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Turning Philosophy with a Speculative Lathe: Object Oriented Ontology, Carpentry, and Design Fiction

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsConference contribution

Published
Publication date25/06/2018
Host publicationProceedings of the Design Research Society Conference 2018
EditorsCristiano Storni, Keelin Leahy, Muireanne McMahon, Peter Lloyd, Erik Bohemia
Place of PublicationLimerick
PublisherDesign Research Society
Pages229-243
Number of pages15
Volume1
ISBN (Electronic)9781912294169
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventDesign Research Society Conference 2018 - Limerick, Ireland

Conference

ConferenceDesign Research Society Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleDRS 2018
CountryIreland
CityLimerick
Period25/06/1828/06/18
Internet address

Publication series

NameDesign Research Society Conference Proceedings 2018
PublisherDesign Research Society Conference
Volume1
ISSN (Print)2398-3132

Conference

ConferenceDesign Research Society Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleDRS 2018
CountryIreland
CityLimerick
Period25/06/1828/06/18
Internet address

Abstract

Arising from the complex relationship between their physical affordances, digital shadows, and interconnections, the things which make up the ‘Internet of Things’ (the IoT) present designers, users, and society at large, with a range of unique and as-yet-unfamiliar forms of network-contingent agency. These new design spaces engender new forms network anxiety, that in turn can result in a range of ill effects including overstimulation, information overload, and paranoia. Contemporary philosophies of technology provide a theoretical base with which designers can temper these emergent techno-anxieties with a sort of scholarly comfort blanket, however, closing the loop between such theories and design practice so that one explicitly informs the other remains a rarely-tackled and elusive challenge within design research. To help explore how designers may underpin their practice with philosophical foundations, in this paper we recount our own experience of conducting an IoT-based Speculative Design project. This research attempts to encode, enact, and express ideas derived from a contemporary philosophical movement—Object Oriented Ontology (OOO)—and ‘Carpenter’ those ideas into designed artefacts using the Design Fiction as World Building approach to Speculative Design. To ‘turn’ a physical material—wood, metal or plastic—means reshaping the material with a lathe to afford it a tangible elegance and grace. Metaphorically speaking, in this paper, OOO is our material and Design Fiction is our lathe, we reflect on the process of sculpting and carving theory, lending shape and poise to OOO through Design Fiction enabled Carpentry