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Speculative Design as a Worldview

Interview between Anthony Dunne and Ma Chuan

Speculative Design

The design movement that has evolved since the 1960s also prompted the evolution of design concepts and using design as a tool for thinking. Motivated by various concepts of design and methodologies, the Radical Design represented by Archigram and Superstudio, the Utopian Design Experiments led by anti-design groups, the idea of critical design and speculative design proposed by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, as well as other concepts such as fictional design, participatory design, and discursive design, the design movement is increasingly embracing advanced technology and other disciplines. Issues like social ethics, economic crisis, affective demands, natural disaster, interspecies relationship, and biosafety continue to raise challenges for us, how can design contribute to understanding the world, changing our perspectives, and bringing these problems into discourse? How do we solve these problems? How can design solve these problems? Why do we produce? For whom do we produce? How to reach our desirable future? How do we create a better world?

Similar to writers, musicians, and scientists, all great artists and designers are creating orders, not an order of things, rather their own unique way of envisioning the world. The more original these visions are, the stranger they may appear to be. Futurist Jim Dator once suggested, “any useful idea about the futures should appear to be ridiculous,” precisely because of this, we cannot rely solely on designers to solve our current problems. To present a possible and desirable future, we need to mobilize our artistic perception and unique design thinking to interpret the world, to identify and raise questions. It is essential to bring an uncommon, unrealistic context, as well as unfamiliar everyday scenes to the audience, to get their attention, to challenge the way they look at things, and to evoke people from different professions to enter this particular context. We need to enter this discourse together, to solve concrete problems, and to venture into new territories. 

When Anthony Dunne, the founder of speculative design, gave courses at the School of Design and Innovation at China Academy of Arts, he mentioned a quote, “A worldview is the set of beliefs about fundamental aspects of Reality that ground and influence all one’s perceiving, thinking, knowing, and doing. One’s worldview is also referred to as one’s philosophy, philosophy of life, mindset, outlook on life, the formula for life, ideology, faith, or even religion.” He continues to ask, “We know how to develop new technologies, yet how do you develop new worldviews?” On the night of December 13, the sixteenth design and humanity lecture of the “Liang Yan” series was held in the theatre of Xiangshan Campus at China Academy of Arts, in which Anthony Dunne, once the head of the Design Interactions Department at Royal College of Art and currently a professor of Design and Social Inquiry at the Parsons the New School, decoded the process of speculative design through his own works with the lens of critical design.

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Anthony Dunne

Anthony Dunne is a University Professor of Design and Social Inquiry and a Fellow of the Graduate Institute for Design Ethnography and Social Thought at The New School in New York. Between 2005-2015 he was professor and head of the Design Interactions department/programme at the Royal College of Art in London.

Dunne & Raby co-created concepts such as "Critical Design" and "Speculative Design." They use design as a medium to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers, industry and the public about the social, cultural and ethical implications of existing and emerging technologies. 

Their work has been exhibited at MoMA, NYC, the Pompidou Centre, Paris, and the Design Museum in London, and is in the permanent collections of MoMA, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Frac Ile-de-France, Fnac and the MAK as well as several private collections.

In 2015, Dunne & Raby received the inaugural MIT Media Lab Award and were nominated for the Prince Philip Designers Prize in 2016.

Thank you for inviting me here, I am very honored to be here this evening. 

I think you are learning design in an incredibly decisive time. There is a lot of turmoil in the world. Many political, social, economic traffic may be generated by technology in the context of the fantastic opportunity for design to broad the road. 

So I want to talk about the fact that speculative design is designed not only for industrial design but also for the public. For us, we don't just need to reinforce reality, we need to challenge it, but we also need to generate interest in technology and how it shapes the world.

It's challenging to do this kind of work outside the market. People may be very willing to talk about speculative design, but we find academia to be the best place. We wanted to see what happens when you do design practice in an academic environment, and we also developed a form of practice-oriented research. Instead of writing academic papers and focusing on exhibitions, we're going to reach a broader and different audience, and we can bring together people who do design and design education theory. We also write, but it's more about thinking about our practices and what we learn.

Today I'd like to share with you some of the work, ideas, and methods we've done in this process.

As speculative design has become more popular, the field has become more defined, but at the same time a bit narrow. But I do not want to suggest a specific definition beyond what we wrote in our book, as it is good to see new versions evolve, and there are many ways of doing it. So let's talk about the project and briefly show some of the methods.

