Design and science fiction

Some things make me wonder about what the designers behiind them thought when they designed it. With not so frequent frequency I'll pick up an item in a shop, or wherever, and wonder: what the frell is this?? How does it work?? Do I really need this? Does ANYONE??

And that brings me to science fiction. Especially the kind that takes place on Earth in the future. I'm often puzzled at how different it's made to be. And in many cases it seems so.. unfriendly and entirely unfot for humans to live in (atleast emotionally and psychologically), although it may be practical on many levels.

The thing that annoys me, is that writers seem to forget just how conservative humans are. In general we do not accept change easily. Especially not to our own way of life. It's like Sci-fi writers are so enraptured by thinking of how humans would have evolved technologically that they forget to think about how people would react to these technological advances! In so far as people accept change, and adapt to it, they also make it adapt to their needs, their wants.

So it bugs me to see how Sci-fi makes people the "victims" of their own technology, I doubt that will ever happen. And I doubt that the way humans live will ever change hugely compared to what it is today. Because people are conservative, they want to keep to their way of life. And then technology have to adapt to that way of life. Not the other way around!

And that goes for design too! You can't design how people are going to use things. You can, but the one intended use, for whatever you've designed, will not be the only one! It will be used by people who are different, and each of them will adapt the thing to their way of life.

I guess in a way you could say that design is Sci-fi. Design is an illusion, cause you can't know for sure how people will use the things you've designed.

Monday, July 25, 2005 posted by Wardi @ 10:14 AM