Perhaps prematurely, I moved onto trying to find a method of displaying the results of the research I had created. Although I had not properly analysed the vast amount of information gained in the Dare you to… research, it was clear to me that in order to have something viable for the Degree Show, I would have to come up with a plan for how to convey the research.
I had inadvertently ended up doing a research project, something that at the start of the year I had wanted to avoid, due to research having a tendency to be dry and uninspiring in a degree show context.
I started trying to think of interesting ways to convey the work. This is a current theme within academic research, for instance, the AHRC are currently looking to employ media representatives, whose sole job is to explain the work that the AHRC is funding to the general public, and explain why it is beneficial. I feel there is very little point in design research if it is only understandable by designers or academics.
I decided to illustrate my ideas through critical design. As I previously explained, I feel that critical design can be useful to get across otherwise tricky ideas, as long as the ideas are in the realms of peoples understanding.
My idea was to create a fake service design company. Connecti_On (under construction). The idea behind Connecti_On was that they were a service design company, their service being ‘Disconnection Facilitation.’ The research would come out through the products in the company’s catalogue.
I was intrigued by the strange language that service design companies such as Adaptive Path and Live | Work use on their websites. Often I feel like it merely disguises that all they are is web design companies. I wanted to use this to my advantage.
My research, although it illustrated some of the negative points of digital communication, nevertheless proved that it is an essential tool for some people. I wanted to show this dual nature of the products, and the false certainties of the service design companies leant itself well to creating some critical design products which proposed wonders but worked on some points and failed on others.
I decided to propose a line of products that look at, as I see it, the 3 main distractions that digital communications offer to the modern workplace: the mobile phone, your e-mail account, and social networking sites.
By creating these products, I hope to have some kind of tangible evidence of research at the degree show; something I felt was missing from even the best of the research-based topics of last year.
However, I am also hoping to create a short video based around the topics raised by each of the products. For instance, there are a number of scenarios that were brought about by the Dare you to… research that I am hoping to convert into short films. Using the fake service idea also helps this, as it adds characters and motivations into the mix, which will help with the writing.