New Adventures 2020 - Florence Okoye on Designing for a collective futurity: mapping the unseen

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I had the incredible opportunity to have Florence Okoye speak at the local meeting I was involved with running, so I was very happy when I saw Florence was on the lineup for New Adventures 2020. Her talk was absolutely brilliant and it complemented the other talks really well by focussing on thinking further than we currently do.

By this point my notes were definitely lacking:

  • As a kid enjoyed How Thing Worked, was a way into concepts that adults struggled to explain
  • Clarity is scarce more than ever now
  • It’s difficult to get a sense of how things work, ironic since everything is now so interconnected
  • “Designer in broadest possible sense. Move things from one state to another state”
  • “How we work is crucial to understand why we are making the stuff we are making”
  • Would be great to burn it all down “but that would hurt a lot of people... so we won’t”
  • “Designing to empower people, to educate people, to reveal to people. Designing for people to come, as a collective.”
  • “Design to create a culture rather than design rockstars”
  • 1. clarify who is present
  • 2. Clarify your values (real or speculative)
  • 3. Map out what those values mean respective to who is present
  • This allows you to get a deeper dimension to the requirements.
  • If you can’t map to any values maybe something needs to change
  • While the main aim is to think about understanding complexity we are all facing... was interested in the contradictions. Things too knotty to get into in the time given.
  • “How can we design (ever) in a system that requires people to want things they don’t want”
  • “How can you design with communities who don’t trust you? With good reason”
  • “No one can make change by themselves. The machinery is too big. We need to pool our skills and resources”
  • “An individual cannot be expected to stick up on their own unless they have the community to stick up for them”
  • “It is bloody hard to advocate for others if you cannot even advocate for yourself”