Revisiting Our Ways

Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon

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Dalia Sendra Rodriguez, Student, Ph.D. Candidate, Unidade de Investigação em Design e Comunicação (UNIDCOM/IADE), Portugal

Toward a Porous Liquid Design Education View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Carla Paoliello De Lucena Carvalho  

Porous liquids are a new class of porous materials. They combine the permanent porosity of solid sorbents with liquids fluid properties. Their basic unifying principle allows them to reinvent materials syntheses, eliminating separations. Are these characteristics used in our Design Education? Design is already an activity associated with other study fields. It is potentially transdisciplinary and transversal. It uses contributions from other areas in its objects and forms of communication. It applies other questions, brings new searches, and expands its reality all the time. But is the Portuguese Design Education System open to other knowledges? Is it a porous system? These are the questions this paper investigates. Five different Portuguese Product Design Courses were studied. The study program's objectives and their intended learning outcomes were analyzed. Each curricular unity, syllabus, and teaching methodologies were compared. The conclusion is that our system would gain if we adopt a more porous, liquid, plural and hybrid one. One that could embrace different kinds of knowledge, practices and cultures.

Propositional Prototype – the Slaughter Machine: How Can Visions of a Preposterous Future Inspire a More Critical Approach to Kitchen Appliance Design? View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Jayne Hall Cunnick  

The research is intended as a practice-based enquiry which explores important themes around kitchen functions, in this case nutrition and its sources. What if…? – This project explores what it might be like if it was no longer possible to farm animals for consumption on an industrial scale. In order to think carefully through such a future scenario, we might begin to understand how to make better design choices now. The work is grounded in the methodologies and sensibilities of critical or discursive design, or design as theory. The research is undertaken through practice and thinking through design decisions. The machine has been designed to respond to a scenario that does not yet exist, in this sense it has been successful in that it speaks of a future that we do not yet know and raises questions. Designing the machine has allowed the designer to think through the scenario and the design and gain new knowledge which can be applied to teaching and therefore the design of current objects for a different future. The resultant machine tells a story of the interests of people from a future that we may wish to avoid. It poses questions - does the person who uses this machine or the world in which they live look like a world we would like to inhabit? How do we feel about a future like this? Is it possible to do something now that could alter such a future scenario?

An Actor-network Theory Instrument for Design Practitioners View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Ayse Ozge Agca  

In this paper, we explore a novel idea of 'theory instruments': Tangible artefacts that encourage design practitioners in the industry to reflect on interactions with technological devices in the light of a particular theory. Our 'Actor-Network Rings' instrument is based on Actor-Network Theory (Latour, 1987), as this is one way to challenge taken-for-granted assumptions about what effects digitalisation has on product users and their lives. It consists of wooden rings, wooden balls, clothespins, and magnets. By adding wooden clothespins as 'actors' and plastic ones as 'actants' on a wooden 'network' ring, they can uphold a wooden ball which becomes visible and even tangible as a 'program of action'. While magnets help us to indicate how actants are disciplining actors, shifting or removing clothespins visualises concepts of 'imaginary substitution' and 'delegation'. We analyse two cases of how designers and design researchers in companies use the instrument to investigate dilemmas of people and technology. The playful artifact triggers participants to narrate their experiences from the field. With transcripts from video documentation and hand-drawn visualisations, we show that the instrument elicits broader insights into the dilemmas of ‘use’ and even opens ideas for future scenarios. We argue that there is a potential for developing such theory instruments that in a playful manner offer fundamental theory perspectives to inform understandings of digitalisation.

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