Redesign Days

Traditional design approaches like Human centered design definitely switched the way in which products, services, processes and structures were designed before. User oriented, user friendly and structured design process brought more than doors you can easily open. User centered design democratized processes and development not just in business world, but also in public sphere. On the other hand, design theory and political normativity behind human centered methodology is at least unclear. A lot of perfectly designed products and services like Airbnb, Uber or Facebook have unintended consequences like gentrification, exploitation or voluntary loss of privacy. Speculative designers Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby says that dominant approaches in design are so called affirmative and tend to replicate status quo and its technological fetishism and industrial production and consumption. Affirmative design therefore prevents imagination in political, cultural and economic issues. And this is the point where critical and speculative design and future studies comes into play. Design should better address people as citizens with dreams and not just as consumers with wants. Critical design can comprehensively deconstruct ideologies and secret mechanisms hidden behind products and services. Speculative design and strategic foresight than helps to encourage imagination about the possible futures in both negative and positive way in its conscious political normativity.

Let’s speculate about libraries little bit, for three days April 14. - 16. What is the role of public libraries now and in 2050? What is their role within the society what it should be? How they face wicked problems like climate change, social injustice and consequences of them? Libraries are strong public institutions and their role will therefore always be political. But what will be their political background should be on us.

John Jung. Programmer and speculative designer, Chicago, US.
Bridgette Engeler. Future studies and strategic foresight researcher. Melbourne, Australia.

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