Léa Lippera

Léa Lippera, designer at Design Friction, proves that commitment to society is a reality that applies fully to the business world. Portrait of a fake innocent, adept at constructive provocation.

Encourage the development of critical thinking

28 years old, Léa Lippera's career path slaloms, like many people of her generation, in search of meaning and job challenges. "I attended a preparatory class after my baccalaureate, graduated from a business school and then I worked in start-ups for two years before changing course for a masters in design." Keen on turning towards a more creative profession that places users at the centre of the innovation process, instead of just worrying about market opportunities, she also finds in the design fiction practise this state of critical thinking and self-criticism that she was looking for. She clarifies that "this type of design is not new, it has a long history when the aim is to question the transformations of the society it operates in; one often says that its roots lie in the radical Italian design thought of the 60s."

Léa uses design fiction to question technologies so they can be understood more responsibly and less naively: we speak of "acceleration," "disruption" and of making life easier, but without taking into account the complex impacts on society, without asking the question of what is desirable and sometimes at the cost of a regrettable solutionism. In the end, after the Xth start-up launches its connected cooler or the Xth Photoshop rendering showing the town of tomorrow populated with flying cars, one realises that we are constantly repeating disappointing or outdated visions, in a sort of continuous loop of the present.

Anticipate the blind spots and the misuses of innovations

« We bring the public into the discussions, with the dual goal of provoking reflection and inspiring new imaginations. Our productions are not intended to be sold. Consequently, they are not subject to the constraints inherent to market laws. I believe that design fiction should show how a step in traditional innovation processes, in order to innovate, can be slower but more thoroughly thought through, by taking the complexity of the world into account. »

Léa Lipperadesigner at Design Friction

Her speech during the Lab Postal 2008 will follow this approach to encourage innovative companies to anticipate the blind spots of their innovations and the frictions that could arise in future uses of their products or services. By making it possible to "crash-test" multiple futures, design fiction invites us to ask the question of what is preferable – and for whom – and what is less preferable, and to orient the innovation decision and paths.

A website, an application, a connected object and a newspaper article are so many fictional supports to embody the extrapolations of the Design Friction studio, where Léa has worked since nearly two years: "We bring the public into the discussions, with the dual goal of provoking reflection and inspiring new imaginations. Our productions are not intended to be sold. Consequently, they are not subject to the constraints inherent to market laws. I believe that design fiction should show how a step in traditional innovation processes, in order to innovate, can be slower but more thoroughly thought through, by taking the complexity of the world into account."

 Léa Lippera talks to us mischievously about the "provotypes" she reveals to audiences torn from their comfort zone thanks to these sometimes larger-than-life "provocative prototypes," to suspend their incredulity and allow them to imagine themselves in visions of the future that aren't always desirable. This bright young person has not said her last word and will undoubtedly create an event during the Lab Postal by arousing perhaps unexpected, but necessarily very constructive, reactions.