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17–22 October 2016
Split, Croatia
INTERAKCIJE 2016


Speculative
Design
in the Real
World

Introduction



Speculative design is a critical design practice that comprises or is in relation to a number of similar practices, such as critical design, design fiction, design futures, anti-design, radical design, interrogative design, discursive design, adversarial design and so on. It is a discursive practice, based on critical thinking and dialogue, which questions the practice of design. However, the speculative design approach takes the critical practice one step further, towards imagination and visions of possible scenarios..


Through its imagination and radical approach, by using design as a medium, speculative design forces one to think – raises awareness, questions, provokes action, initiates discussions and perhaps even offers some alternatives that are essential for the today’s world. However, it remains to be seen whether the speculative practice has the potential to become the new, post-design practice, “the design after the design” or yet another utopia and historical reference.


Those who criticize the currently dominant approach to the speculative practice, characterised as “Eurocentric”, highlight its excessively focus on aesthetics (on the visual and narrative level), tendency to escape to dystopian scenarios, vanity and separation from the real world. The critics of this “Eurocentric” approach point out the privileged “Western” position stating that criticism is only possible outside of this comfort zone, by taking a position and organizing activities in the “real world”.


In order to try to answer this open questions, this year workshop, as an extension of the “Speculative – Post-Design Practice or New Utopia?” exhibition and accompanied booklet, is dealing with the speculative design role in the “real world”.



Workshop

Speculative design workshop took place at the Arts Academy in Split, Croatia, from 17th till 22th October 2016. Workshop was led by trans-disciplinary designers Demitrios Kargotis (from the DashnDem design practice, London and Goldsmiths, University of London and Birmingham City University) and Pedro Oliveira & Luiza Prado (from A Parede research platform, based around PhD study at Universität der Künste Berlin) with assistance by Oleg Šuran (Department of Visual Communication Design, Arts Academy, Split).


Students (bachelor and master) from variety of different fields (design, arts, psychology, sociology, architecture, engineering, urbanism, etc.) from Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Serbia, Sweden and Irleand took part in the multidisciplinary teams aiming to go beyond the limits of design definitions and re-thinking what design is today.

Department of Visual Communications Design (Arts Academy, University of Split) initiated a series of workshops as an introduction to the interaction design in the region. The workshops promote a multidisciplinary educational approach started with the successful Convivio summer school in 2004, which continued with UrbanIxD summer school in 2014.


So far, more then 200 students of design attended workshops – students of visual communications, new media design, interaction and product design, fine arts, architecture, computer science, ICT, film and video, and sociology, all from the major Croatian Universities and other Universities in the region – University of Ljubljana and Schools of Design in Belgrade and Cetinje.



Exhibition

A few days before the workshop, on the 6th of October, in the Museum of Fine Arts in Split, the exhibition “Speculative – Post-Design Practice or New Utopia?”, which represented the Republic of Croatia at the XXI. Milan Triennale, was opened.


The objective of the exhibition was to showcase and to contextualize in one place relevant contemporary speculative works in Croatia that, although often named differently, fall under the category of the speculative design. A common characteristic to all those works is the fact that there is no specific or distinctive approach to the speculative practice in Croatia but rather, the speculative practice reflects global influences. Thus, this (although) Croatian selection may be perceived primarily as an overview of various global speculative practices (through various disciplines, schools, methods, topics and so on).


All events were supported by The City of Split and Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and will be held in collaboration with the association Platforma 9.81.

Public
Discussion

In the context of the workshop, in order to discuss, critically reflect and re-think today speculative design practice, public discussion took place on Wednesday 19th of October. Invited guests discussed the role of the speculative design in the real world. James Auger (former member of the legendary Designing Interactions department at RCA, now at the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute, co-founder of the Crap Futures blog), one of the pionners of this design practice will give short introductory talk.


Together with the workshop leaders (Demitrios Kargotis, Pedro Oliveira and Luiza Prado) discussion also hosted Regine Debatty (founder of the cult blog we-make-money-not-art), Matt Ward (Head of the Design Department at Goldsmiths, University of London) and Mirko Balducci (co-founder of the italian multidisciplinary lab / network Nefula). Discussion was moderated by the workshop coordinator assistant professor Ivica Mitrovic (Department of Visual Communications Design, Interakcije).

