Review for Week 4

Design in a Time of Crisis

This article made me reacknowlege that today’s society in the world (maybe especially in developed countries) is obsessed with money (or capitalism). Everything is connected to money. Even your private information is a great resource to make money for corporations. Moreover, when I think of design, to be honest, I also think of money; how I can make money with it (which is maybe the reason why I can’t make a good design or maybe just I’m not good enough). Design shouldn’t be for money. It should be to help people or make them happier. Art shouldn’t be judged by anyone. Even if it doesn’t make any money or doesn’t impress anyone, it’s still an art as long as the person who made the art put their soul in it.

“Futuristic Gizmos, Conservative Ideals: On Anachronistic Design”, by Luiza Prado de o. Martins and Pedro j. s. Vieira de Oliveira

Critical design is to cast a question on or make a claim on society or culture. As this article points out, however, if people don’t consider the meaning of the critical design when they make a political decision, critical design is pointless to them.

Speculative Everything, Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, p. 1-10, 33-47

“When people think of design, most believe it is about problem solving. Even the more expressive forms of design are about solving aesthetic problems” (2)

=> I am included in this most people.

“it is becoming clear that many of the challenges we face today are unfixable and that the only way to overcome them is by changing our values, beliefs, attitudes, and behavior” (2).

=> This is very sad to admit but I think it’s true.

one possibility for design = “to use design as a means of speculating how things could be—speculative design” (2).

“To find inspiration for speculating through design we need to look beyond design to the methodological playgrounds of cinema, literature, science, ethics, politics, and art; to explore, hybridize, borrow, and embrace the many tools available for crafting not only things but also ideas— fictional worlds, cautionary tales, what-if scenarios, thought experiments, counterfactuals, reductio ad absurdum experiments, prefigurative futures, and so on” (3).

Probable futures = what is likely to happen
Plausible futures = what could happen
Possible futures = links between today’s world and the suggested future
Preferable futures = crosses the probable and plausible; currently determined by the government and companies

“There has been a gradual shift in the United Kingdom from government that looks after the most vulnerable in society to a small government that places more responsibility on individuals to manage their own lives” (8) <= same in Japan

“although no new forms of capitalism have emerged yet, there is a growing desire for other ways of managing our economic lives and the relationship among state, market, citizen, and consumer” (9).

Critical design = “critical thinking, that is, not taking things for granted, being skeptical, and always questioning what is given,” “critical thought translated into materiality. It is about thinking through design rather than through words and using the language and structure of design to engage people” (35).

This article introduces a clock called statistical clock as an example of critical design. The statistical clock tells you the number of fatalities such as plane crush, car accident, or train colliding. Yet, as the author says no one would want to buy the statistical clock because people don’t want to hear sad news always. I find, however, this idea could be useful somehow. Since people can’t stand it if there is no hope, but only grief, they want to ignore stranger’s death as if it has nothing to do with them, or even if they care, it’s a temporary pity. But what if they can’t escape from the fatality? What if they are forced to get involved in the fatality? It is a painful and harsh way to make people consider others’ deaths seriously, but it is true that people can ignore or forget the fatality happening in another country because they think they have nothing to do with it. Thus, it is a good idea to show people the serious situation of other places and other people more frequently, even ‘too often’ to forget about it. If people think they can’t ignore it anymore, there is no way to hide from the depressing fact of the world, they will start considering it as their own issue and take an action to change it. Or showing it by too shocking way will work too. Indeed, for example, after I watched the movie Blood Diamond, which shows conflicts in diamonds trade, I totally lost my desire to have a diamond because the movie was too shocking and too sad. So I don’t want to buy or receive a diamond anymore.

Dark design = “a counterpoint to a form of design that through denial does more harm than good” (43).

Borderlands / La Frontera, Gloria Anzaldúa
Chapter 1 “The Homeland, Aztlan / El Otro Mexico”

Whose land is the U.S.A? The white from Europe stole the land from Native Americans and Mexicans. They lost their house, family, and even rights because of the invaders.

This kind of territorial issues will never be solved because once they have advantage such as power and wealth, people do not want to lose it. The territorial issues remain incomprehensible in my mind. Japan has, for instance, territorial disputes with South Korea, China, and Russia. All those islands which Japan is arguing that it is Japan’s are, however, originally no one’s. Also, Japan invaded and conquered Hokkaido and Okinawa. But almost all Japanese people are not sorry about the conquering (at least they forget about the fact most of the time) and they don’t think of changing the current status. Even though returning the land is too late to do, we should at least remember and regret the conquering. Discrimination against and refusal of the native tribes must not happen.

12 Horrifying Photos of the Tech Industry Apple Never Wants You to See

This article shows how terrible labor conditions in the factories of Apple are. We must know there are hidden reasons why the product is cheap or affordable although it is hard to choose more expensive one to buy.

I found an article below which introduces a great idea to solve this problem or at least to make people consider it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3057499/Watch-moment-shoppers-offered-chance-buy-two-euro-T-shirts-vending-machine-shown-shocking-images-women-paid-9p-HOUR.html

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