For a course on Critical and Speculative Design, our first assignment was to create an a/b manifesto, following the work of Dunne and Raby.
The teachers told us to chose an area we are familiar with, passionate about, have expertise or a strong interest in.
All of these apply to University, so I decided to make the status quo my “a”, and an accessible, open University my “b” column. The content came together during a jitsi-meet with a friend who is a PhD-candidate at the HCI institute. You can see the notes in the picture – here goes the better-readable version:
|built upon the work of othered people||acknowledging the work of othered people|
|all sunshine since 1365/1815||reflective, self-critical|
|autonomy (leading to [internal] conflict||solidarity|
|right or wrong||context dependent|
|errors mean failing||errors mean learning|
|classist||open for all|
|bureaucracy / red tape||action|
The fascinating thing about this is that the layout of the manifesto creates a dichotomy, although some of the terms and concepts are not mutually exclusive towards each other. Some could as well be two points along a path (A and B).
Also, this was a great experience regarding syntax and semantics: some of the terms I put with each other may seem as weird choices, no matter if they are seen as exclusive, or as points along a path. For example, the reason why “centralized” is opposed with “open source”, and “de-centralized” with “local”, is that I understand them here not in their primary, or most obvious meaning, but in one more nuanced, maybe harder to grasp.