• Technology futures: Speculation overcoming discontinuity

Briscoe, Gerard, 2022, Conference or Workshop, Technology futures: Speculation overcoming discontinuity at IAFOR International Conference on Arts & Humanities, Hawaii, 05-08 Jan 2023.

Abstract or Description:

The challenge of achieving envisioned technology futures continues to grow, with evermore emerging digital technology failing to be domesticated as intended.

We propose this is because we are yet to overcome Mazlish’s ‘discontinuity’ between ourselves and machines, failing to realise the required symbiotic relationship. Bridging this discontinuity, regarding digital technology as part of ourselves, involves creating digital cultures. These cultures encompass ways of thinking and doing that are embodied within digital technology, including the shrinking of physical distance and the dissolution of material reality. We therefore increasingly risk forms of servitude to technology if we cannot overcome this discontinuity.

So, we consider how speculative design can overcome this discontinuity, better understanding how future and emerging digital technology does, does not and could become domesticated. This involves using fictions to present alternative futures, facilitating debate and discussion about preferable futures. This is critical in overcoming this discontinuity, ensuring that future domestication of digital technology is part of 'preferable futures'. Specifically, allowing individuals and societies to decide more consciously how best to relate with increasingly mainstream digital cultures. Including the use of Critical Making as a speculative design method, which aims to reflect on cultural values, as well as beliefs related to technology, using material production for concept elaboration to study technology.

We conclude by discussing the potential of our approach, using speculative design to overcome this discontinuity in designing digital cultures for preferable technology futures. Also, the challenge of defining ‘preferable’ in speculative design, including the potential for inclusive design.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design > W990 Creative Arts and Design not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: Research & Innovation
Uncontrolled Keywords: Speculative Design; Digital Cultures; Critical Making
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2023 13:20
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2023 13:20
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5387
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