Reading Response 6 / Heather Weyda

In chapter 9 of Speculative Everything they write about how speculative design is not the same as design thinking and social design. Design thinking is all about solving problems for commercial reasoning, while social design is focused on fixing human problems without the incentive of financial gain. Speculative design, however, is intended to be a inspirational and address values and ethics. It is a way of imagining the world as it could be. This change from reality as we know it is argued in this article to be solely due to the actions of the individual. The individuals actions can act as the jumpstart to these proposed ideas. It’s also suggested that in order for these ideas to come to light people also need to change their behaviors for the greater good. One example they provided was quitting smoking because it effects others around you. Everyone has the opportunity to influence design by what they do or do not decided to participate in, such as what you choose to buy and companies you support. When we hold certain beliefs it can stifle the development of designs. Our designs can only go as far as our imagination and when personally held beliefs come into play it greatly influences what does or does not become a reality.  If companies see that certain products or ideas are popular amongst consumers than they are more likely to follow the trends and produce similar products.

It is also argued in the reading that there are a infinite amount of realities. Each person perceives and experiences things differently, making their own interpretation of reality. This is important because when thinking of what realities could exist we need to place ourselves in the mindset that there is more than one way to view the reality that we all share. People’s outlooks on their reality also leave a lasting effect on the way things are designed, for example whether they have an optimistic view of life can influence what ideas they are willing to embrace. While simply thinking about these different realities that could be is an important first step, it’s also important to make these realities a possibility by funding organizations and corporations that are shifting in the direction that you want your reality to go. This ties back into the idea of supporting businesses as an action to further your ideal reality.

In Just Design by Cameron Tonkinwise he goes into why it is important not to add words surrounding design because it makes design seem as the secondary thing and furthers the idea that design is simply styling things. Tonkinwise states that if you have design that doesn’t fit into the catergories of Future, Fiction, Speculate, Criticize, Provoke, Discourse, Interrogate, Probe, Play, then it is inadequate design. He argues that designs make the future. Society will eventually embrace the design ideas that are created and except them as a reality. What we create now through speculative thinking, could eventually shape people’s daily lives, such as the speculative idea of highways that forever changed the world.