I would first like to start by discussing the 3 chapters from speculative everything. Chapter one describes the idea behind speculative design and what it hopes to achieve. They explain that things cannot continue to function the way they have because of the shift in climate, population, politics, and general outlook on the world. The quote I relate to most is one that explains that the younger generation today doesn’t dream— they hope. They hope that we will one day change our way of life so that we can continue to have water to drink, food to eat, air to breathe, and space to live. Everyone is dissatisfied with the way things work now this includes the political climate, the treatment of the earth, and the general way people interact with each other. Speculative design is about creating something totally new. And not just a new style but something based in new values and ideas.
Chapter two explains what happens when designers stop thinking about how things are marketed. And how this allows designers to consider new possibilities for design within all realms and the social, cultural, and ethical implications of design. This removal from the market can open so many doors because you don’t have to consider how things are now but how they could be and create something completely new.
Chapter three is the most conceptual but in my opinion one of the more radical and impactful concepts we’ve discussed so far in the world of speculative design—design that critiques the way things work today as a means of raising awareness for change. This concept is known as critical design. Critical design is about creating something that challenges the status quo and forces people to think about what could be. This might not seem very important to some because it might not be something that can be realistically used or implemented in our current society but it wasn’t created for that reason. It would be created for the purpose of challenging what is, making people see a current fault in how things work today, or seeing something that could one day be real—almost like a dream. Sometimes people need dramatic reminders of why things may need to change or be challenged which is why this form of design can be so impactful.
The other article from Fast Company was brief but very compelling. It put into words the frustrations I’ve been feeling for so long. Mainly, that we are destroying the earth, ourselves, and our future all to make more money. We cannot eat money, breathe money, drink money or live on a pile of money. This article is about the futile nature of capitalism and how one day, hopefully sooner rather than later, we will have to create a new system completely. Both of these articles come together to show how important speculative design is. Because we cannot sustain ourselves in a capitalist society over time and we have to create an entire new way of life. And to do that, we need speculative design.
I found a company called Super Flux that specializes in speculative design. I looked through their website and found a TedTalk they gave about their company and what they do. They explained the difficulty that comes along with speculative design and how you have to be willing to fail to achieve a solid understanding of what you’re trying to create— and the future you’re trying to create it for. This idea is intimidating as we start this semester because I know I will fail multiple times and no one likes to fail. But failing in it’s own way can be a victory because you’re still getting closer to your goal.