Speclog

16.08.21

"99 Questions..."

Every research process begins with a question. Every research answer raises further questions. This is all the more true in the context of the speculative. From a strictly scientific perspective, the term "speculative" is sometimes associated with a connotation of "unseriousness". While in philosophy the concept of „speculative” has a completely different connotation, including that it is certainly about knowledge – namely that which goes beyond experiential everyday actions. The self-conception of many scientific fields is based on the assumption that science is the opposite of speculation. Though what designers do, actually always refers to the future, and is therefore – to a certain degree – always speculative. In order to be able to think the world at all, we have to invent it or try to reconstruct it using different narratives and fictions. Science as well as Design are truly situated in this complex, too. +
The theoretical as well as the practical development of the speculative concepts of design is consciously critical. In view of the growing number of speculative design projects, their actual social relevance has been increasingly questioned. The accusation: too many of these projects arise from a naïve, unreflected attitude, move closer to art than to design and are all too often merely located in galleries, instead of manifesting themselves in actual, everyday use and being able to intervene there. However, we shall consider that the one does not necessarily have to exclude the other. Speculative Design is part of an expanded approach to design. In addition to direct social engagement, it can also operate in other valuable domains. +
In which ones? And how? This in turn is the starting point for numerous further questions. 99 of them can be found (unfortunately only in German so far) in the audio/video installation 99 Questions (Bieling 2020). +
"99 questions…" (video link)
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"99 questions..." (on design research and epistemic speculation) premiered as a sound installation in January 2020 as part of the Rundgang, and was subsequently visually edited during a pandemic lockdown night. +
Tom Bieling +
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