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The Design of Digital Shadows: Co-Speculating Presents That Might Already Have Come True
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design. (Prototyping Practices)
2016 (English)In: MEDIATIONS Conference Proceedings: Art & Design Agency and Participation in Public Space / [ed] Saba Golchehr, London: Royal College of Art , 2016, p. 13-25Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

As a response to the recent surveillance disclosures made by Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers, this paper presents and discusses a key experiment from Meta(data)morphosis, a design research project aimed at heightening public metadata awareness in a low-key, local setting. The paper begins by unpacking metadata and exploring the qualities of ‘the digital shadow’, and then goes on to describe the experiment. Based on the design ethnographic extraction of personal metadata from several members of the public, each metadata set is transformed into a short film script template through speculative design. In a concluding workshop, each participant co-speculates on top of someone else’s script template, producing a narrative of an alternative present which is finally read back to the participant whose metadata the template was based upon. This is the uncanny moment when participants face their digital shadows: plausible, perhaps more tedious, perhaps more disturbing, versions of themselves. Based on this experiment, the particular methodological bridging between the traditions of speculative and participatory design is traced. As part of the discussion of the workshop results, the paper concludes by outlining the characteristics of the agonistic space that was opened up in the process of co-designing and mediating the digital shadows. Building on the insights gathered through the experiment, the Design Theatre of the Absurd is finally imagined as a future venue for further explorations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Royal College of Art , 2016. p. 13-25
Keywords [en]
surveillance, metadata, speculative design, participatory design, pataphysics
National Category
Design Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
design; industrial design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-128904ISBN: 978-1-910642-18-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-128904DiVA, id: diva2:1057684
Conference
MEDIATIONS, Art & Design Agency and Participation in Public Space, Royal College of Art, London, United Kingdom, 21-22 November 2016
Projects
Meta(data)morphosis
Funder
The Kempe FoundationsEU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 608299Available from: 2016-12-19 Created: 2016-12-19 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Rosenbak, Søren
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Umeå Institute of Design
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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Language
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Output format
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