Lift09 — Matt Webb — Scientific Fiction and Design [en]

Book: Cusp, Robert A. Metzger. SF *(steph-note: sounds like a crazy story, need to read it!)*

This is not the SF we’re talking about here. No flying cars, silver skullcaps… Here: Scientific Fiction (World War Z — zombie story; the book unfolds, and “it makes sense”). This is what Matt wants to talk about — this kind of book.

Taking pleasure in watching things unfold. (Shows us videos of marbles in “mazes”.) Human nature: it’s almost compulsive, we want to watch things happen.

The impossible triangle: Human nature, Society, Things. How do SF stories read through this triangle? One thing changes, other things have to change too.

Cf law of perfect gasses, linking pressure, volume, temperature. Linked. SF is walking the landscape of possible future worlds.

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Problem? inventing, imagining the future: hard.

Which products work in the landscapes of possible worlds? Discover it through:

– market research
– economics
– evolution (start with something that you know works, and change it very slowly)

*steph-note: making good note of this for my fiction writing*

In the process of invention: prototypes. Process?

Middle of the paper, draw your new invented radio. At the corners, contexts => you evolve your radio, create hybrids, cross-breeds. *steph-note: some kind of visual/drawing braingstorming!* Matt: not a storming, random process. It’s very methodical, process of deconstruction. What emerges is the discovery of what it is about that original radio that persists.

The process continues to physical objects.

History: the past is another set of possible worlds, just like the future. One process of fictionalizing these worlds is to change one important event *(steph-note: didn’t get the term for that… counter-fractures??)* — What if Kennedy wasn’t shot? What if the war of Independance had been lost?

Prototype phone for Nokia, made of metal that melts at 47°C. Good for redoing it, but don’t keep it too close to your ear (contains lead ;-))

Materials. Soft furry phone. Soft on your face, and can stroke it when on the table. Hair you have to tie up to see the screen. Patchwork phones.

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“Design is the conscious and intuitive effort to impose meaningful order.” Victor Papanek

Scientific Fiction:

The story is the laboratory. Reading is your research. Writing is your experiment.

*steph-note: this is giving me food for thought, about my difficulties in creating stories and worlds and my incapacity to design anything graphically.*

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