ASC Series: Frictions, Fictions

ASC Series: Frictions, Fictions

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I propose second order design fictioning as a mode of engaging the problematic fictions around technology, ecological complexity and design.

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ASC Speakers Series: Cybernetics and humans' knowing

Abstract

In this session, I will propose the notion of design fictioning (of a second-order kind) as a mode of engaging the problematic fictions around modern technology, ecological complexity and design that have also been amplified by 'uncritical' developments in cybernetic technologies.

Gregory Bateson reminded us that living systems of all kinds share stories. Through his explorations of the complexity of living systems, primarily in terms of communication and learning, he pointed out how stories extend the patterns acquired within different learning contexts. Such a framework invites us to rethink how stories of design are entangled in problematic stories around modernity, technology, and progress. More specifically, I will focus on several questions, turning to the story of cybernetics' encounter with design practices and my own practice story. In what ways would a rethink of the idea of 'fictioning' enable ways to reconsider the question of the 'transcontextual', often left out in design's well-meaning attempts to mitigate problems in selected contexts, thereby mobilising technologies that paradoxically reinforce specific underlying causes of the crisis? Would such an approach enable a different way of engaging 'the plural', considering that 'gathering the plural' is not a given and the politics of democratic participation or choice remains problematic in many contexts? How would such a project enable working within and against the runaway aspects of uncritical uses of technologies that gain accelerating power?

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Participants Bios

Dulmini Perera is a lecturer at Bauhaus University Weimar. She works at the intersection of architectural theory, systems research, and methods research. Her research and writing focus on the wicked and complex relations between ecological questions and questions concerning technology. In her teaching practice, she uses second-order cybernetics both as discourse and as a method to rethink how the process of designing can be reframed in the context of contemporary wicked problems.

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