Critical Fabulations with Daniela Rosner
In a talk about collaborative manufacturing, design, and on how weaving and space travel is connected, Rosner talks about her new book “Critical Fabulations”, a proposal to redefine design in a way that not only challenges the field's dominant paradigms but also changes the practice of design itself.
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Today design has come to constitute a dominant discourse of innovation and social change. Within the academy, design has infiltrated not only the arts, where it has had considerable influence and longevity, but also departments of engineering and business where it promotes widespread forms of economic development and entrepreneurship. This narrative of empowerment through commerce brings with it underlying disjunctures between design’s rhetorics of plurality and the power structures design tends to reinforce. In this talk I intervene in this prevailing paradigm, expanding what is considered “design” to include long-silenced narratives of practice, and enhancing existing design methodologies based on these rediscovered inheritances. Drawing on discourses of feminist technoscience, I reflect on a mode of storytelling that helps foreground situated histories always present but too often suppressed. I focus on one particular story of collaborative manufacturing where public narratives render the work of women technicians invisible. Revealing legacies of practice elided by contemporary technology cultures, this talk reminds designers that worlds of handwork and computing, or weaving and space travel, are not as separate as we might imagine them to be.
Daniela Rosner is an Assistant Professor in Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) at the University of Washington and co-director of the Tactile and Tactical Design (TAT) Lab. Her research critically investigates the ethical and participatory dimensions of design methods, particularly within sites historically marginalized within engineering cultures such as electronics maintenance and needlecraft. Rosner's work has produced several best paper nominations and awards and appeared in Public Culture, New Media & Society, and other journals, conference proceedings, and edited volumes. She is the author of Critical Fabulations: Reworking the Methods and Margins of Design (MIT Press).
Her work has been supported by multiple awards from the U.S. National Science Foundation, including an NSF CAREER award. Rosner earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds a BFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MS in Computer Science from the University of Chicago. Rosner serves on the Editorial Board of Artifact: Journal of Design Practice and as the editor of the “Design as Inquiry” forum for Interactions magazine, a bimonthly publication of ACM SIGCHI.