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PLEASE CHECK THE VIDEO:VIMEO.COM/MAXMOLLON/EPHEMERIDE
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I ended doing the same thing
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(2015) Audience Construction & The Uncanny (NOTES) – At Goldsmith DF

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NOTES OF THE PDF PRESENTATION
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Mollon, M. (2015). Audience Construction & The Uncanny. Presented in Tobie Kerridge (Ed.). Speculation as Design Research. At Goldsmith Design Festival, Goldsmith University, London. (Sept. 4th).
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.22660.32645
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Speculation as Design Research was a symposium organised by Tobie Kerridge, part of the Goldsmith design festival 2015 Oct. O4th. 
With Luiza Prado de O. Martins, Max Mollon, Alison Thomson.

My initial reply to Tobie’s demand:
In my work, I argue SCD uses design speculations to look into “people's reactions” when facing alternative views to the world they know. Indeed, “people’s reactions are the true product” of these practices – as James Auger puts it, in his thesis. For that reason, I feel the word empiric to echo with the relationship of SCD to its audiences. Empirical Speculation can refer to specific phases of the design process: collecting the audience reactions. 

Collecting people’s reactions can occur along two phases: 
the production & the reception of the artefact.
First, showing the project to potential users allows to crash-test the relevance of a speculation (regarding a specific audience’s background). These experiments allow to test the ability of a proposition to elicit “meaningful reactions” and so, to ensure good reception conditions for the project (eg. avoiding unintended debates). This is close to classical design’s pre-release user-testing, enabling to fine-tune the project. I like to call it “potential-user testing”.

The second step happens in live conditions of diffusion, collecting actual reactions of an audience. To put it in one word, Empirical Speculation is less about verifying the accuracy of a conjecture than its effect on people. It is therefore all about ensuring the relevance of a speculation to a public and collecting its reactions.
For a matter of brevity, we will not go deeper into the questions of unintended debates, and situated audiences, yet.

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(2015) Audience Construction & The Uncanny (NOTES) – At Goldsmith DF

