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Network Anxieties and Frictional Designs
WhenWednesday, May 17, 2017, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Campus locationAllen Library (ALB)
Campus roomAllen Auditorium
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsHCDE

When technology design is dominated by the practical realities of incremental improvements and far-reaching rhetoric of techno-utopian dreams, a need and opportunity is formed to turn the aesthetic tools of design around to confront the shadowy, contradictory, and problematic aspects of technologies. Balancing playful and interrogational dispositions, the Network Anxieties project engages negative affective dimensions of digital networking technologies including paranoia, exhaustion, distrust, fear, and creepiness. As critical and speculative design inquiry this work methodologically mixes participatory design, conceptual design proposals, rapid prototyping, consumer product design, and art intervention. Inspired by the ad-hoc, decentralized, and circulatory nature of contemporary network technologies this project takes multiple forms: alternative Internet metaphors, experimental design packets, semi-fictional product roadmaps, IoT product hacks, and speculative design proposals. This talk will be contextualized against a broader theoretical backdrop of critical and speculative design and the crucial role that friction plays in such practices.


James Pierce is currently lecturer in the Jacobs Institute for Design innovation at UC Berkeley and research affiliate at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. He has longstanding research interests in speculative design, design theory, and everyday social practices. His more recent research interests include state surveillance, digital disconnectivity, and ghosts. James has published over 50 articles in top conferences and journals spanning the fields of design research, human-computer interaction, and ubiquitous computing.

James work frequently overlaps with art practice and the humanities. His worked has been awarded numerous best paper awards. Previously James worked as Research Scientist and Visiting Scholar at the UC Berkeley Center for New Media. James has a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in Human-Computer Interaction, and a Master’s Degree in Interaction Design from Indiana University.

This free event is open to the pub¬lic. Please invite others!

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