SF & diegetic prototyping: design fictions and futures

I am sorting through my out of print SF books to downsize them and to share. If you want to look over what I have and see what you might use, or what we might create a department library of, please come by my office.

I've taught Science Fiction Feminisms several times and one of the things we go over in that class are two interrelated practices we want to analyze and use here in our class: diegetic prototyping, and design fiction:

Design Fiction: diegetic prototypes online here: https://www.wired.com/2011/02/design-fiction-diegetic-prototypes/

See a pdf of Kirby's original article here: Kirby2010 Prototypes   

the film Minority Report that Kirby uses as an example:


Minority Report Trailer 2 - YouTube

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Excepts from Kirby's article:

The Future is Now.  Kirby, D. (2010). “The Future is Now: Diegetic Prototypes and the Role of Popular Films in Generating Real-world Technological Development.” Social Studies of Science 40(1), 41-70.

“Production designer Alex McDowell and prop master Jerry Moss noticed Underkoffler’s dissertation work on interactive technologies during a pre-production tour of MIT’s Media Lab where he had just completed a PhD. They were impressed enough with his work and his knowledge ofmovies to hire him as the primary science consultant on Minority Report a few months later. Although Underkoffler was responsible for helping design all of the technologies in Minority Report, his chief concern was the gesture-based computer-interface technology that protagonist John Anderton uses to manipulate computer data with his hands (see Fig. 2). Minority Report was a golden opportunity for John Underkoffler to demonstrate to the public, and potential funders, that not only would his gestural interface technology work, but also that the technology would appear as if it were ‘natural’ and intuitive for users. The important factor was that Underkoffler conscientiously treated this cinematic representation as an actual prototype, ‘We worked so hard to make the gestural interface in the film real. I really did approach the project as if it were an R&D [research and development] thing.’”

“These approaches led to the funds he needed to start the company Oblong Industries and to turn his diegetic prototype into a physical prototype. This real world prototype in turn led to a development contract with defence giant Raytheon to produce gestural interface technology for the US military.7 From Underkoffler’s perspective, his work as science consultant on Minority Report was not simply a minor component in this story; his well-worked out diegetic prototype was the crucial element in the development process.” (Kirby 2010: 50 & 53)


John Underkoffler: Pointing to the future of UI | Video...

ted.comMay 31, 2010 - 15 min
TED Talks Minority Report science adviser and inventor John Underkoffler demos g-speak -- the real-life ...

Anticipation work: Adams, V., Murphy, M., & Clarke, A. E. (2009). “Anticipation: Technoscience, life, affect, temporality.” Subjectivity 28, 246–265. 

247: “Crucially, predictable uncertainty leads to anticipation as an affective state, an excited forward looking subjective condition characterized as much by nervous anxiety as a continual refreshing of yearning, of ‘needing to know.’ Anticipation is the palpable effect of the speculative future on the present. The anticipatory excitement of the cliff hanger as a narrative mode is as familiar as terror-inducing apocalyptic visions. As an affective state, anticipation is not just a reaction, but a way of actively orienting oneself temporally. Anticipation is a regime of being in time, in which one inhabits time out of place as the future. Temporality has always had a politic, long capitalized and colonized in the name of the ‘present’ of particular locations, situations and actors. Within this longer history, anticipation now names a particular self-evident ‘futurism’ in which our ‘presents’ are necessarily understood as contingent upon an ever-changing astral future that may or may not be known for certain,  but still must be acted on nonetheless.”


Think about transmedia storytelling how about media ecologiesdigital ecosystem?

Check out Steven Johnson's book Everything Bad is Good for You: an NPR interview with author here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4663852  

From Johnson p. 157: "That model is a complex. layered one. The forces driving the Sleeper Curve straddle three different realms of experience: the economic, the technological, and the neurological."