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1. Prompt

The first project I'm going to talk about is a project from 2001. The first project was an effort to connect with ordinary people to use design as a prompt to access their imaginations, in this case, about electromagnetic radiation in the home.

Most technology moves into the home. We kind of wanted to become a little bit more positive and less functional. So, in this project, we designed a piece of furniture that combines some sensitivity electromagnetic radiation with the normal function of a table or chair. 

So the two girls use the table to move it about their apartments and measure the sense of the economic tools. And then you can treat it with electricals to try and figure out which part of their apartment has strong magnetic fields. 

And we also work for the photographer Jason Evans, who came with us to interviews people who volunteered to use the objects were saying that the design didn't just try to document exactly how they live with them, but some of their imaginations of thought about how there might be different. 

So this table has a GPS -- global positioning system -- in which was pretty primitive back in 2001. Brilliant! 

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I’m really surprised at the stories people told about living with these objects and how they really started to think about the invisible direction of radiation. “When I come home from work, there’s a sort of automatic routine. You come in, drop the bag, glance over, just to check that it’s got a position. And I always do it before I go to bed. When all the lights are off, I look out of the bedroom window and there it is. It’s really nice because there’s a little green light there. It’s a little comforting feeling. That’s fine. All’s well with the world. And go to sleep.”

So when we finished this project, we tried to approach some manufacturers to see if we can put them in production. From the large companies to the small, they all said there's no market for this type of product. However, we are still on this road, a road that is more and more away from the industry. 

2. Fiction

So when we are dealing with low tech objects, like the furniture, it is very easy to make fully working prototype. But once we want to start to work through areas like robotics for biotechnology, the terms of technology to expect before us is too complex. So we have to move into the area with fiction. 

This project in 2006 with four sets of robots was for an exhibition in Belgium. And we wanted to deal with more advanced technologies, but on a very low budget. So in the first time that we started to experiment with non-working fictional objects. Interested in robots and how they still hadn’t really crossed over into the home, we had industrial, abstract, and fictional humanoid ones, but that was it. We wondered what they would look like if we approached them from an emotional and cultural angle, focusing on interactions. No longer appliances, but objects like furniture for example, where design is valued. Previous work had been prototyped, around this time we wondered if fiction would give us more freedom. 

So this one, for example, we didn't specify this robot is with the very smart computer. But if you're dealing with something that has incredible smiles, what kind of relationship should you have with it? We can put it as exactly a robot. But at that time we were interested in how we access our information online. So this was like a central or a god of our data.  So at the time, we were looking at retinal recognition. We planted an object very quickly. We recognize you, we wanted to slow down that process. You have to hold this subject for maybe a minute and look at the scanner and only after some kind of power for the release for a lot today. 

We're also very interested in how furniture completed two for one robot sense. They look like tables, chairs,  and shelves. There may be new kinds of furniture evolution, which was one of the reasons we want to make some of these objects in wood. This is just a robot. It is more like a cultural object. 

Now, design fiction is not rare, but at that point it was not so common, especially as a way of starting conversations. We were worried that it wouldn’t be taken seriously by experts whom we wanted to work with, but it received great feedback connecting with members of the public, designers, and robotics researchers. It even led to my funded Ph.D. in the department.

3.Worldview

Many futures extrapolate from the present, for exiting reality, and in doing that they extend all that is wrong with the present into the future as well. A while back we became interested in exploring alternative worldviews and using design to make them tangible.

And we tend to deal less with engineers and technicians and more with people in the humanities, such as writers, philosophers, and historians.

There are many definitions of a worldview, I like this one:

“A worldview is the set of beliefs about fundamental aspects of Reality that ground and influence all one's perceiving, thinking, knowing, and doing. One's worldview is also referred to as one's philosophy, philosophy of life, mindset, outlook on life, formula for life, ideology, faith, or even religion.”

What’s important here is that worldviews are made not from technology, but from values, beliefs, hopes, fears, and dreams. We know how to develop new technologies, but how do we develop new worldviews?

To do this, we need to expand our network of collaborators to include anthropologists, philosophers, political scientists, and others used to work in this way.

We based the worldviews of our four micro kingdoms on the four political positions in what is sometimes called the political compass. The axes represent economic regulation vs economic freedom, going from left to right, and degrees of social freedom, going from top to bottom. But these could also be different philosophies or even religious perspectives.

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In design, we often think of technology as something neutral, but of course, it is not. AI in a communist society would be very different from AI in a capitalist society.

