Joe Lamyman

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ServMii

Summary

For the Critical Design module I created design fictions to highlight the ongoing issues with the gig-economy/share-economy.



Ideas

For this piece, I tried to think about issues that exist within the gig-economy and think about how I could display them in a light that would evoke a reaction from people viewing the piece.

To do this, I looked at the existing material produced by gig-economy businesses, trying to focus particularly on the way they tried to get their message across through visual cues as well as the tone of their messages.

Design

The product I based my design fiction around is called ServMii. It’s a headset that allows users to work from their own homes as a human server, which would allow them to earn money, but render them unconscious.

As you can imagine, the fiction raises a lot of ethical issues and focuses on the key problems that currently exist within the gig-economy such as extortion of workers and the poor conditions that they work in.

I decided to create a variety of web-pages to help tell the story of the world that this fiction would be set in. I created a news site, a taboo trading site, a petition site, as well as a site for the company that the product is based around.

Development

I started by planning my Critical Design and created a presentation based on my idea, as well as how I planned to showcase the designs through the web-pages. I then presented this to the class and got feedback, which I used to make my designs even more vivid. The class posed questions that I hadn’t thought about before, which allowed me to go more in-depth into the ethical questions raised by the fiction.

I then drew a lot of inspiration from existing material and the wording of it and used this as inspiration for the designs within each of the individual sites.

Conclusion

I learnt how powerful design fictions are in displaying the issues with existing practices and how they can be used to evoke reactions from people who may not have thought about methods in this way before.