Anti-solutionist strategies : seriously silly design fiction

M. Blythe, H.K.G. Andersen, R. Clarke, P. Wright

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Much of the 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 designbut also less well-known techniques, which aim for unuseless, questionable and silly designs. We present two examples of “magic machines” 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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI '16
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages4968-4978
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781450333627
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event34th Annual ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2016) - San Jose, United States
Duration: 7 May 201612 May 2016
Conference number: 34
https://chi2016.acm.org/wp
https://chi2016.acm.org/wp

Conference

Conference34th Annual ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2016)
Abbreviated titleCHI 2016
CountryUnited States
CitySan Jose
Period7/05/1612/05/16
Internet address

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