Apophenia As Method—Or, Everything Is Either A Metaphor Or An Analogue Computer

PART I:
What would it mean to take that metaphysical trick seriously—or at least as an inspiration? What if we observed things in the world with an eye, or ear, for them to tell us their story? What if we treat everything as a display that is visualizing its own past, present, and maybe future?

PART II:
forcing yourself to treat something found through a (meaningless?) self-imposed constraint as a metaphor for something very meaningful to you, either personally, or as design inspiration.

AUTHORED BY:
Dan Lockton, Imaginaries Lab
School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA

Some Cracks In The Paving
Rosslyn Road, St Margarets Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1, UK

Water Trapped In The Window Of A British Rail Class
450 Train Carriage, Richmond Station, The Quadrant
Richmond, Surrey, TW9, UK

BIOGRAPHY:
Dan Lockton is an interaction designer and researcher, interested in how people make sense of the world. He is Assistant Professor and Chair of Design Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and founder of the Imaginaries Lab, a new research group using design methods to explore and support people’s imagining—new ways to understand, and new ways to live. Current projects include energy sonification, speculative design around AI, and investigating people’s mental imagery and perceptions of agency around local government. Dan joined CMU in 2016 from the Royal College of Art, London, where he was a researcher at the Helen Hamlyn Centre, and a tutor in Innovation Design Engineering. During his PhD at Brunel University (2013), he developed the Design with Intent toolkit, a pattern library around environmental and social behaviour change.

Also co-authors of the paper are—if the ideas in it are true— all the things in the entire world, telling their stories, including cracks in the paving and water in the window as representative members.

Click here to read full submission

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