Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Networks In Crisis: Relative Strangers

Relative Strangers considers the affect 'death' has on family networks in the diaspora. To do this it takes a step back and begins to deconstruct the relationships of family members questioning whether it is possible to form close relationships when mediated over huge geographical distances. By tapping into the rich fields of cognitive science, philosophy, bereavement and virtual management; a proposal is built up which considers the development of a new form of 'audio ritual' (shared broadcast.) Allowing each family member the option be 'linked' through a tapestry of shared soundscapes. By locating this ritual around a fairly mundane event, i.e. eating dinner. The project aims to highlight the opportunity of evoking a new audio-ritual, giving families in the diaspora the opportunity of getting to know dispersed family members on the micro-scale (as you do when living together) without pressuring people to communicate directly.

Project Presentation can be found at: http://www.vimeo.com/11159627

Networks in Crisis : Microsoft Research Lab Cambridge.

Brief: to consider, both critically as design students who are informed by many of the most recent debates within the discourse of design and contemporary social, cultural, and critical theory, and practically as designers who are aware of the radically transformative potential of design, some of those key social, cultural, political, economic and environmental concerns that have arisen latly in relationship to the question of ever increasing involvement in those various "networks" - whether material or immaterial - that are increasingly "in-forming" the very nature of the world in which we currently exist. Microsoft is a major contributor to the field of "network" technologies, i.e. technologies that allow us to create systems or "networks" of communication and connection between different people, places and things.

"how might we possibly design, or perhaps even more appropriatly, re-design or redirect the essential nature of these technologies and the networks that they create in a way that is capable of not only revealing but also possibly remedying many of those essentially dehumanising, disincarnating, and destructive qualities of their nature that seem to be such an intrinsic part of their existence - and the "crises" that they produce"

(5 week project)

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