The Designed Realities Lab, co-instructed by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, will be focused on understanding, challenging and offering new examples of how technological futures/visions can be developed and presented through design and critical thinking in ways that provoke thought rather than communicate a vision of how things will or should be. It will do this by combining alternative world views with different emerging technologies.
The lab will be a place for sharing ideas about alternatives. A place where design, policy, social theory, and media can serve as a catalyst for interdisciplinary imagining and social dreaming. A platform for exploring new roles for design and new forms of critical engagement that mutate and emerge through contact with other disciplines grappling with the problem of “what should be done when nothing can be done”. It places emphasis on invention, imagination, unreality, critique and speculation.
An important focus of the lab will be exploring new ways of presenting designed realities (provocative futures, parallel realities, alternative worlds) that go beyond the hackneyed design languages used in corporate futures and science fiction which put many people off fully engaging with technological futures. It will draw on aesthetic innovations developed in various fields of fine art, tactical media, radical advocacy, and utopian political theory.
The lab will begin during the Fall, 2016 semester.