Reading Response #1/Miranda Beitel

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.

Reading Response One / Sarah Grunkemeyer

“Speculative Everything” by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Baby explores a variation of possibilities within speculative design and beliefs behind it. The main ideas in this text are introduced by explaining to the reader that things are viewed too didactic and moralistic. We as designers need to stop thinking how things are now but to begin to develop new scenarios on how things could be. The principal is that we need to let go of our limitations, forget about how things are being done, and imagine outside of our own comfort zone.

“Critical designs are testimonials to what could be, but at the same time, they offer alternatives that highlight weaknesses within existing normality.” This quote on page thirty-five emphases that speculative design is substantial from the presentation in class from last Thursday. This idea of finding flaws in a capitalist future through re-configuring and repurposing the present with existing environments, objects and systems as well as emerging technology, science, and social, cultural, political movements to foresee the future of everyday life.

My understanding from chapter one through three in “Everything Speculative,” relates to outside practices by allowing my mind to open up and imagine. Dunne’s and Fiona’s demonstrate the worth of unthought-of possibilities and necessity of problem solving since this world is nowhere near perfect. Using knowledge of critical design outside of design can benefit you of forward thinking and give you a different viewpoint of social, political, and cultural reality.

Supporting Source

Here is my link : https://www.wired.com/story/ai-weiwei-gets-artsy-fartsy-about-surveillance/

“An estimated 62 million security cameras monitor the United States alone, which means that at any given moment, you’re probably being watched without even knowing it. It’s almost like a dystopian version of Hansel and Gretel, where everywhere you go, you leave a path of digital breadcrumbs in your wake.” Ai Weiwei is a curator of the new exhibit in New York City that is an interactive surveillance park, taking footage from every angle for visitors to wander through and see their eerie renderings below them.

This article states that some people find it jarring because of the immediacy of this recognition while the other half believe it is an enjoyable thing because of it being the “selfie culture” so people are use to being on camera continually. I believe that the national security is damaging to society because of its contiguity and invasion of everyone’s personal life and that it will only get worse due to the future leaders of the United States. If millennial’s claim to stray away from capitalism like Trevor Hill from Harvard claims, the people who are trying to stray away from capitalism will put up a fight toward national watch.

In this case, this article relates to the book, “Speculative Everything,” because if society becomes aware of the immeasurable amount of security cameras, watching every step and experience the fretful reality of it, more and more opportunities will be imagined by creators that will shift to critical design to evolve our future city for the good or bad.