To make this point, we linked the 4 political ideologies to 4 technologies. They are completely artificial and simply intended to question the values driving technological development.

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In the top right-hand corner are digitarians -- an exaggeration of today’s UK: neoliberalism combined with digital technology;

In the top left are communo-nuclearists -- collectivism combined with nuclear energy; In the bottom left are bioliberals -- social democracy combined with highly regulated biotechnology;

And in the bottom right are anarcho-evolutionists - anarchy combined with self-experimentation.

I don’t expect you to read this, but I wanted to include it to show how we worked with a set of attitudes, values, and beliefs to ensure each worldview was different. 

For example, on Nature: Digitarians see it as something to be used up as necessary, a little like our current attitude. Communo-Nuclearists construct their own landscape, it is human-made, terraformed, artificial. Bioliberals strive for symbiosis and balance, using biotechnology to tweak nature to meet their needs. Anarcho-Evolutionists modify themselves to live within the limits of nature.

Digitarians stuck with digital technology and electric power, and, without realizing it, all the implicit totalitarianism of digital technologies and the illusion of choice. They are driven entirely by the market, citizens and consumers are the same. The society is managed by technocrats, but the cybernetic dream comes with a price — total surveillance, tagging, absolutely no anonymity. This is probably the most resource hungry group, vehicles are electric and remote-controlled. They talk a lot about freedom and choice, but there isn't much evidence of it. Society encourages self-policing, decision making as judgment is too risky, metrics are best, a public language has evolved that protects its citizens against libel charges.

With architecture and cinema, you can show a whole world, and the viewer can imagine what it is like to live there. We’re interested in the opposite. Showing a fragment of a world and inviting the viewer to imagine the rest of that world — its politics, social relations, economics, and so on.

So we needed to choose something that could hint at a larger world. We chose transport because it does this really well as it involves objects (cars, trains, etc.) and infrastructure (roads, railways, petrol stations, etc.). Each of these cars expresses a specific philosophy about transport.

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And looking at these vehicles by artists, you can begin to imagine the kind of worlds they might belong in. And we will each probably have different ideas about those worlds. They prompt further imagining in the viewer.

I’ll briefly talk through one of these. 

The first, Digitarians, use digital technology and electric power, and fully embrace all the implicit control that comes with digital technologies. They are driven entirely by the market; citizens and consumers are the same. The real choice is an illusion because the society is managed by technocrats or AI. Nobody really knows or cares. Today, self-drive cars are often presented as social spaces for relaxing commutes.

But looking at how air travel developed, we are not convinced. Compare this image of the interior of a Ford Trimotor airplane from 1931 to this patent for seating submitted by Airbus in 2014. Our current economic model is not oriented towards users. It’s about extracting money from people as efficiently as possible. 

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In the Digitarian system, the road is treated as a resource where every square meter and every second is monetized. Roads are owned by the government but leased to companies such as Google, Uber, or maybe even Alibaba.

This tariff is like the ones telephone companies provide to allow people to access the electromagnetic spectrum with our mobile phones, but for roads.

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The cars are a physical manifestation of the Tariff system. 

1.Passengers are required to stand to minimize the vehicle’s footprint

2.Two passenger models save you money, especially if you agree to be dropped off second. 

3. Rear-facing is less expensive than forward-facing.

For us, although there are many debates and discussions surrounding driverless cars, not enough of them are focusing on the economics and value behind the systems. In our view, this is what we need to be debating, rather than the tech.

Tech is never just technology, there is always a set of embedded values, or world views, need to consider economics, ethics, etc. It is fine in the lab, but once it moves out, other factors come into play.

As current self-drive technologies struggle to adjust to sharing roads with pedestrians and cyclists, it seems as though the need for autonomous cars might eventually reconfigure cities. This is an extreme version.

As far as I can see, this is where our current worldview is leading us to, at least in the US and UK. And for most people, it is not somewhere we want to be.

The other options would ask: what is at stake if we really do want to adopt different ways of seeing the world, and how far are people prepared to go?

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Bioliberals are social democrats who embrace biotechnology and the new cultural values this entails. 

They live in a world where the hype of synthetic biology has come true and delivered on its promises — a society in symbiosis with the natural world. 

Bioliberals are essentially farmers, cooks, and gardeners. Not just of plants and food, but of products too. In Bioland, gardens, kitchens, and farms replace factories and workshops.

