Amina Abbas-Nazari


18 MAR · 18H30 · Amina Abbas-Nazari

Phonocentric Adventures in Design Fiction

 (On-Line Lecture)

Moderator · João Pedro Amorim

Sound within the field of design is traditionally used as an accompaniment to visual based interactions, or to amplify user experience. This research, and presentation to be given at the School of Arts — UCP, gives examples of elevating sound to be a primary medium within design practice.

The project’s current focus is looking at utilising sonic qualities of voice as a material for research and design practices to critically investigate the context of AI enabled machine listening, while also speculating on possible poetic encounters with the technology. The urgency of this research is signified by the rapidly increasing capabilities of machine listening and growing use of the voice as a key mode of human-computer interaction. Consideration is given to thinking about how sound can offer alternative ways to conceptualise and problematise some of the harmful and detrimental aspects of contemporary and emerging AI technology.

Experimental and extended vocal practice is used as a method to investigate vocal potential and it’s use as a material for imagining, embodying and prototyping design ideas. Sonic qualities of voice are explored through how they are shaped by bodily, environmental and digital architecture in an intertwined investigation of the sonic sphere of human experience, intelligence and knowing.

Amina previously studied MA Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art, London and creates work within the realms of speculative design and design fiction. She is also a trained singer and these two worlds have collided within the PhD she’s currently undertaking, also at RCA, in the School of Communication. Amina’s work is concerned with practice led research that can be applied to thinking around emerging technologies. In particular, describing what sound might have to offer design disciplines through fictional methodologies. She’s currently a Research Fellow at Royal College of Art, working on the EPSRC funded Citizen Naturewatch project and a member of MUSARC choir, a research and event platform based at London Metropolitan University, exploring the relationship between architecture and sound.