Press "Enter" to skip to content

Burdick: “Meta! Meta! Meta! A Speculative Design Brief for the Digital Humanities”

“Fictitious future scenarios are used in the technology industry to identify new opportunities, test high risk concepts, and rally teams toward a common goal. While such visions can play a crucial role in the technology development process, Digital Humanities futures are largely absent. Software development methods suited to the creation of tools for shoppers or workers are a poor fit for the design of tools that embody the intentional fuzziness, nuanced positionalities, and reflexive activities of critical interpretation. Therefore this paper proposes a design approach that combines core concepts from critical theory with design’s speculative inventiveness and introduces the subject-computer-interface as an alternative to industry’s user-centered concept. Case studies investigate how this triad of meta processes — the meta of critical interpretation, the meta of speculative reflexive design, and the meta of subject-computer-interface —might work by using critical making to engage recent concepts from digital humanities theory to invent new digital affordances. The paper concludes with a speculative design brief that challenges designers, humanists, and computer scientists to use a meta-meta-meta approach that begins with core humanities concepts and designs outward to imagine digital humanities tools that don’t yet exist.”

More things shared at DH+Design in May.

Read: Visible Language, Issue 49.3