Posthuman Design and Creativity
Wright, Rewa (University of Newcastle, Australia)
Posthuman Design is an emergent field that investigates the aesthetics and materiality of new human-computer design assemblages. In this convergent media landscape, new confluences of technology and human creativity are arising at increasing pace, incorporating a complex network of elements: intelligent software agents, biosensors, Internet of things (IoT), extensive computer vision (such as AR/VR), robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the list goes on. Such technologies directly impact human society and culture, and whilst we may not always be aware of their presence, we experience their ambient effects each day within social media networks, internet browsing history via predictions, and public spaces which are increasingly ‘smart’ in design. Slowly, we are being re-shaped into ‘posthumans’, where our embodied sense of self is being re-shaped through a persistent engagement with technologies that disrupt and extend our physical boundaries (Braidotti 2013; Ferrando 2016). At times, new technologies may cause disruptions, yet they hold huge potential to be assistive and life enhancing. As this technology becomes increasingly self-organised, and perhaps in the future even sentient, there is cause to rigorously investigate the impact on humans of these new forces, which are already bringing about social and economic change. This discussion enters into an investigative dialogue with concepts and examples of the ‘posthuman’, through research methodologies drawn from interaction design, digital humanities, and empirical scientific research. Together we shall explore a range of highly influential design technologies that are re-shaping our present, and have a hand in determining our future.