Critical & Speculative Design

It is more of an attitude than anything else, a position rather than a method.

As suggested by Dunne and Raby, Critical designs are created to make the consumer question the products role within society and to spark preconceptions. It is made to spark discussions within society and to make the consumers think about the products and why they are there. Society is growing rapidly and has changed immensely since the start of the 20th century. “Society has moved on but design has not” (Dunne and Raby, 2018) and Critical design is created to help the design world stay up to date with the current technology and growing ideas of society. Critical design is also used to provide a sense of humour to design, but quite often it does not work. For it to be successful, It has to allow the viewer to decide an opinion on whether it is serious or humourous. There are worries that Critical design will end up as a form of design entertainment instead of being serious and approaching current social issues effectively.

The ‘NoPhone’ is an example of critical design, playing on the world renowned problem that everyone is addicted to their phones. The advertising for it is clever, giving it a comparison to the Iphone and how it does nothing the Iphone does apart from the fact that it is shatterproof and waterproof. It also provides an ‘upgrade’ which contains a mirror on the front, allowing you to take a ‘selfie’ with it, showing your friend behind you the ‘selfie’. It is smart idea and cleverly advertised, but not something that will ever be successful or achieve much recognition as it is too simple and more of a humorous design.

The ‘Nophone’ by