Creative Design Lab (HCI206)


5. Critical Design , Speculative Design

Critical Design uses speculative design proposals to challenge narrow assumptions, preconceptions and givens about the role products play in everyday life. It is more of an attitude than anything else, a position rather than a method. Design as critique has existed before under several guises. Critical Design adopts a highly critical approach of prevailing social values and design ideologies, (it is based on Italian Radical Design of the 1970s), and builds on this attitude and extends it into today's world or projecting it to a future world, that is sometimes dystopic.

In industry, Critical Design is brought in as a useful perspective in creative design workshops, usually in the very first ideation phase steps, wants to form open and often provocative questions in order to establish an out of the box understanding of the problem space, from a heretic or distopical perspective. As an approach it can be considered as avant guard, and its not as straihtforward nor easy to comprehend, nevertheless it is a worthy perspective for students that want to explore the full spectrum of design thinking.

Please refer in the LINKS section, to the Critical Design Links and lectures, with description and project examples that will help you grasp this perspective.

Read also the 2 conference papers on a) Speculative and Critical design, and b) Critical Design as critique to the Status Quo, in Documents section.