The Aesthetics Of Unreality

A series of photos and animations on fictional physical experiments

Royal College of Art, 2015

Futures are imagined for all sorts of reasons, from promotional scenarios in the tech industry to the imaginary worlds of science fiction cinema. Visual representation plays an important role, but the design languages used to present these imaginary worlds are often hackneyed and repetitive limiting their ability to inspire and provoke genuinely new thinking about alternative realities.

In design fiction and speculative design too, fictional worlds are nearly always presented in a "realistic" style. They’re different, but not really. Once you move beyond realism a whole range of barely explored possibilities for new forms of engagement, at least in design, become possible.

This project suggests a series of experiments on fictional physical phenomena. Using aesthetic idioms taken from science and technology it blends computer generated content into real, staged situations and plays with the unidentifiable and unknown, using estrangement and association as playful elements.