Semester2: Week18 task—critical design

After reading the context of Dune & Raby, i got some new knowledge for critical design.

As the article mentioned, critical or speculative design use speculative design proposals to challenge narrow assumptions, preconceptions and givens about the role products play in everyday life. It is more of an attitude than anything else, a position rather than a method. There are many people doing this who have never heard of the term critical design and who have their own way of describing what they do. Naming it Critical Design is simply a useful way of making this activity more visible and subject to discussion and debate. As far as I’m concerned, critical design require the engagement of public to understand their design which contain hidden meanings involving social, political, ethical, environment, etc. In the end, which led to a deep reflection and discussion among people. Also, it is obvious that it doesn’t show the real meaning instead of make us to think about the real meaning.

Compare with conventional approaches, the Critical Design process does not immediately lead to useful objects in some degree, but rather to food for thought whose usefulness is revealed by its ability to help others prevent and direct future outcomes. There is a example can be proved as follow:

Silent Spring: A climate Change Acceleration Performance

Climate change is this other massive fear that we’re really struggling to deal with on a human level. It’s hard to do a project about it that doesn’t over-politicise the issue and so alienate people from it. It’s the single biggest threat facing humanity and we’re singularly unable to deal with it as this existential crisis. It’s just too big, too massive and too intractable, so approaching project about it is hard.

Singing Sentinels’ by London-based architect Liam Young of Tomorrows Thoughts Today explores a future scenario where bio-engineered birds once again monitor the air for us. Eighty birds have been released into the New Order exhibition at the Mediamatic Gallery in Amsterdam as an ecological warning system, living in the space and providing audible feedback on the state of the atmosphere. Across the course of the exhibition Liam performed the climate change acceleration piece ‘Silent Spring’ seen in the film above. As a ‘pollution DJ’, he flooded the gallery with CO2, altereing the air mixture to replicated the predicted atmospheric changes of the next 100 years. We hear the canary song subtly shift, their rythmn change and eventually silence, as the birds sing a toxic sky- an elegy for a changing planet.



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