Participants


Sara Poljak
Communications design / Politecnico di Milano

Dora Stupalo
Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy, University of Split

Mate Žaja
Interaction design / Arts Academy, University of Split

Marija Polovic
Interaction design / Arts Academy, University of Split

Pina Šegula Seršen
University of Maribor Architecture / Faculty of Civil Engineering, Transportation Engineering and Architecture, University of Maribor

Otto Kušec
Visual communications design / School of Design, Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb

Nika Tecilazic
Visual communications design / School of Design, Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb

Anja Kepert
Product design / School of Design, Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb

Milica Novakovic
Graphics design and visual communications / Faculty of Media and Communications, Beograd

Jelena Strugar
Graphics design and visual communications / Faculty of Media and Communications, Beograd

Helena Tosic
Visual communications design / Faculty of Fine Arts, Cetinje

Ana Sutlovic
Informatics / Faculty of Science, University of Split

Elin Engström
Industrial design / Konstfack, University College of Arts, Craft and Design, Stockholm

Adrian Rovina
Visual communications design / Arts Academy, University of Split

Nikola Mikulic
Visual communications design / University of Split

Miljenko Dujic
Computer science / Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture

Anamaria Buljan
Architecture / Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy, University of Split

Felicia Nilsson
Industrial design / Konstfack, University College of Arts, Craft and Design, Stockholm

Lara Benevides Da Silva Fernandes
Industrial design / Konstfack, University College of Arts, Craft and Design, Stockholm

James Delaney
Freelancer / Speculative design

Katarina Vuletic
Architecture / Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy, University of Split

Jelena Njeguš
Interaction design / Arts Academy, University of Split

Nikola Mikulic
Visual communications design / Arts Academy, University of Split

Špela Cenc
Architecture / AUniversity of Maribor Faculty of Civil Engineering, Transportation Engineering and Architecture, University of Maribor

Sara Pavlekovic Preis
Visual communications design / School of Design, Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb

Miran Basic
Visual communications design / Arts Academy, School of Design, Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb

Josipa Tadic
Product design / School of Design, Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb

Miloš Nikolic
Graphics design and visual communications / Faculty of Media and Communications, Beograd

Branka Kovacevic
Visual communications design / Faculty of Fine Arts, Cetinje

Mia Bojcic
Informatics / Faculty of Science, University of Split

Berina Džemailovic
Sociology / Faculty of Political Science, University of Sarajevo

Nikki Vancaš
Applied arts / Academy of Applied Arts, University of Rijeka

Zdenko Pavicic
Architecture / Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy, University of Split

Dino Pilepic
Applied arts / Academy of Applied Arts, University of Rijeka


Projects

Public Discussion

Speculative Design in the “Real World”

In order to find answers open questions, and as an extension of the “Speculative – Post-Design Practice or New Utopia?” exhibition organized at the XXI Triennale di Milano, the ancillary booklet included a series of interviews with the prominent international experts from the field of speculative design. In the framework of the Speculative NOW! event and as a step forward, we wanted to focus, discuss, critically reflect, and re-think today’s speculative design practice. For that reason, we have invited renown practitioners, critics, educators and curators to Split to discuss the role of speculative design in the “real world”.


We were happy to host James Auger (former member of the legendary Design Interactions department at RCA, now at the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute, co-founder of the Crap Futures blog), one of the pioneers of this design practice, Demitrios Kargotis (from the DashnDem design practice, London and Goldsmiths, University of London and Birmingham City University), Pedro Oliveira & Luiza Prado (from A Parede research platform, based around the PhD studies at Universität der Künste Berlin), Régine Debatty (the founder of the cult blog we-make-money-not-art), Matt Ward (Head of the Design Department at Goldsmiths, University of London) and Mirko Balducci (a co-founder of the Italian multidisciplinary lab / network Nefula). Discussions was moderated by the workshop coordinator – assistant professor Ivica Mitrovic (Department of Visual Communications Design, Interakcije) and took place on Wednesday 19th of October in the Museum of Fine Arts in Split..


Read Public Discussion

Contact

Info:

Arts Academy, University of Split


Address:

Glagoljaška bb
21000 Split
Croatia


E-mail:

interactions@umas.hr


Web:

dvk.com.hr/interactions


Credits:

Ivica Mitrovic
Oleg Šuran
Jelena Njeguš
Mate Žaja