CAN Events, Resonate, Theory
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Speculative Everything – Anthony Dunne at Resonate 2013 and UmK


Continuing our documentation of Resonate 2013, it’s a pleasure to present the talk of Anthony Dunne, professor and head of the Design Interactions programme at the Royal College of Art in London. We covered a number of RCA_DI projects in the past and this is your chance to hear Anthony talk about the work in the school, first hand, ideas driving one of the most prestigious interaction design courses in the world as well get a sneak peak into project currently making it’s way into London’s Design Museum.

In this presentation Anthony talks about dealing with speculation, using products and smaller objects as a way to explore different/alternative futures. Trying to shift from designing for how the world is now towards how the world could be, generating different possibilities for the future and what role design could play. He talks about the shift from realism to idealism, evaluating thoughts about the world around us. He also talks about companies modelling realities in the past, preparing themselves for other possible scenarios, how the world could be different, the fantastic space through science and scientific realism.

Anthony covers these topics by talking about students work at the RCA. From “Prospectus for a Future Body” by Kai Fai Chov (2011) who was interested in recording electrical impulses generated by the body and creating a library of these that could then be played back using also electrical impulses applied to the body, “City Symphonies” by Mark McKeague (2012) – project CAN readers may already be familiar with and others.

In addition we also got a sneak peak into the project/exhibition currently in preparation at the London’s Design Museum – “United Micro Kingdoms (UMK): A Design Fiction” by Dunne & Raby, design practice Anthony runs with Fiona Raby. The exhibition of the project opens this Wednesday and presents perspectives on a fictional future for the United Kingdom, as imagined by the practice. The exhibition sees England devolved into four self-contained counties, each free to experiment with governance, economy and lifestyle. These ‘live laboratories’ interrogate the cultural and ethical impact of existing and new technologies and how they alter the way we live.

We hope you enjoy the talk below. For more talks, as they get uploaded, see resonate’s vimeo account or the /main site for more information.

Of course, if you are in London, “United Micro Kingdoms (UMK): A Design Fiction” is not to be missed!

Design Museum / 01 May – 26 August / 28 Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD



Resonate 2013 audience at Anthony’s talk

UmK: Digicars (source)

UmK: Digicars (source)

UmK: Digiland / Image: Tommaso Lanza (source)

UmK: Digiland / Image: Tommaso Lanza (source)

UmK: Anarcho-evolutionists / Pitsky / Balloonist / Cyclist / Hox (source)

UmK: Anarcho-evolutionists / Pitsky / Balloonist / Cyclist / Hox (source)

AnthonyDunne - Resonate 13_03

Slides from Anthony’s presentation at Resonate 2013 describing UmK’s social groups

AnthonyDunne - Resonate 13_04

Slides from Anthony’s presentation at Resonate 2013 – UmK’s transport – self driving vehicles