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Many proposals for biofuel suggest that we will be able to keep everything the same. To keep alive the fantasy of high-speed travel without generating pollution, like this image on the left.

On the right is a prototype by Mercedes from a few years ago that uses hydrogen fuel cells to travel at 15 mph. It’s probably more realistic.

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What you see on the roof of this car is the fuel tank of the vehicle -- a balloon filled with uncompressed gas.

Gas bag vehicles were built during World War One and World War Two in many parts of Europe as an improvised solution to the shortage of gasoline.

We worked with an engineer to try and source technologies that were already in development.The bioliberal car combines two technologies: anaerobic digesters that produce gas from organic waste and fuel cells that use the gas to produce electricity. Needed a material to communicate organic growth, etc. 

Here’s our version of a Biocar.

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Faster is no longer better. Bioliberals regard the use of huge amounts of energy to overcome gravity and wind resistance to be counterproductive and primitive. 

The main point here is that a true biotech vehicle would be slow, smelly, and pretty strange. If we are really going to embrace the potential of new technologies, and I am a fan of biotech’s potential, then we need to embrace new values, including very different cultural values expressed through new aesthetics.

Maybe the high speeds we achieved in the 20th century were a momentary historical blip based on a massively unsustainable source of energy. And slowness is the historical norm, something we might need to embrace again.

4. A Larger Reality?

Recently we have been trying to move beyond clear distinctions between the real and the fictional and realize that they are two poles on a spectrum. I like this term from writer Ursula K. Le Guin who talked about writers being realists of a larger reality, a reality that fully embraces the imagination and all that is yet to exist or might never exist — what we currently think of as unreality.

So, a few months ago we had an opportunity to do a commission for other countries, commission from the Kunstmuseen Krefeld for its contribution to the Germany-wide Bauhaus100 program in 2019, marking the centennial anniversary of the Bauhaus. 

Our contribution focused on the globe. Today, as a domestic object, the globe is almost a form of kitsch, but we found its status as one of the oldest conceptual models of our world, made physical, fascinating. The oldest known globe to represent the New World, dated to the early 1500s, lower halves of two ostrich eggs. 

It is engraved with then-new-and-vague details about the Americas garnered from European explorers such as Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci. It is also decorated with monsters, intertwining waves, and even a shipwrecked sailor, according to the Washington Map Society, which published a study of the artifact in its journal The Portolan.

Rather than focusing on one world, ours, we identified other worlds from literature, amateur thought experiments, and the fringes of science that represent different kinds of imaginations, all co-existing, jostling for room within one space.

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There are many imaginations in this work, not just rational or scientific, but something Yiwen has been looking at with her students, which needs to make room for them all, need a larger reality. 

These are obviously western-based, looking forward to adding Chinese ones in the future as I get more familiar with the culture. These globes from literature, from the fringes of science and mathematics, thought experiments, and objects from the edges of our universe.

Many different realities sit next to each other, take up equal space on the table. Along with three imaginary topographical maps of the earth, this is something we hope to develop with other partners in the future.

Each map makes use of conventional markings but does not quite make sense, suggesting different kinds of atmosphere, climate, geology, forces, and fields to those shaping our world, geology, and weather, etc. And what we need to show is how on the map their surface is different from ours, different powers, time, space...

5. Interdisciplinary Imagining

In 2016, we moved to Parsons at The New School in New York so that we could begin to explore connections between design and fields such as anthropology, political science, and philosophy. We do this by teaching classes open to all students and doing research projects with faculty.

We have spent many years working with scientists, and we are interested in communicating with philosophers and scientists to form different possibilities.

Last year, with some funding from the Mellon Foundation, we started a project with some colleagues of political scientists and anthropologists to have 20 teachers and students explore conversations at different distances.

The Sawyer Seminar Series was funded by the Mellon Foundation and allowed 5 of us from different disciplines to bring a group of 20 faculty, students, and Ph.Ds, together over a year to explore how to bring the different traditions of design and the social sciences into dialogues. 

The aim is not to develop design solutions but to design propositions, useful fictions, and hypothetical scenarios in order to facilitate different kinds of conversations across disciplines.

Ours looks at borders as transition zones, where different ideologies, belief systems, world views meet.

In this case, they're going to work with international relations experts on the politics legal scholars and trying to use their methods to practice a repeating around borders. 

Fiona and I had a conversation with the anthropologists. We derive several characteristics from what we need: 

1.Object guides people through the zone.

