SXSW Interactive 2013, Austin, TX

Presentation 

Utopia/Dystopia: Inspiring the Next Digital Native

All design requires some speculation—after all, a designer must predict an individual’s uncertain reaction to her work. What of design that teaches by speculating on what our future might look like? Orwell and Huxley have warned generations of readers with their dystopian views of the world. Artists like The Yes Men and Steve Lambert have taken a utopian approach, asking us to consider what a perfect defense budget may look like or designing a New York Times for the wishful-thinkers.

Millennials have had the chance to consider the advancements and consequences of the digital revolution, a time when new media have been infused into every element of society. As the next generation of digital natives comes into its own, what role does speculative design play in educating or inspiring those who will build and use the tools that shape their world? The talk includes a review of work that help ground an understanding of today’s media landscape by projecting what they look like in the future.