• The United Micro Kingdoms: A Design Fiction

Dunne, Anthony and Raby, Fiona, 2013, Show, Exhibition or Event, The United Micro Kingdoms: A Design Fiction

Abstract or Description:

Dunne (with Raby) was commissioned by the Design Museum to produce a body of work exploring how critical and speculative design can contribute to discussions about policy and politics. It consisted of an exhibition, mixed-media design proposals, a website, talks, and public workshop.
Collections such as the Wellcome Trust’s hold everyday objects from past or distant societies. When we see a strange shoe or ritualistic object we wonder what kind of society could have produced it, how it was organised, what values and beliefs motivated its citizens. We become conceptual window-shoppers, trying things out in our minds, imagining how we would interact with them, use them, and how they would affect our interactions with others.
The exhibition presented designs for transport systems for a fictional, pre-apocalyptic England divided into four super-shires, each combining a different political ideology and technology. The project was an experiment in speculative material culture/fictional archaeology/imaginary anthropology. The methods were closer to fictional story-making than social science. Rigour was ensured through consultations with political scientists and engineers, not to prevent impossible scenarios but to make impossible scenarios more acceptable. Dunne aimed to introduce imaginative and radical thinking to discussions about policy and enhance understanding of how speculative design can be applied to complex issues through fact and fiction. The exhibition brought this thinking to a design audience and served as a platform for interactions between designers, the public, economists and political scientists.
The project was previewed by BBC2 Culture Show (2013) and reviewed in 2013 in the national press (e.g. The Observer) and international design press (e.g. Domus, Icon Eye, Icon122, RIBA Journal). It was presented in 2013 lectures at ENSCI: Les Ateliers, Paris and Konstfack, Stockholm; and 2013 conferences including What Design Can Do, Amsterdam; Resonate (Keynote), Belgrade; Microsoft Research Design Day (Keynote), USA.

ContributionNameRCA ID
EngineerWilliamson, NickUNSPECIFIED
AnimatorMyers, NicolasUNSPECIFIED
PhotographerEvans, JasonUNSPECIFIED
IllustratorLanza, TomassoUNSPECIFIED
UNSPECIFIEDKellenberger-White, Eva & SebastianUNSPECIFIED
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W240 Industrial/Product Design
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2013 15:29
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 14:26
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1369

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