Critical Perspectives in Speculative Design
If a work of SD takes the form of an artifact, as it so often does, where do we show it? SD has commonly been displayed within the exhibition space. To provoke insightful speculation among viewers it is important for a work of SD to be situated. Yet, I rarely walk into a museum or gallery and think of the work in the context of my own life. I almost never think about what a piece of art in a museum would look like in my own home. So then why show SD in a gallery? Using Amazon as the vehicle I have positioned fictitious products onto the biggest consumer market in the world. As opposed to the gallery it is quite easy to imagine a future with a product sold on Amazon. Amazon provides a mass audience of diverse consumers who in turn provide customer reviews. In the case of Desktop Odometer costumer reviews become an opportunity for speculative storytelling.
Product Description: The Desktop Odometer
Watch in awe as you travel immense distances in the blink of an eye. You have never truly understood just how far you can go until you experience the Desktop Odometer. The Desktop Odometer tracks the distance the user travels online via the computers internet browser. The device connects wirelessly to your computer for easy use. The Desktop Odometer is handcrafted at the Electronics and Crafts Studio for the Dark Arts (ECSDA) in Seattle Washington. Utilizing a grumpy old laser cutter, Fresh raspberry Pi's and a whole lot of magic you can now see as you travel through the web and into the unknown.
Customer Reviews: a medium for storytelling
Given that Amazon is one of the worlds largest market place they attract a diverse community of consumers. Thus by using Amazon as the vehicle I am able to use customer reviews as a medium for storytelling. Ultimately I am attempting to make this approach into a design method for speculating about futures with concept-products.
Based on the customer reviews I developed another speculative work called Olympics: Year of Youtube Red. Working in this way I was able to imagine new futures inspired by customer perspetives.
About the Seller: Handmade Futures
Handmade Futures is the name of my Amazon Seller account. Using this account I have listed The Desktop Odometer. Using Amazon to list the speculative artifact, the item can be easily understood in the context of the consumers life, and thus engage with highly situated form of speculative design. On Amazon Handmade Futures has the following seller description: The little bits made by Hand Made Futures are the manifestation of technical know-how, witchcraft, Design Thinking, and traditional woodworking.