An insightful excerpt from NASA/Trek: Popular Science and Sex in America by Constance Penley:
“the original star trek had a curious ambivalent relation to the representation of futuristic technology. Although the producers of the show consulted scientists, engineers, and technicians in their efforts to make the science and technology plausible, they decided finally to give only the barest and sketchiest of outlines to keep, for example the design of the ship and the various scientific, medical, and military instruments extremely basic and simple. Not only was this decision an economical one (for example, some of Dr. McCoy’s medical instruments were made from salt-shakers), simplicity helped to ensure that the technology would not quickly look dated. “Phasers,” “tricorders,” “communicators,”, “scanners”, “photo torpedoes,” and “warp drive” were therefore designed to reveal their functions without divulging anything about how they were actually supposed to work“
Why do I blog this? Currently working on a design fiction project in video format, we had to wonder about similar issues. In our project, the idea is to explore the type of curious gestures that may appear in five years time with the usage of new digital technologies. In the film, the characters will have things such as augmented reality glasses, brain-computer interfaces or “virtual closets”… which of course led us to wonder about the appearance of such devices. What kind of style should it reflect? How to avoid making them too glossy or passé? How can we taken into account vintage trends from 2017?