Phd

Practice based research, currently in progress at the Information Experience Design department of the Royal College of Art, on a scholarship from Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK.

Working title and abstract:

future.shape()
a speculative criticism of algorithmic prediction through diagramming practice.

As predictions are increasingly being computed in real time all around us, a key notion underpins the current moment: the future has a shape. From probability theory’s “normal” distribution, to big data operationalised as vector spaces by machine learning systems, the production of predictions is diagrammatic all the way down. This research consists in a body of critical design work focused on the diagrammatic nature of algorithmic prediction. Through this designerly focus, I aim to find entry points in to some of the wider implications surrounding computational prediction, namely: mapping its historical genealogies, investigating the encoding of belief systems in computational systems, and questioning its ability to produce truly new futures. I reflect on these themes through the lens of the diagram—considered both as an instrument of control, delimitation and classification, and as a site of speculation where new potential is generated and actualised. I conduct this research through critical making with code and data, working both with and about predictive diagrams as digital media. My research outcomes position this diagramming practice as a visual, computational, and speculative mode of enquiry into algorithmic prediction, through the production of artefacts such as visualisations, publications, and software experiments.