Individual Project

Friction by Design

Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis (US)

Anja Groten gives a talk entitled 'Friction by Design' at [MAKE]: 2018 Design Educators Conference.

Can oppositional forces and encounters of resistance in the context of design and engineering processes be productive, and if so, what could be a possible outcome? Could the results of friction be used strategically, and be considered design? From the perspective of design practice–more specifically the practice of Amsterdam-based collective Hackers & Designers–this paper proposes hands-on modes of learning and unlearning about technology, calling into question tech-optimist notions such as innovation. Strategies of critical making are put forward as means to force quit and reevaluate accelerated technological processes. Practicing critically can hereby be seen as practicing in a state of suspicion and alertness , a condition of not-yet knowing. Situations of collaborative making turn into sites for exercising positions: opposing, contradicting and confronting. Could design–through initiating and cultivating oppositional forces during making processes–move toward a breaking of habits and practicing critically?