For the ethics project “The Time Capsule” we had to choose six artefacts that we would send back to 1994 if we had access to a time machine. The goal of the project was to make the student imagine and think about the various long-term and short-term impacts of artefacts, objects and ideas and to analyse their effects on our lives in different periods of time.
I saw this project as an opportunity to think differently and to push myself to analyse and apply everything I’ve learnt in an applicable way. I loved the idea of time travel as a means to think about the responsibilities of a designer which go beyond making and creating.
In choosing the artefact, I wanted to select items that were surprising, unique and imaginative. However, early on in the project and through different discussions with various people and groups I realised that the items I had initially chosen to send back were not as significant as I thought and that the impact I had imagined for them to have were sometimes only big for myself alone. Therefore I realised that in order to choose items that were outside the box I had not only to think but to research and look outside the box.
I came to a realisation that to understand how artefacts can have a significant impact on the past, I have to look into the future and imagine how life will be different now and in the future find we have we find access to technology and answers to questions that seem impossible now. During a conversation with a friend, she suggested that I read Dune. I cautiously asked Gabrielle’s opinion, and he highly recommended it. I started reading Dune, a science fiction novel set far in the future where the Melange, a highly precious spice can give superhuman powers to people such as travelling faster than light, looking into the past, longevity of life and minds that are capable of overtaking extremely complex tasks. While reading Dune, I imagined replacing the concepts and artefacts presented in the book with things we have and know of today. I replaced longevity of life with cancer treatment, replaced the economic and political problems presented in the book with the view upon Amazon, and the ability to do extreme tasks with visual coding, I also replaced the book itself with the movie "Her", which would allow the people from 1990s to think differently about design and the future.
With the help from the book and other research, I chose the Cancer moonshot 2020 project which is an initiative and system with the goal of finding a vaccine based immunotherapy against cancer. The initiative links the data between hospitals and research centres to allow the options of treatment and research to become ever more extensive. I chose Amazon because more than ever, it has enabled us to purchase whatever we want, but to what extent? I chose visual coding because it links the gap between design and function and I believe that by doing this there will be the best of both worlds and less of a difference between design and its technical implications.