“What human beings are an will become is decided in the shape of our tools no less than in the action of statesmen and political movements. The design of technology is thus an ontological decision fraught with political consequences.”
Can the design of technology be decoupled from the market place? The innovations in technology are a constant feedback loop with the manner in which we view ourselves as a culture. Designers should be using their language to pose questions and transport our imaginations into parallel but possible worlds instead of making technology sexy, easy to use and more consumable.
This project aims to project how our culture would navigate this new post-planetary landscape through the medium of terraforming. In recognizing how, specifically, American culture has built up social mores it is important to look back to the doctrine of Manifest Destiny. Manifest Destiny was a popular slogan in the 1840s. It was used by people who claimed it was God’s will for the U.S. to expand all the way to the Pacific Ocean. How else could this principle be more appropriately translated to the post-planetary scale than through the means of terraforming distant reaches of the galaxy and beyond? The idea takes from science fiction and pairs it with concepts from the geology to extrapolate a compendium to be used by the citizen of the future in their endeavors beyond the reaches of our solar system.
The project is not about prediction so much as asking “what if?” It’s important for us as designers to design beyond the way things are now and instead use this visual vernacular to design for how we want things to be. What this project is is a series of 36 conjectures that take neologisms from science fiction literature and combine them with terms from the geological time line of Earths development to create a relatively believable guidebook to the future.
The project consists of two main portions: that of nostalgia and that of projection. The handbook acts as an anachronistic guide to the zeitgeist of the distant future legible from our perspective. This book is meant to an out of time piece written in the neo-joycean style of Nick Land crossed with the pithy satire of Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.
The second pieces is a not so accessible visually accessible introduction meant to ocularly stimulate a viewer out of time but only be truly legible to fantastic pan-human of the future. Because this project is meant to project the manner in which we view ourselves and how that image is reflected onto our technology this piece is a more literal reflection on the working ideology. While the guidebook may seem esoteric and dense there needs to be some way to visually express the lightheartedness of the concept.
What I have dubbed Everyland: The Technocrat’s Illustrated Primer (in homage to Neil Stephenson’s Diamond Age) is the culmination of two semesters worth of thesis work. Initially I set out to study the idea of a utopia and the possibility of designing one. The conclusion that I drew was that every single utopia would be contrived of different rules and sustainable for only one person. While there were overlaps in individual’s concepts of utopia there would be no possible consensus within. From Thomas More’s Utopia to Neville’s Isle of Pines to Asimov’s Foundation the breadth of ‘perfect’ societies was tremendous. The question I was left with was how could we design the lowest common denominator of rule sets to encourage the broadest level of utopic individuality within one society? While I have no totally answered this question Post-Planetary Design has acted to inform this challenge in a science fiction context with is more near and dear to my heart than the previous city-planning route I had been taking.
Working with Annamarie Gavin on this project we are going from macro to micro. While both our takes on the concept of geopolitics in the post-planetary world differ we still ended up with an image in our minds that aligned very neatly. Taking from inspirations such as Dunne & Raby and the Italian architecture firm Superstudio my role in the next step of this thesis is to refine the more general while Annamarie is using her talents in illustration to inform the specific. In line with the idea that everybody’s utopia would look different Annamarie is tailoring illustrations of ethereal buildings within majestic landscapes to the rule sets that I have created while my rule sets are becoming more informed by the scope and look of individual examples.
 Andrew Feenber,  2002, Transforming Technology: A Critical Theory Revisited. Oxford: Orford University Press. (p.3)
Dyslexic Notation | Gerald Morin and Kanny Yeung have just published this article in the Parsons Journal for Information Mapping that describes a new way to deal with dyslexia. They have created a new alphabet that effectively removes the shapes of the English alphabet that are problematic for dyslexic persons. The symbols are symmetric from all sides. If a dyslexic individual shifts the character in any direction the core will be recognizable from all sides. While they listed no study or conclusions on their work, it’s still an interesting read with a compelling proposed solution to a disorder that afflicts 5 to 10 percent of the world’s people. (FF3300)
Look I was written about
5 x 5 Spring Trailer
Shot with a Cannon 5D Mark II and 7D
Edited by Me Shot in part by me.
5 x 5 Goes to Texas
Shot on a Cannon 5D Mark II
Edited and FIlmed by yours truely