2.Based on military technologies of control and DIT aesthetics of lo-fi materials.

3.Opposite of slick technological objects.

I’m going to finish with this quote from the futurist Jim Dator: 

"Any useful statement about the future should at first seem ridiculous."

Design speculations might seem a little strange. But If they are to really help us think about the kind of world we wish to live in, then they can’t be too familiar, or realistic, or they will just reinforce existing beliefs and worldviews… 

They need to be unrealistic, which for me, means they need to challenge current ways of seeing the world.

And they also need to be a little bit weird and visually surprising to hold peoples’ attention.

Interview

In December 2019, Anthony Dunne was invited to the School of Design & Innovation at China Academy of Art, and Ma Chuan interviewed him on the topics of speculative design.

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Interview with Anthony Dunne by Ma Chuan

December 15, 2019, Anthony Dunne (Right) at the School of Design & Innovation at China Academy of Art.

Chuan: How do you feel about these days working with undergraduate students in our school?

Anthony: I think we’re asking them to do a lot in a short period of time. But I’m really impressed with the imagination of the students. I think the thing that surprised me is, I thought we’d have to make more efforts try and release their imagination. But actually, we have to do the opposite, to put a lot of effort into channeling the imagination, which is good thing, a very good thing.

Chuan: Do you think it is too far away from the present? Or, they just imagined rather than relating it to the current society—— The imagined future is too far away. 

Anthony: Not really. I think I’d say it’s more free imagination. So they are happy to imagine science fiction, like worlds that don’t obey the logic of our world. I think of course you can, it's better to start from an extreme imaginative position and walk back towards our world. So, I’m kind of enjoy that. But I think I’m, its unusual for me, at least, to see designers referencing extreme science fiction in their imagination, like completely different worlds, with different gravity systems, different weather systems, and so on. Not just different earth-based, communities and ways of thinking.

Chuan: So in terms of this design education and that the students have to learn some basic skills such as sketching and model making and something like processing, do you think the basic skills and speculative thinking training, which one is more important to student to the foundation design?

Anthony: I actually think they are equal, I think that you need both, and they both need to mix up. I think the danger is that if you separate them, the practical skills and the theory are seen as two separate things.  you learn the practical skills first, and then the theory. But I think if you can do both together overtime, they can intergrade much more interesting ways. I think, they are seems to be a tendency in a lot of design education generally to lose their skills and move more towards thinking.

Chuan: We are trying to evolve speculative thinking into our teaching and curriculum of undergraduate students, even second year students who have not learned the integrated design process. Do you think it works or not?

Anthony: I think if that over the learning, yes, because the speculative thinking is just one kind of thinking. We also need problem-solving thinking, logical thinking, analytical thinking, and so on. And I think speculative thinking is one style of thought. But I think, on the other hand, speculative design project allows students to really rethink everyday's life, and to imagine how things could be different. So, even the design result might not be as important as the act of trying to re-imagine society, and re-imagine social relations.  if you look closely, you can see the students have analytical skills, research skills, making skills, and this can be used in any other context.The students can go wild with their imaginations and completely rethink society within those projects they apply very practical skills is highly analytic, beautiful drawings. They have to work out all the technical stuff. So, even though on the surface the project can look a bit weird, the skills in the project means they can get work in any architectural office.

Chuan: The translation of the word speculative design in Chinese sounds more like a noun. Some people hold the opinion that speculative design is a major. Do you think there's a title or a type of designer called speculative designer?

Anthony: I think speculative design for us started as an effort to try and make room in design education for rethinking everyday's life or looking at the potential consequences of future technologies like bio-technology. And we need to name it so that we could talk about it, criticize it, debate it. So, let's just call it speculative design. And, of course at the beginning, that was very useful, because people could say, we're not talking about design in general, we're just talking about this more imaginative, um, slightly freer form of design. But once speculative design spreads, and the title kind of became redundant. It was like a scaffolding could have just fallen away. In some cases, actually started to restrict what speculative design could be, because people thought they wanted to adopt the speculative design style, or in a speculative design approach. So, I do think at the moment it can limit the possibilities, but I think other names for it can start to evolve. For me, the most important thing is, it's a speculative form of thought, expressed through design. And there are many different ways of doing that. And I think the variety is the important thing. 

Chuan: These days many people are discussing speculative design in China. Some misunderstand that it created a definition. Is speculative design just one design methodology?

