each other and create an active conversation from the past and present.

This is a quite prime discourse which represents sociology. Our society consists of the members of society, and they generate various issues. It is unquestionably impossible to deal with enormous problems we have with designers only. That is to say, the role of designers opens up a path to make people motivate action to deal with the problems by projection and tracing, not only for designers. This is the stance of pluralism of design. However, I have felt the author overacts to define ‘construction of publics with design’ too extensively by bringing Dewey’s theory. When it comes to this essay, he wanted to justify and make a strong reason for doing speculative design. I need to try to read more specifically.

Part 1A: Beyond Radical Design

Having a dream for us is massively difficult with the reality of current society. There are a number of problems along with us such as overpopulation, water shortages and climate change. Is changing something such as our values, beliefs, attitudes and behavior clever method rather than thinking about fixing the problems? Or is it extremely radical thinking? As a designer living today, how can we speculate and solve the social problems?

Dunne and Raby, who are design practitioners, have been thinking about speculative design in this text. They opined that as a designer, it is hard to imagine the future: social and political speculation. At the same time, they have thought about the positive future to facilitate alternative vision rather than just disappointing current hopeless circumstances.

From my perspective, speculating future to solve problems is extremely difficult due to the fact that there are fewer researches to support, and additionally, as a designer, is it possible to use their ability to research and design simultaneously? They are normally educated by tutors who are designers based on design, not social and political experts. In order to speculate future and solve the problem, designers definitely have to learn that kind of subjects as well as broaden their horizon with various perspectives more than the current education system.

I am not sceptical in terms of this topic. However, objectively, we need to look at our ability to provide alternative visions to human all over the world. Socially oriented designers, such as Victor Papanek who a pioneer of the critical and radical creator, have changed our society dramatically? I do not think so. He is a good example of radical and speculative design. However, it is not a successful project for all over the world. That was just like a showcase for the possibility of the future. There is a good example of ‘Fuse Project’ to overcome this difficult task. Look at it. And think about this more.

Thirty Six Seconds Dance Notation

Based on the project of John Lansdown, the final shape of our project has appeared by adding the fundamental framework of the project ‘Stereo Dance’. First of all, there is a full-size screen divided by ‘36 squares’ which means the total play time ‘36 seconds’ of an extracted piano music as a background sound, from a film made by a BBC documentary in terms of the performance designed by John Lansdown. On the stage, with the music, participants move their body as a dance to a rhythm, and the body movements are captured to 36 images per second for 36 seconds (Figure 1). The dances can be diverse reinterpretations of the music, compared to the performance by ballet dancers 40 years ago, as ordinary people, not professionals. The captured 36 images are distributed to the 36 squares on the screen (Figure 2). Finally, the images on the screen are printed out to enable participants to take it away. This is a whole process of our project which bring out an exploration of a genuine fusion between human imagination and computer procedure based on Lansdown’s work with the fundamental framework of activity theory.

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(Figure 1) 36 squares, Test image.

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(Figure 2) Prototyping

Stereo Dance

There is an apposite example which is possible to be applied to activity theory like John Lansdown’s notation, and it has included profound inspirations to build his work more meaningfully and refreshingly on the progressive restructure. The title of the project is ‘Stereo Dances’ which is regarding ‘An aurally immersive space for two participants to engage in a dance duet. Two sets of movement instructions were delivered simultaneously to each person through pairs of headphones and designed to create synchronised 3-5minute dance sequence’ in 2004 (Sandiland, 2004). As a result, through the installation, people can create various choreographies by listening to an identical instruction like choreographers in real time (figure 1).

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(Figure 1) Stereo Dances (2004). Available at: http://flexerandsandiland.com/archives/nic-sandiland/installations/stereo-dances/ (Accessed: 22 November 2015).

The project enabled me to have an idea regarding a novel possibility of being able to convert the ‘dance sequences’ of people to ‘dance notations’ visually as well as simultaneously by using computer programming. In an expanded point of view, it is adequate to expand the role of the humans proactively, not passively. In John Lansdown’s experiments, the computer previously generates dance scripts, and dancers ‘follow’ the script. However, before producing the code by the computer, without professional dancers, the public can be a dancer who can generate script themselves. It means ‘the expansion of human imagination’.

Sandiland, N. (2004) Stereo Dances. Available at http://flexerandsandiland.com/archives/nic-sandiland/installations/stereo-dances/ (Accessed: 2 December 2015).