Joshua McVeigh-Schultz (panel chair), University of Southern California
This panel aims to expand the speculative design framework in order to dialogue with and incorporate humanistic methods of research and pedagogy. We argue that the future-facing formation of provocative designs – densely packed with cultural information – provide profound potentials for pedagogy and the production of knowledge. At their core, all of the projects explore temporality and spatiality in order to provoke novel design insights, critique the present, and envision alternative potential futures.
Collectively, the panel members’ interdisciplinary work represents the evolving role of critical future-facing design practices within academic scholarship and teaching. The panel will explore their digital scholarship methods that infrastructure the imaginative (and often collective) work and make it accessible to wider publics. The projects represent a range of formal outputs including 3D printing, AR/VR, video, and Scalar.
The structure of this panel is developed strategically to create dialogue between reflective methodologies and specific projects. Our methods collectively propose pedagogical models of creative participation and speculative imagining. While Sankofa City and Worldbuilding, Autobiographical Identity + Pedagogy both work with participants throughout all the stages of the design process, Marías Clandestinas uses speculative design with the aim of developing open-source participatory fabrication methods, and Immersive Design Fiction creates interactive experiences that productively integrate speculative and experiential approaches to design.
Each of these panel presentations will situate design practices in relation to concerns of digital scholarship, critically engaged research, and design as pedagogy. Central to these concerns is a basic reforming of the concept of pedagogy around design thinking processes, digital tools, and community/public participation. Our assumption is that design reformulates pedagogy by empowering students and communities/publics in the learning process, destabilizing the hierarchies of pedagogy to place participants on more equal footing. In this way, pedagogy is not merely a dissemination of knowledge as much as it is a co-creation of design and meaning. These talks position the speculative design process as a form of creative scholarly inquiry. Designed objects and experiences serve as provocations that critique the present or offer alternative visions of our collective future. Moreover, by empowering participants and incorporating cognitive and cultural diversity into the design process, design teams can develop news ways of addressing “wicked problems” and exploring unknowable futures.
Panelists and Papers
In this intervention, we highlight the struggles between new technologies and the ever-changing control of the female body. We introduce our project, Marias Clandestinas, a DIWO-bio (Do-it-with-Others biotechnology) speculative design project which responds to the rise of the DIY abortions, with an active online support network, and several open-source mass-customized tools. We focus on the concept of DIWO as a project development model which enables like-minded people to collaboratively work on tasks, projects, or activist causes. DIWO also inherits a grassroots type of community formation away from formal structures and institutions. In our DIWO-bio project, we describe our separate practices, and how we approached collaboration touching upon the traditions of participatory culture, tactical media, biopolitics, tactical biopolitics, citizen’s science, and speculative and critical design’s wide spectrums that are in conversation with our project.
Joshua McVeigh-Schultz is an interactive designer and media artist who recently earned a PhD in the Media Arts and Practice from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. His research focuses on the intersection between speculative design and ritual, and his current work leverages VR to envision the future of industrial design (through a partnership with Steelcase’s Futures of Work group). He was awarded an Intel PhD Fellowship for his dissertation on speculative rituals of liveness. He has conducted research in USC’s Mobile & Environmental Media Lab, Intel Labs’ Interaction Experience Research Group and Microsoft Research’s Social Media Collective. He also earned an MFA from UC Santa Cruz in Digital Arts & New Media and an MA in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley.
Laura Cechanowicz is Los Angeles based designer and worldbuilder, working with research and theory. She works across mediums, including animation, film and VR, production design, and sound design. Thematically and formally her work explores embodiment and memory through identity and neuroscience, the intersections of art and science, and the ways people record and transcribe personal histories. Laura’s theory and practice research focuses on the human body. Her passion is participatory art as social practice, and she views teaching as an integral part of this work. Laura earned her BA from the University of Michigan with Film & Video, Psychology and German majors, her MA in Film Studies from the University of Iowa, and her MFA in Animation from USC. An Annenberg Fellow, her production design talent was recognized at the 2015 Berlinale, and her work in world building design exhibited at the 2016 Venice Biennale. She is a USC iMAP PhD student and a member of the USC World Building Institute.
Karl Baumann is a designer, filmmaker, and researcher. His current work lies at the intersection of speculative design and community art. Working across cinema, games, and mobile media, his methodology is based on collaborative design and user participation that explores the future of civic engagement, urbanism, and networked technology. Karl holds an M.F.A. in Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) from UC Santa Cruz. He is currently an Annenberg Fellow in the Media Arts + Practice (MAP) Ph. D. program at the University of Southern California. Karl works with the World Building Media Lab (WBML), the Mobile and Environmental Media Lab (MEML), the Media, Activism, and Participatory Politics (MAPP) project, and the Annenberg Innovation Lab (AIL). He is also working with Intel’s Global Production Lab and the Google News Lab’s R&D group.
This was a Panel Discrussion on June 3, 2017. 1:00–2:30pm (SCI 108)
Shared Futures: Practices and Methods of Speculative Design, World Building, Design Fiction and Participatory Design. (2017). https://oaks.kent.edu/node/17059
“Shared Futures: Practices and Methods of Speculative Design, World Building, Design Fiction and Participatory Design”. 2017. https://oaks.kent.edu/node/17059.
Shared Futures: Practices and Methods of Speculative Design, World Building, Design Fiction and Participatory Design. 3 June 2017, https://oaks.kent.edu/node/17059.