Deep Dive in Technology Critique

How does one read and critique a design? And what constitutes good reflections?

Reflection, in its many forms, is a critical investigative skill – not least within the iterations of design. Understanding, evaluating, and reformulating what designs and designers are attempting to convey is particularly relevant when considering technology. Novel mechanisms and devices will continue to play a transformative role in our lives and form the basis for mediations and interactions with each other and the world around us. 

In this course, you will reflect on design practice – those of others as well as your own – and how these practices relate to technology. Through design fiction and provocations, you will explore a novel technology in-depth. We will offer a series of seminars to train “deep” reflection skills, through techniques rooted in the humanities and philosophy. Alongside these are a set of workshops and exercises, wherein you will bring your critical faculties to bear on real-world cases and use exploratory prototyping to ground your reflections in “quick” experiences.

The aim of the course is to develop your reflection skills, to speculate and evaluate ideas and how they might manifest in the world. The curriculum includes learning how to observe subjectivity and bias, which may in turn help you focus on your own personal values. While we provide several ‘technology pushes’ as prompts for your reflections, you are expected to develop your own personal stance.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

1.       Synthesize and express well-supported arguments on the relations between technology and your own design practice as well as those of others. You will be better able to ground arguments in the narratives surrounding a technology by considering its manifestations in text, artefacts and audio-visual materials.

2.       Construct and interpret exploratory prototypes to query conceptions and their experiential implications.

3.       Formulate a clear and well-balanced stance on a technology push based on your personal values and those of other possible stakeholders. You will inform these positions by developing an understanding of the technology, its contexts, and envisioning its potential implications.

The sessions will be moderated by dr. Jeff Love and dr. Jered Vroon.