RTD2015 29 Trojans & Drones: Materializing possibilities for transforming industrial infrastructures

Emerging post-industrial societal needs require the evolution of existing networks of industrial infrastructures toward more distributed and citizen-centered configurations. This opens up new questions regarding what design processes and practices are necessary to effect change within these systems that are often deliberately not accessible and open for design interventions. We here present a set of design explorations in tracing and materializing infrastructures in order to make them available for design and participation, taking logistic services in a remote rural area of northern Sweden as a case study and field site. A design concept consisting of a drone and drone postbox were used to speculate about the possibility of a community-owned delivery network operated by drones in synergy with existing infrastructures. We used these artifacts in staging participatory processes of imagination and experimentation in order to explore possible future configurations. The project provides an example of a possible framework for initiating and curating the transformation of industrial systems towards more open and locally adaptive forms and functions.

In particular, it illustrates the rich potential and opportunities for design when it comes to ways of knowing and designing with the infra-structural—that which is usually hidden beneath the surface.