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Friday, May 13 • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Critical Design, Deviant Critique

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While a significant amount of digital studies research focuses on the intricacies of encoding, preserving, and expressing data, less attention has been paid to questions of design, including the roles that situated knowledge and social relations play in the production of new media projects. With a bias toward critical design (Dunne and Raby n.d.; DiSalvo 2009; Balsamo 2011), this birds of a feather session will begin with a series of presentations followed by an open discussion about why critical design matters, for whom, and in what contexts. Emphasis will be placed on the intersections of critical design with forms of critique that deviate from entrenched articulations of data and digital work in our current moment. Knight will address the absence of critical design in consumer-driven developments in wearable technology, considering projects such as PeriodShare, which broadcasts menstruation information to one’s social network, and Rokudenashiko’s “vagina selfie” project, where Rokudenashiko distributed 3-d design files for her anatomy, as counter-examples. Ray Murray will extend conceptualisations that assume an inextricablity of form and content to include making in different cultural contexts, looking at South Asia as a specific example to demonstrate how Indian design practices and cultures of making, while having some points of contact with such praxis elsewhere, are uniquely forged by historical, institutional and economic circumstances. Sayers will outline ways of intertwining critical design methodologies with rapid prototyping techniques in laboratory contexts, highlighting ways of prototyping that brush against hobbyist celebrations of fabrication technologies typically witnessed within popular maker culture. Finally, Wernimont will report on the technical and interactive work currently being done for the “Safe Harbor” project, which uses haptics (vibrotactile perception) and sonification to not only articulate insights about the related California Eugenics Archive project but also explore how critical design offers new affordances in working with sensitive data. Collectively, these talks will ask how critique happens within design practice, and they will prompt the audience to share their own perspectives on how critical design should happen.


Friday May 13, 2016 4:00pm - 5:00pm
COOR 195 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR 195

Attendees (22)