1 I would rather leave contextualization to someone who can be more objective, especially since I am not burdened with the need to belong to those contexts. But, not to confuse anyone, that context suits by all means me because it provides a platform to act and formal status. All artificial things (services, structures, processes…) are designed regardless whether someone has designed them consciously or whether they resulted from some unconscious evolutionary process. Design is a constituent part of everything; it surrounds and influences us. Despite our general understanding of design, which is often banalized and concentrated on the aesthetics or achieving the impression of simplicity, designers’ scope of activity is actually rather broad. Because of that and by working as a designer in this way, I find the outside feedback very welcome.
2 In the time of rapid technological development, hyper-production and aggressive social and psychological manipulations, the need for criticism and reflection is definitely more expressed than before. It seems to me that speculative approach is well suited to that new, “overclocked” reality because it is more extreme and it can go further on. It is braver in scrutinizing and creating objects, contexts, scenarios and policies, which provokes reactions before certain problems manifest. In my work, I am least focused on final products and concepts. For me, it is far more interesting to continuously examine and revise things, keep sketching, which allows for much more operations. Also, I have always been attracted to technology that is nowadays the main social driver but also an important source of inspiration and a very powerful tool for expression.
3 I doubt it. These practices are interested in radical examination (“tilting”) of the system with the intention to find mistakes or create new solutions in realistic or simulated/virtualized contexts. Results are often inapplicable at that given moment or tend to be excessively destructive because they point out to enormous failures and absurdity of the overall design and politics. I am not sure whether that is the level that clients want to deal with at the moment.
Despite of that, critical and speculative design practices are by no means useless. Perhaps in the future, it will be possible to live from this kind of work. In terms of making money, today one can opt for producing artefacts based on design but to me that seems to be a kind of design prostitution.