Abacus Datagraphy: A Speculative Enactment
journal contributionposted on 11.04.2019 by RTD Conference, Chris Elsden, Abigail Durrant, David Chatting, David Green, David Kirk
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
Anticipating an increasingly data-driven life, this speculative design project critically examines a future service called Abacus, for documenting weddings in the mode of the quantified self.
“At Abacus, we offer a full suite of wedding datagraphy services, personally tailored to you. Our services can help you plan for, collect and craft your personal data, into beautiful products and memories.”
Our design-led research explores how people may experience, envision and remember their lives with data – living with a ‘quantified past’. We present bespoke design work that took place with two couples engaged to be married. In the context of a ‘Speculative Enactment’, the couples met a ‘wedding datagrapher’ from Abacus, as part of the service on offer. Through this design-led, but empirically focussed work, we offer design reflections about making artefacts to remember a data-driven life. We introduce our practice of Speculative Enactments as a Research through Design (RtD) approach for generating consequential speculation with participants, and argue for new and diverse ways to present and interact with speculative design work.