So don’t make an App… that was loud and clear. However being the embodiment of my methodology and research, I believe it was a good survey of the current foundational problems and assessment of the topic within reality right now. As drugs are approached by power or authoritarian forces, it meets resistance and control, which is where I approached it from the beginning, due to the nature of my own personal processing and creation. However in the long scheme of things, this resistance might just be a bump in the road right now so to put forth designs that use the affordance of an altered state of consciousness might be more fruitful for the future.
Possible Design Briefs to Tease Out:
1) New States of Consciousness: How can the affordances of being in this particular state under the influence of drugs inspire new social moments, new relationships, new communication models, structures of Q+A testings or behavioral systems, or new empathy interactions? If a drugs brings out the particular nuances of certain cognitive functionalities that affect our senses, invoke mild hallucinations or warp our current sober or normal understanding of concepts like time and space, what kinds of new designs can be created to work within these mental imbalances? (From disability to superpower enhancing) …How can we use these drugs as cognitive tools with the aid of new kinds of technological tools that provide support? …What are the specific moments of interactions within these states?
2) Moment #1: The point of the Unreal within a Real Space – When does the unreal seemlessly interacts with the sober reality that we’ve come to know? When is that tipping point of hallucinating (from altered states to even the in between dream state of exemplified by sleep paralysis (with its symptoms of being fully conscious but hallucinating due to being asleep-in the in between state of awake and sleep, aka hypnogogia)? Usually these moments in normal healthy human beings cause fear, anxiety and confusion, but can also be a source of insight, awe and wonder in the other extreme. How can the ambiguity in what is real and unreal create new meanings and understandings? Can these unreal gestures superimposed or composited into the real world create ways to deal with our own human nature – like our past memories or our desires and intentions on a personal scale? Instead of overloading the senses like the psychedelia artists (projection artists, infinity machines and psy-clubs) of the sixties sought to convey to disrupt and drop out of reality, how can these experiences be moments of processing and assigned meaning? Symbology like that of Freud’s interpretation of dreams realized through design that creates an interpretation of unreal reality… what can designed experiences like this do for a user?
What if what you are experiencing is real?
Does it matter if it is real or not?
Why do you want to know if it is real?
What even is reality right now?
3) Moment #2: Guided Moments in Times of Fear – This aptly connects with moment 1, mostly as a precursor to that moment but more focused on mental moods and changes in sensations that lead to confusion and then fear or anxiety and the trappings that can happen within that state rather than visual or apparent hallucinations. How can you actively turn something negative into something positive or even expressive? Where and when and how do these switches happen? How can the Guide be developed and pushed further into an empowering tool or one set based on your intention and focus?
4) Moment #3: New forms of Social Media/Spaces & Expressive Communication – With the influence of an altered state, how can our current understandings of technology and social media change? If current technology makes us more individualized and secluded from each other, with interactions based on screens and in the digital realm, how can drugs bring out these needs to physically interact with each other or be connected in new ways? What are physically empathetic and connected ways to interact intimately on MDMA? How do we communicate when vibrating on similar frequencies, reading minds or activating “God mode” in suspended disbelief on LSD (or even at all with each other on a psychedelic when we are bombarded with sensory overload or traveling to other realities)? If taking such natural medicines make us more aware of ourselves in our body and in our society and how connected we are fundamentally to each other (like such of DMT), how can we create better social structures that house such states?
- Octopus’ Expressive & Telepathic Communication
- Virtual Reality Technologies
- The World of magic and fantasy (if everything has life and energy, technology has the power to breathe life into objects and things… part of the ideas within psychedelics that everything is living in a connected web)
- DeepDream Algorithm, Pattern and Image Recognition and Learning
- Tie In to Wearables and IoTh Tech somehow and throughout…