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PHD-DESIGN  July 2018

PHD-DESIGN July 2018

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Subject:

Re: On Human-centered design

From:

Fernando Galdino <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 20 Jul 2018 13:22:30 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Hi all,

As someone who moved from industrial design to design ethnography / design
research and is now working with futures studies, I see Don's article as a
very insightful vision.

The ideas of Susan Blackmore (her Ted Talk might help to get it in short)
<https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_blackmore_on_memes_and_temes>, fit this
point of view and illustrate something bigger - where Don's observations
are more a symptom than an illness.

In sum: The technology we are creating is another evolutionary force and
might not care so much about what humans think about it. It just use us to
multiply / perpetuate itself.


Best regards.

PS:. For those who may ask "futures studies? Is that a thing? Yes
<http://jfsdigital.org/>.



*Fernando Galdino*
Designer | Ethnographer | Futurist
[log in to unmask]
about.me/fernandogaldino
skype:galdino.fernando
+4915157818493

On 20 July 2018 at 12:53, Ken Friedman <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Dear Jonas and Ali,
>
> As I wrote in my note to Keith, it’s my view that Don (and Francois) raise
> serious issues. The problems to which the two of you point are quite real.
> I agree, in part, with both of you. That’s one reason I haven’t yet offered
> my comments. All forms of design take place in such fields as
> manufacturing, urban planning, computing, and all of these are embedded in
> a large and problematic context.
>
> This makes a short reply difficult, and it is why I am still thinking.
>
> Even so, I can’t dismiss Don’s article as trivial. The question of
> human-centered design is quite reasonable, and it involves the issues you
> raise. If we do not take these issues into consideration, we also fail to
> consider the future of humanity. Adam Frank, a professor of astrophysics,
> recently wrote a piece in the New York Times titled, “Earth Will Survive.
> We May Not.”
>
> https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/12/opinion/earth-will-
> survive-we-may-not.html
>
> Human-centered design must attend to environmental issues if it is also to
> serve human goals.
>
> It is easy to co-opt any genuine concern. One may deploy any responsible
> term to evil ends. That does not make the concern wrong. Anything can be
> turned in this way from its original meaning. Our choice must either be to
> think deeply to ask whether anything is possible, or simply to give up.
>
> Victor Papanek pointed to some of these issues nearly half a century ago —
> yet here we are, Jonas, Ali, myself, working as design professors.
>
> Addressing these challenges is difficult. If I we believe that nothing
> useful can be done, no matter how difficult the challenge, then our default
> position is a kind of cynicism. That's like middle managers in tobacco
> companies, soft drink companies, or banks. Many of them know that the
> business in which they work is destroying the world. People in that kind of
> position find some way to justify working in jobs that they believe will
> ultimately cause great damage.
>
> If I were to believe that I could do nothing to improve the situation, I’d
> simply walk away from design research and doctoral education in design to
> enjoy the rest of my life doing something pleasant rather than feel like a
> cynic. I’d leave my position at Tongji University, I’d resign from journal
> boards, I’d relinquish my memberships, and let go of all the rest.
>
> One reason I like Don’s books is that they offer the prospect of design
> that serves people rather than simply packaging things or making them look
> better to sell more of them. Does every designer do this? No. Do some
> designers do this? Yes.
>
> I still plan to comment on Don’s article. Perhaps I will reach the
> conclusion that we can do nothing. If so, that will end my involvement in
> design.
>
> That might not be bad. My family has been urging me to retire so that they
> can enjoy life with me instead of watching me read manuscripts, write
> editorial notes, and occasionally respond to a post on the PhD-Design list.
>
> Yours,
>
> Ken
>
> --
>
> Ali Ilhan wrote:
>
> —snip—
>
> Just a small side note, but I find the extra emphasis on “human” a little
> problematic. Through technology or human or whatever centered design(s) we
> made a lot of damage to large scale systems around the world, and in my
> humble opinion we need a little less human centeredness to counter this
> tendency.
>
> And I agree with what Jonas said, neo-liberalism co-opts everyhting so
> quicky (i.e. sustainable design, human-centered design etc.) so I am really
> hopeless about creating ethical alternatives.
>
> —snip—
>
> Jonas wrote:
>
> —snip—
>
> to be quite frank: I find Don´s lengthy lament a bit trivial and even
> naïve.
>
> How can one expect „human-centeredness“ in an era of ever accelerated
> consumerism, driven by the perverse „logic“ of globalized finance
> capitalism?
>
> In this context „human-centered“ design isn’t much more than a hollow
> marketing buzzword. There is simply no time and no money for serious
> human-, or even social-centeredness in professional design.
>
> —snip—
>
> Ken Friedman, Ph.D., D.Sc. (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. The
> Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Tongji
> University in Cooperation with Elsevier | URL:
> http://www.journals.elsevier.com/she-ji-the-journal-of-
> design-economics-and-innovation/
>
> Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and
> Innovation | Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| Email
> [log in to unmask] | Academia http://swinburne.academia.edu/
> KenFriedman | D&I http://tjdi.tongji.edu.cn
>
>
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