We’re delighted to host an invited talk by Stuart Reeves from the University of Nottingham next week. Stuart will discuss “The future as a design problem” – a topic of fundamental interest to anyone designing or making anything. Stuarts work focuses on ubiquitous computing, so it may be of particular interest to those interested in technology design. Details are:
Dr. Stuart Reeves, Mixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham
Title: The future as a design problem
Abstract: An often unacknowledged yet foundational problem for technology design is how ‘futures’ are recruited for design practice. This problem saturates considerations of what could or should be designed. Through exploring a case study of an influential future-oriented design programme—ubiquitous computing—this talk explores ‘envisioning’, a characteristic future-oriented technique for design thinking. Envisioning can be understood in terms of ‘pragmatic projection’ and ‘grand vision’. In this mix we find elements of fiction, forecasting and extrapolation. Although envisionings ultimately make for disappointing forecasts, envisionings can also be ‘useful fictions’ that serve organisational purposes. In this talk I discuss transformations needed to topicalise envisionings; leading to changes in the way we read, interpret and use envisionings for design, so as to take into greater account the need for mindful engagement with them. In doing so we construct a social licence to operate, and thus support the retrospective and prospective social legitimacy of decision making in design.