Scott Nazarian: Building a Better Starship

5 Apr 2012 - 1:44pm
8308 reads

If you subscribe to the notion that interaction design makes an important contribution to the somewhat broader endeavor of systems design, then you will no doubt appreciate that many of the most challenging problems and perhaps rewarding insights may arise from considering systems – and their attendant interactions – at scale.

This presentation embarks upon a poetic thought experiment (suspending for a moment the more intractable human issues within our immediate sphere) in which we explore the essential tenets of a design challenge the scale and complexity of which the world has not yet seen: the design of a starship capable of interstellar travel. With very little meditation on the technical challenges this may pose, the presentation narrative focuses on the necessary evolution of human enterprise, including economy, governance and infrastructure that might be necessary for the actualization of such a proposal.

How do designers engage in the design of ever more complicated systems? By considering the starship and the extreme complexity it represents, this presentation hopes to stir debate around design priorities at the “policy” level and what strategies might exist for addressing the many extreme design challenges facing humanity, currently. Overall, this presentation is aimed at raising the interaction design community's awareness of the interconnected systems that may impact their day-to-day in a sincere, if somewhat whimsical, format.

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