Design for Agency

2016 — 2017

From bots to IoT products, from drones to humanoid robots, from social media sites to search engines, we are now living amongst increasingly sophisticated sense organs who are constantly sensing, collecting, and deciphering every aspect of our lives. As these softwares and systems appear increasingly autonomous, what is often not visible in these machines and interfaces, is the true motivation of their creators, and the true modus operandi of the machines themselves. The capabilities of the networks and systems that underpin our devices and interfaces have to be obfuscated and camouflaged, because only then can we experience their vitality and autonomy—sold as an asset to our everyday lives.

How will human agency work in these conditions and what new forms might it take? For the academic year 2016-2017 the students were invited to investigate, and then design means that explore the changing forms of human agency within our technologically accelerated world.