Camera Restricta. A disobedient tool for taking unique photographs

Camera Restricta by Philipp Schmitt is a brilliant example of speculative design. According to the designer, “algorithms are already looking through the viewfinder alongside with you: they adjust settings, scan faces and take a photo when you smile. What if your grin wasn’t the only thing they cared about?

Camera Restricta is a speculative design of a new kind of camera. It locates itself via GPS and searches online for photos that have been geotagged nearby. If the camera decides that too many photos have been taken at your location, it retracts the shutter and blocks the viewfinder. You can’t take any more pictures here”.

Read more about the project.


Speculation on future garments: wearing organ skin suits to improve health?

Speculation on future garments: wearing organ skin suits to improve health?

For her thesis, Cloe Cooper – student at Rhode Island School of Design – is working an a speculative design project. She imagines a future where organ skin garments – i.e. a stomach suit, a lung suit, etc.  –  will be used just as clothes to improve health  – instead of being means to express style and status quo.

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Drone Garden: robot plants struggling for resources

Drone Garden by Martin Reiche is an installation that addresses the issue of naturality in a networked and virtualised environment. It offers a speculative insight on a future where even robots will fight for vital resources (such as bandwidth as in this case). According to the project page:

[…] As a series of interconnected hybrid “plants”, the installation creates a utopian garden through wires, circuit boards, cables and other circuitry – a garden in which all of their inhabitants, the plants (drones), are constantly fighting for resources (network bandwidth). This fight, happening on packet level on the network sockets and in the memory of the “plants”, is fueled by an instinctive codified behavior which is visualized on the screen. The installation raises the question if it is ethical to interfere with such a confined microcosm, which, even though carefully designed and therefore artificial, nevertheless behaves and fights for its existence.

Seen on

therefore I am: a fictional DNA measurement instrument for prenatal diagnostics

Call it design fiction or speculative design (feel free to pick yours), therefore I am – by interaction designer Michael Burk – is a fictional device to explore the scientific and ethical consequences  of DNA encoding. According to the project description:

therefore I am is a project on the topic of prenatal diagnostics – the measurement of a human before birth. Since just a few years it is possible to retrieve the DNA of a fetus, by analyzing the mothers blood.

What consequences and ethical questions unravel for society, as scientists encode our DNA further and further? Doesn’t the life of a fetus get sketched out ever more clearly, as we measure more precisely? Is a fetus not becoming a human beeing, when it’s looks, it’s ability to move and love and work become measurable?

This fictional measuring instrument was created to form a narrative, that let’s the visitor engage with the subject. After inserting a blood sample into the machine, the user can determine, how precise the measurement should be. An animation helps the user to understand the matter of the subject and illustrates the changing precision of the measurement. The machine evaluates the sample and creates a projected life story, that reflects the precision of the measurement, by providing a correspondingly detailed story. The story is then printed out. These fictional storys have generative parts, which assemble randomly, to create a variety of storys.

The building blocks of these storys were created by taking topics in account that arise from the possibility to analyse the DNA to perfection (eventually): Sexual orientation, intersexuallity, genetic disorder, disability, acceptance by society, etc. Thereby scientific facts, like the detection of the down syndrom are mixed with highly controversial topics like the measureability of sexual orientation, to create room for discussion and speculation.

Found on Creative Applications Network.