Anti-Solutionist Strategies: Seriously Silly Design Fiction

Blythe, Mark, Andersen, Kristina, Clarke, Rachel and Wright, Peter (2016) Anti-Solutionist Strategies: Seriously Silly Design Fiction. In: CHI 2016 - Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 7th - 12th May 2016, San Jose, CA.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2858036.2858482

Abstract

Much of the academic and commercial work which seeks to innovate around technology has been dismissed as "solutionist" because it solves problems that don't exist or ignores the complexity of personal, political and environmental issues. This paper traces the "solutionism" critique to its origins in city planning and highlights the original concern with imaging and representation in the design process. It is increasingly cheap and easy to create compelling and seductive images of concept designs, which sell solutions and presume problems. We consider a range of strategies, which explicitly reject the search for "solutions". These include design fiction and critical design but also less well-known techniques, which aim for unuseless, questionable and silly designs. We present two examples of "magic machine" workshops where participants are encouraged to reject realistic premises for possible technological interventions and create absurd propositions from lo-fi materials. We argue that such practices may help researchers resist the impulse towards solutionism and suggest that attention to representation during the ideation process is a key strategy for this.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Design fiction, well-being, older people
Subjects: W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > School of Design > Northumbria Design
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2016 08:43
Last Modified: 08 May 2017 10:50
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/27776

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