  1. 1. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | PRESENTED AT GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 Max Mollon | Audience Construction & the uncanny | Goldsmith design festival 2015 | London, England Speculation as Design Research Tobie Kerridge, Max Mollon, Luiza Prado de O. Martins, Alison Thomson While speculative and critical design (SCD) approaches have been written about extensively, there is scope to develop empirically robust accounts of these practices as a form of design research. This symposium brings together an international group of students and researchers who are challenging popular and rhetorical modes of writing about SCD by responding to issues that impinge upon their practice, including patient experience, upstream engagement and colonialism. Symposium Friday 4th September, 10:00 - 13:00 LG02, Professor Stuart Hall Building GOLDSMITHS DESIGN DEPARTMENT OF DESIGN gold.ac.uk FESTIVAL 3 - 9 SEPT Speculation as Design Research Tobie Kerridge, Max Mollon, Luiza Prado de O. Martins, Alison Thomson While speculative and critical design (SCD) approaches have been written about extensively, there is scope to develop empirically robust accounts of these practices as a form of design research. This symposium brings together an international group of students and researchers who are challenging popular and rhetorical modes of writing about SCD by responding to issues that impinge upon their practice, including patient experience, upstream engagement and colonialism. Symposium Friday 4th September, 10:00 - 13:00 LG02, Professor Stuart Hall Building GOLDSMITHS DESIGN DEPARTMENT OF DESIGN gold.ac.uk FESTIVAL 3 - 9 SEPT MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 SPECULATION AS DESIGN RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM ORGANISED BY TOBIE KERRIDGE. PART OF THE GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 OCT. O4TH
 WITH LUIZA PRADO DE O. MARTINS, MAX MOLLON, ALISON THOMSON. My initial reply to Tobie’s demand: In my work, I argue SCD uses design speculations to look into “people's reactions” when facing alternative views to the world they know. Indeed, “people’s reactions are the true product” of these practices – as James Auger puts it, in his thesis. For that reason, I feel the word empiric to echo with the relationship of SCD to its audiences. Empirical Speculation can refer to specific phases of the design process: collecting the audience reactions. 
 Collecting people’s reactions can occur along two phases: 
 the production & the reception of the artefact. • First, showing the project to potential users allows to crash- test the relevance of a speculation (regarding a specific audience’s background). These experiments allow to test the ability of a proposition to elicit “meaningful reactions” and so, to ensure good reception conditions for the project (eg. avoiding unintended debates). This is close to classical design’s pre-release user-testing, enabling to fine-tune the project. I like to call it “potential-user testing”.
 • The second step happens in live conditions of diffusion, collecting actual reactions of an audience. To put it in one word, Empirical Speculation is less about verifying the accuracy of a conjecture than its effect on people. It is therefore all about ensuring the relevance of a speculation to a public and collecting its reactions. For a matter of brevity, we will not go deeper into the questions of unintended debates, and situated audiences, yet. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 BONJOUR! French accent! sorry ;)
  2. 2. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 1. STORY OF THE PROJECT 2. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND 3. RESEARCH QUESTIONS — AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY TODAY’S MENU: or, to be clear: MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 THE MEMENTO MOR-E PROJECT WON’T TALK ABOUT long term speculation but projection into scenarios where everyday life would be slightly altered by an object Disclaimer: this is a work in progress MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 MEMENTO MOR-E HERE IS ONE OF MY 2 ONGOING PROJECTS both exploring & highlighting ethical problems related to the treatment of MND (moto-neuron) patients in the health care system ›› Topic = POWERLESS facing the incurable, unavoidable — “Memento more” refers to watchmaking traditions of carpeDiem, cease the day MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 2 TOPICS: UNIQUE FLUCTUENT TIME PERCEPTION & ENCOURAGING POINTLESS FIGHTING — This is a highly sensitive issue & sensible audience. HOW to represent time when › not same speed anymore? HOW to provoke reflection with the least design intervention possible? — Answer › a day to day calendar (Ephemeral)
  3. 3. 9 PLEASE CHECK THE VIDEO:VIMEO.COM/MAXMOLLON/EPHEMERIDE 10 11 MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015
  4. 4. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 PROJECT’S INTENTION Destination: anti-disciplinary debate in the annual MND conference Debate’s aim: identify main topics of interest in the community among ethical problems of MND MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 Client = ethical commission on ethics & healthcare - Their usual mission = mediation&debate on ethical issues, but ineffective - Collaboration's aim = Check if design can be tool to improve their debating & mediation activity MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 They are part of Hopital St Louis in Paris MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 - Government program about MND › 6 diseases
  5. 5. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 RESEARCH INTENTIONS That was their aim but my aim = analyzing how SCD transforms their practice from inside. Field study (STS/ethno) Today experiment • reactions to the uncanny (individually) • reactions collectively, what’s the difference? • re-circulation of the topic inside the community MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015MY 3 MASTERS TUTORS MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015
  6. 6. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 I ended doing the same thing MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 WHAT IS SPECULATIVE DESIGN CLAIM? what is SCD good at? MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 SPECULATIVE DESIGN AIMS AT PROPOSING ALTERNATIVES TO THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT IN ORDER TO ENGAGE PEOPLE INTO REFLECTION & DISCUSSION FINE we know how to propose alternatives. I focus on the two latter MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 But where & how does the discussions happen? Art institutions, Mass media, designers workshop, conferences, innovation companies, scientific labs… Critics include: - “Designers are not skilled to animate a society debate” - “Our Audience = curators, they animate the debate” - “working with scientists : Hard to “close the loop” - “Art communities = elitist” - “Massive press = superficial” -
  7. 7. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 HOW TO ALLOW REFLECTION? WHO TO ENGAGE INTO DISCUSSION? — I came to ask… MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 THEORETICAL BACKGROUND: TEXTS STUDIES PROJECTS ANALYSIS HOW • Based on a study of authors’ projects & discourses: We highlight that a gentle provocation is necessary to elicit reactions = “uncanny enough” artefact • We compare this mechanism to breaching experiments (Garfinkle). Thanks to the uncanny balanced project, SCD could allow an audience to express and discuss the untold & unconscious (eg. social norms) WHO • We also believe that SCD sparking of discussions would be more relevant in a contextual pre- existing audience. Not arbitrary. And allow propagation of the discussion into existing social networks. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 HOW TO ALLOW REFLECTION? WHO TO ENGAGE INTO DISCUSSION? UNCANNY CONSTRUCTION - gentle provocation - following the propagation of topics into existing social spheres MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 EXPERIMENT My upcoming experiment
  8. 8. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 HOW — WE BELIEVE: An imbalanced provocation allows for less reflection & expression — TEST: ≠ versions of the artefacts (more-less provocative) to experiment the uncanny on ≠ scales • uncanny (individual) • uncanny collective, what’s different? MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 HOW — WE BELIEVE: an uncanny enough artefact allows for expression of untold & unconscious — TEST: Comparison of their previous debates and design-led one MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 WHO: — WE BELIEVE: Targeting a situated (existing, contextual) audience, during the debate, allows the topics to be re-addressed/re-circulated afterwards in other social spheres — TEST: Wait for re-use of our material & topics by the client & the community MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 FIRST OBSERVATION
  9. 9. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 This it the first proposition for L’Éphéméride. The message is more provocative. It’s aiming at people who does not know the disease. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 This project was too shocking for patients! THIS REALLY DEPENDS OF THE AUDIENCE (patient, doctor, non-ill people) Need for adapting the uncanny to existing audiences MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 SECOND OBSERVATION MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 They have their own public engagement activities, methods, media & audiences! They already planned on re-using our material
  10. 10. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 The “circulation” of the debated topic already moved among different audiences. It started with this project, made for INRA. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015
  11. 11. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 They published our collaboration on their website. The debate with their scientists led to meeting the ethics commission and the realisation of the next project. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 GMO › BIG-DATA & LIVING BEINGS HEALTH › HUMAN HEALTH PREDICTIONS › › MND & HEALTHCARE › MND & TECHNOLOGIES › INSURANCE PLANS & TECHNOLOGIES › … This is the series of topics debated from projects to projects, as metamorphose of the debate topics.
  12. 12. MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 WORK IN PROGRESS AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY – SPECULATIVE DESIGN AS A TOOL FOR COLLECTIVE REFLECTION & DISCUSSION ABOUT THE PREFERABLE FUTURES My aim, as a researcher, is to understand how to better Reach SCD promise: engaging reflection & discussion — But for what purpose? I will discuss the designer’s role & responsibility, when stepping up into the political scene — (Credibility, skills, need for participation/inclusion, etc.) MAX MOLLON | AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY | GOLDSMITH DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015 THANKS! LICENSED UNDER CREATIVE COMMONS 2.5: 
 ATTRIBUTION NON-COMMERCIAL NO DERIVATIVES. AUDIENCE CONSTRUCTION & THE UNCANNY – MAXMOLLON@GMAIL.COM

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