On April 22nd (and fittingly, Earth Day), Cameron Tonkinwise returned to give the closing lecture of the 2013-2014 Visiting Lecture Series. The talk was entitled "Design as Deliberate but Deliberative Futuring." In the talk, Cameron argues that "where craft was mired in real-time in-the-field trial-and-error, design promised processes of forethought to find and decide on preferred futures. The mania today for design thinking iterations, rapid full-scale prototyping, and pivoting lean beta releases threatens to return us to the era of craft."
At the start, Cameron reflects on his visit to the department last year: "When I spoke at SVA this time last year, I reacted with the suggestion that designers needed to re-cultivate the capacity to vision bigly and boldly. But I now worry that this modernist gesture lies too close to that of the techno-libertarians running many digital businesses. This talk worries about those who advocate the Proactionary Principle - the insistence that to face today's challenges, such as those concerning our sustainability, we need to take risks with large-scale technologies. Given this shift in the political spectrum of design, I suggest some heuristics for designing resolutely but reversibly."
Open to the public, the lecture was attended by students from several MFA programs, design professionals and fans, and a couple new students who will be joining us this coming September!