Research

Tyler Fox

Autumn 2020

POST(-)HUMAN HAZMAT: Design fiction for multispecies care and collaborative survival in cataclysmic climates

This DRG will be conducted remotely over Zoom.

In this DRG, we will explore and design for the concept: post(-)human hazmat by examining what it means to design for multispecies care and collaborative survival in cataclysmic climates. We will examine emerging design practices that emphasize the interrelations between human and nonhuman actors, such as Laura Forlano’s piece, “Posthumanism and Design.” Through works of design fiction, we will ask: How can we reimagine the boundaries of what it means to be human and our relationship with other species and the natural world? And, how can we build more-than-human relationships of care that build protection in hazardous contexts? 

Join us on a creative journey to design some-other-worldly characters, settings, and future scenarios of care and safety. We will use this exploration of the strange and imaginary as a way to sit with, digest, work with, stay with the trouble, communicate, and interrogate concepts, implications, and other considerations for this world. We will develop a series of scenarios in the form of comic strips. By the end of the quarter we will curate our narratives together into a final zine. 

The sessions will largely be a co-design studio where we can work collaboratively on our designs through design sprint activities. Each week, we will have readings, videos, and other types of media to check out that will help contextualize the upcoming activities in the design process. We will use a collage of methods, pulling from user-centered design, value sensitive design, speculative design, discursive design, critical design, and multispecies ethnography. 

The work of imagining alternative worlds is a useful practice for designers. We will make use of Le Guin's subjunctive mood to invoke the "what if" of speculative fiction. We will find inspiration from artistic mediums such as science fiction and graphic novels, interesting technologies such as coral planting robots, and fascinating species entanglements. 

We are looking for 6-8 undergraduate or graduate students to participate in this DRG. No prior experience in these areas needed. You do not need to be in the HCDE major to participate.

The group will be facilitated by PhD student Michael Beach (mwb8@uw.edu) with guidance from Tyler Fox. 

When: 2-hour sessions 2-4pm on Fridays
Credits: 2 credits (recommended)
Apply here: https://forms.gle/s8Qj1cXfB42RJGVY7 

Applications will be reviewed starting Friday, September 25. Decisions will be made by the first day of Autumn quarter. 


Dr. Fox's Research Group archive