Black Box I: LOQ (2015)

LOQ (2015)

The LOQ was the basis for an exploration of Critical Design and Adversarial Design for my MSc in Interactive Media at UL. A means to develop a new design methodology for public engagement.

Situating itself in the nexus between desirable technology, solutionism, government/tech partnerships and emerging privacy concerns, the LOQ was used as a speculative design to be explored in a series of practical workshops and discussion.

LOQ is presented as a smart lock which is being rolled out nationwide by a government, financial and private tech partnership. It promises to provide secure access to your residence by using a digital fingerprint from your unique interactions across the internet. Necessary smartphones are provide free-of-charge. Just tap your phone on your door and – conditions being satisfied – your door will open.

The LOQ also provides a solution to the housing crisis by monitoring how well it believes that you can afford to live in your current home, by monitoring your income and spending patterns. Rooms may be automatically sublet to help you through a rough patch or you may even be moved to more affordable accommodation if LOQ deems it necessary. Everyone in their right place.

Using visual and physical prototyping, the LOQ was explored through a series of workshops and the underlying issues and potential were revealed. Participants had opportunities to redesign, combat and, most importantly, see the effects of solutionism and digital hegemony from other people’s perspectives.

LOQ is the beginning of an exploration of Adversarial Design, iteration and taking art from the white room into a more discursive space.