Anthony: This is a success if people are criticizing it. But they're also changing the meaning. This is the point. It was never about trying to say: Here is a very precise type of design, and we want you to learn how to do it like us. It was always: Here's a set of ideas. What can you do with this? Where can you take it? And of course? There were related areas like design fiction and discusses design and already other variations are emerging.

We had anthropology students joined one of our classes in New York and the only experience you had of design was our class. And then they asked her to teach  design class. And she started teaching them speculative design and didn't really realize that was just one type of design and found it quite confusing when the students wanted to do very practical things.

I don't think I want to correct anyone, because I think at the moment I like how speculative design is, let's say kind of mutating, as a government policy. And it's taken up industry research groups, community designers, um, more artistic designers speculative design grows in different directions in response to different contexts. I think it's really interesting to see that. I think the kind of work we did at the RCA, maybe 10 or 15 years ago was just one starting point. And I think history is moved on now. 

Chuan: We discussed before,  speculative thinking just like a sort of oxygen... So it's extent. Maybe we can't see it very well, but it exists. Is it more important to train creativity with speculative design thinking?

Anthony: That's right, Yes, I mean, ultimately it would need to be called speculative design. Students could just say, I'm going to do some speculation now on this project and later I'm going to solve some problems, rather than the whole thing has to be a speculative design project. I think what we have to do sometimes is the students get very stuck in existing reality. So when they try to imagine a new idea, they apply existing economics, political systems, and culture to their idea. And sometimes it can crush the new idea. So what we try to do is provide a bridge from the existing reality into a new reality so that the students can release themselves from existing constraints. And I also agree with you. It's good to mix it up with other forms of design thinking. It's one, one is like in a tool box. It's one tool you can use. And you need to know how to use it. It doesn't have to be a whole major where everything you do is on speculative, maybe the master’s level. Someone could choose to specialize just like the two social designers business designers. But I think a bachelor's level, they just need to use it to kind of encourage more Imaginary.

Chuan: Also I feel like your work is like a piece of poem, like a poetic article. And also, we are looking for a metaphor in design, to create poetic piece.  When you were learning design as a student, who or what has influenced you most? 

Anthony: I did my first degree in the early eighties in Dublin, Ireland, and design was extremely conservative at that time. And Memphis arrived on the scene in 1982 just as I entered design education. Because of that, I became very interested in Ettore Sottsass, the Italian designer, and discovered his many roles. He did very artistic and poetic work after experimenting with ceramics in India. He worked for Olivetti as a creative director, overseeing their production design. And of course, he initiated movements like Memphis, and he was a huge influence, I think, on how I began to understand design and how it could work with industry will also be very artistic and poetic as well. But having said that, on my degree course, they wanted to fail me. Yeah, It was only because my theory site was quite strong, but they let me escape. So, I think although Ettore Sottsass was a very powerful influence on me, he also made my early design career very dangerous and risky. 

Chuan: A related question. What's your opinion about super studio? Because you mentioned Memphis. 

Anthony: Yeah, I think super studio now has become permanently joint to the idea of speculative design. And it's a good thing and a bad thing. I think that of course there is an incredibly influential outfit for Fiona and I along with archizoom (and some of the other studios of that time). But one of the differences they were looking at architecture. I think Fiona and I consciously wanted to say, what would this look like in design if we were dealing not just with furniture, because there was experimental furniture in the sixties, if we were looking at bio technological products, digital products, machine learning, how could design do something different from Superstudio and be inspired by it? But I think sometimes people forget that. Those studios were actually architectural practices and there's a traditional architecture going back many centuries of speculative work, whereas in design it's still a relatively new and fields a sorry, new attitudes, Sorry. That's why I think I sometimes referred to look at people like Bruno Munari and Ettore Sottsass. we did focus on objects and design in a more imaginative in critical ways. 

Chuan: Do you think Design has a kind of trend like fashion? 

Anthony: It doesn’t, unfortunately. And I think that's a problem. I think itt means ideas can have a limited lifespan. So for bad ideas, that's quite a good thing. If you're really trying to explore something over time, it can work against you. It gives the kind of idea like a lifespan. 

Chuan: So it might be the last question. What's the most impressive thing in China surprised you? 

Anthony: Imagination. It's so different, And so free. I really enjoy that both in the design and also my interactions with the students. I think it's not surprising that I thought there's no imagination--and I'm surprised there is. It's surprising how rich and different and fresh the imagination is. 

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