FIONA RABY (Royal College of Art, Dunne & Raby)
“Do you want to replace the existing normal? this is a piece of poetry when it pops up on the screen unexpectedly. And its very interesting as it is exactly what we have been specialising all our time through what we attempt to do in design. Design sits entirely in the normal, the banal, the popular, the trivial, the norm is the starting point for every project. The norm is always there to keep as a point of reference no matter how strange the project might seem.”
Fiona opened the conference with an insight in to the way that design tries to sit itself in the tangibility of the everyday. This was an interesting lead into describing the design for debate approach that deals with the implications of science and technologies in our everyday lives through using design as tool to enable provocation, stimulation and most importantly discussion and reaction. Fiona continued to give an overview of the various designers who have taken this approach in their work and how that has been evolving over the past ten years and how some of the outcomes from a variety of design practitioners has culminated into the recent exhibition Design and the Elastic Mind, curated by Paola Antonelli at the MOMA in New York.
With this introduction she lead on to give an summary of the collaborative workshop between the various designers and social scientists that has occurred via the New Sciences of Protection Designing Safe Living research programme at Lancaster University. Emphasizing the fact that this collaborative experiment has been about broadening the way designers ask questions and consider dilemma in society.