Designing something ‘almost useful’
How designing for the purpose of “interest” rather than “usefulness” expands our student’s skill sets and potential for future impact.
Our lives are dictated by the many machines that surround us. From a clock to a computer, machines are an integral part of our lives, and even more so when you work in a Fab Lab! As part of the Master in Design for Emergent Futures (MDEF) programme, our students explore the complexity and curiosity of machines from the perspective of Chindōgu (珍道具), a Japanese approach to designing and making ingenious everyday gadgets which address problems which do not exist, resulting in an almost useful machine.
This article, a collaboration between Daphne Gerodimou, Designer & Future Learning Researcher and Cesar Rodriguez, Communications & Researcher at Fab Lab Barcelona, explains the process of designing and building Chindōgu machines in the Fab Lab by students MDEF students in the classes ‘Almost Useful Machines’ and ‘Unpacking intelligent Machines’.