What would be the point of designing and developing “Magic Machines” in the form of a “Poo Detector” …
Or an “Eyes and Ears” gizmo? …
One reason would be to draw attention to the effects of so-called ‘Solutionism’ – prevalent in today’s world where technological ‘solutions’ (esp. gadgets) are constantly presented to solve problems that, previously, no-one really knew they had.
Mark Blythe, who is Professor of Interdisciplinary Design at Northumbria University, UK, specialises in examining such things as ‘Design Fictions’ and ‘Pretendotypes’ and was lead author of the paper ‘Anti-Solutionist Strategies: Seriously Silly Design Fiction’ presented at CHI ’16 Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 4968-4978, San Jose, California, USA — May 07 – 12, 2016.
“This paper has identified a number of practices which reject the search for solutions and deliberately seek to create unuseless, partial or silly objects. It has argued that although critical design and design fiction offer alternative aims for design (critique, commentary) the practice must move beyond satire and irony.”
A full preprint copy of the paper is available here.
BONUS: An example from the plethora of ‘Useless Machine’ videos available on YouTube ‘Another Advanced Useless Machine’