United Micro Kingdom (UmK): A Design Fiction presents multiple perspectives on a fictional United Kingdom, as imagined by designers and educators Dunne & Raby. The exhibition sees England devolved into four selfcontained counties or micro kingdoms, each free to experiment with governance, economy and lifestyle.Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby use elements of industrial design, architecture, politics, science and sociology to provoke debate around the power and potential of design. The exhibition challenges assumptions about how products and services are made and used, through reinterpretations of the car and other transport systems. Dunne & Raby interrogate the potential for design borrowing methods from literature and art and apply them to the real world as thought experiments. Their design practice uses design to explore the social, cultural and ethical implications of emerging technologies.
The four micro kingdoms explored in the exhibition are:
Digitarians depend on digital technology and all its implicit totalitarianism: tagging, metrics, total surveillance, tracking, data logging and 100% transparency. Their society is organised entirely by market forces; citizen and consumer are the same.
The Communo-nuclearist society is a no-growth, limited populationexperiment. Using nuclear power to deliver near limitless energy, the state provides everything needed for their continued survival. Although they are energy rich it comes at a price — no one wants to live near them. Under
constant threat of attack or accident, they live on a continually moving, 3 kilometre, nuclear-powered mobile landscape.
The Anarcho-evolutionists abandon most technologies, or at least stop developing them, and concentrate on using science to maximise their own physical capabilities through training, DIY biohacking and selfexperimentation. They believe that humans should modify themselves to
exist within the limits of the planet rather than modifying the planet to meet their ever growing needs.
Bioliberals fully embrace biotechnology and the new values that this entails.Biology is at the centre of their world-view, leading to a radically different technological landscape to our own. Each person produces their own energy according to their needs. Bioliberals are essentially farmers, cooks
and gardeners. Not just of plants and food, but of products too. Gardens, kitchens and farms replace factories and workshop.