Summary of SDGC19 | Matt Ratto: Critical Making as an Antidote to Design Thinking

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00:00:00 - 00:30:00

The video discusses how critical making can help designers see the limitations of technology and open up discussion about them. It argues that critical making requires a different set of commitments than design thinking, and that it is important to deliberate about when and how to support it.

  • 00:00:00 The speaker discusses how critical making, a process focused on the situated context specific and material nature of design, can provide an antidote to some of the potential dangers of a linear Design Thinking process.
  • 00:05:00 The video discusses wasted motion, one of the major attempts to reduce skilled and embodied labor into a kind of unskilled set of rote motions. The video also discusses the parallels between design thinking and Gilbreth's and the tailor's efforts to solve the problem. The video discusses how design thinking often overemphasizes the thinking part, neglecting the materiality of design work. The video describes the practice of design thinking as a way to provide tools for imagining alternative realities. Finally, the video discusses how this practice can be linked to service design.
  • 00:10:00 This video interviews Matt Ratto, who discusses his work as a critical maker, which focuses on the process of making rather than the results of the process. He discusses projects that explore various socio-technical systems, including social media, 3D printing, medical technology, and tagging. He notes that, while critical making is a valuable practice, it is limited in its impact and has not had the desired impact. He notes that design thinking, with its emphasis on pragmatic intervention into the world, can be a powerful complement to critical making.
  • 00:15:00 In this video, Matt Ratto discusses how critical making can be used as an antidote to design thinking. He discusses an example from a workshop he did recently, in which he explored the limitations of Fitbit technologies on youth who needed health care interventions. He then discusses how three different interventions based on three different theories of behavioral change could have been designed using critical making.
  • 00:20:00 The video discusses how design thinking can be ineffective when used to solve problems in complex social systems. The presenter presents two prototypes that were created as part of a study on how food choices are structured by other services, technologies, and social practices. The results of the study showed that the designs were not effective in changing people's behavior. The presenter suggests that design thinking should be used to take into consideration the larger social ecosystem in which food choices are made.
  • 00:25:00 Design Thinking encourages designers to focus on the individual, rather than taking into account social and contextual factors. Critical Making, a process that takes into account material systems and their limitations, can help designers see these limitations and open up discussion about them, which can help improve the quality of technology.
  • 00:30:00 This video discusses the difference between critical making and design thinking, and offers some tips on how to incorporate critical Making into a design thinking process. The video argues that critical making requires a different set of commitments than design thinking, and that it is important to deliberate about when and how to support it.

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