The exhibition has been running for three days by now. I have talked to a couple of audiences and collected several questions for my work and feedbacks. This piece of article is intended for documenting the process of the preparation for exhibition and also the reflections afterward.
The title of my project is digital technology is a semiotic thing. In the perspective of that, the earth is a huge metamachine. Digital technology is only the interface of our living world. However, we now live in a technology-driven world, everything is around technology. We even picture our future of all black slabs with instructable icons on it. Although digital technology makes us of this age digital inhabitant, and the boundary crossing is also happening all the time, I still want to speculate what is the preferable future for all us, is it digital technology the only thing that matters to our future, is it digital inhabitant the only identity of us.
My context is out of a disorder called Digital Autism Spectrum Disorder(DASD). It shares the most significant symptoms with Autism, that is why it got this name. People with this disorder is not only physically bound to digital technology, but also mentally and spiritually. PANDORA is the company entrusted by the government to deal with this issue. AGGA is a digital companion, which can simulate the sense of the touching of human hands; BOCA is a talking bot, it can help pick up the language skills. These two products are launched by PANDORA, and they aim to bring people with DASD back to normal.
First thing first, the most important thing of a speculative design project is the narrative, how to make it explicit is what I need to do. Apparently, the 3d printing object can not tell much about my story. Based on the real product concept, I then make the packaging design. However, the packaging design only states it is a product, but no further information, also the detail on the back is not telling anything related to the context of the project. That is why I make a leaflet for demonstrating the usage of the product and a brochure for the company identity.
When exhibiting my work, I cut out a cardboard to set off my objects and the packaging box. It works out great. I also make several small cubes painted black to relate things to the semiotic idea. However, audiences seem to show more interests on the small decoration, and eventually, they become the distraction. So I take them off.
The most frequently asked questions:
1 Why do you choose to do a speculative design ?
A: I like interacting with minds rather than the body; I like speculating a future rather than working in the concrete world. Speculative design commits me to be critical and creative.
2 Will those with DASD become people live in the digital world?
A: A good one. Will they? I am still thinking about that. But some sci-fi movies already fetch some ideas. It might be plausible, I would say. Then we could travel a long distance and reach out for the universe. But at that time, are we still human? That is also the insight of my project, we choose what we are going to be, but not we are driven to become something. We decide our identity or image, we are not always digital inhabitants due to this technology-driven world.