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


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?


Jayne Hall Cunnick
Course Leader, Art, Design & Performance, Buckinghamshire New University, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Designed Objects


Designing, Critical, Discursive, Future, Practice, Theory, Overpopulation, Nutrition, Agency, Propositional

Digital Media


Propositional Prototype - the Slaughter Machine (pdf)