Fluid Speculations

I use watercolour to speculate about designed artefacts and technologies. I embrace the irregularity in the way  pigment and water move around the paper, encouraging me to become comfortable with uncertainty in the design/research process. Drawing is thinking in action as ideas mutate, evolve and merge in playful, unpredictable ways, a form of sense making of the material world I explore, populated by bodies, machines, environments and  technologies.

Machines and artefacts, traditionally drawn in CAD, with thin straight lines that reflect rational precision, can become defamiliarised when hand painted in watercolour. Drawing machines in watercolour provides me another way of understanding them, of rendering artefacts as uncanny, as strange yet familiar. 

Through watercolour drawing, I often create connections between seeming unrelated artefacts. The fluidity of watercolour blurs the boundaries where one object ends and another starts, creating hybrids. This free association of artefacts invites critical discussions about the implications raised when certain technologies enter domains that are sensitive or emotionally charged.
Watercolour  also enables me to speculate about technologies that deal with the body and its fluids. Breastfeeding pumps, urinals, menstrual cups and UTI test kits are artefacts that bridge what is inside and what is outside our bodies. I speculate about  these artefacts through watercolour, using both drawing and the materiality of the drawing. I engage with themes about the boundaries of the body, its leakiness and the complex nature of machines that capture, measure, monitor or extract bodily fluids - which are quantifiable - and the associated intimate and subjective experiences that are more difficult to measure with precision.

Publications/ related links:

Fluid Speculations: Drawing Artefacts in Watercolour as Experimentation in Research Through Design. Paulina Yurman. 2021. ACM Creativity & Cognition conference, Venice 2021. Honorable Mention Award at C&C 2021

- Video of Fluid Speculations for ACM C&C conference, Venice 2021

- So I drew this thing. Conversations through Artefact Drawing. Paulina Yurman. 
2020. Position Paper for DIS 2020 virtual workshop http://thingsofdesign.info 

-Urinary Systems. Speculative Drawing Workshop for home UTI testing. Co-facilitated with Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden 2020

Human, robots and telenovelas

Robot and 16th century birthing stool

Ornamented urinals

Standing hairdryer

Breast enlarger

Pram and surveillance camera

Lingerie and incontinence sensor

A machine of some sort

Robot and intimate garment

Ornamenting, softening, domesticating surveillance machines

Surveillance cameras

Old and new, technological objects as ornamental motifs

Mouth operated breastfeeding pump (Edwardian era)

Breastfeeding pump

Specula Speculations