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Month notes I suppose.  I’ve been exploring.


Manchester:
Future Everything, a platform of digital innovation projects and debates. ‘The internet of things that no longer exist’ by Chris Speed was my first port of call. Here Chris spoke of a near future where the digital ‘ghosts’ of things have potential to live on within the networked society – searchable against any other data from the past, present or future. He spoke of TOTeM, ghostbikes and the Oxfam Curiosity Shop. Interesting research on memories, digital afterlife, footprints…

Kars Alfrink of Hubbub in ‘New games for new cities‘ considered games and gamification in contemporary cities, perhaps the first speaker on gamification I have encountered who made a call for considering the ethics of gamification.

James Bridle of Booktwo in ‘Where the Robots Work’ considered how the configuration of cities is changing in response to the ‘robots’ we are inviting to share our space.

Katy Beale, Rachel Coldicutt and Dan Williams in ‘Hacking Culture’ considered new ways of working, large scale collaboration and what it means to collaborate creatively.

Finally ‘Post Craft’ with Andy Huntington, James Boardwell, Michael Eden and Sally Fort who spoke of an increasingly post-digital world, characterised by global connectivity, cottage industries and people creating their own products, services, and art.

June

London:
This Happened London #9 with James Wheare on Twit Shift Campbell Orme on Making Future Magic Tom Taylor on Noticings.

Derby:
Making Future Work with the Institute of Boundary Interactions (IBI), Mudlark,  creators of Chromaroma and Such Tweet SorrowAndy Gracie and James Auger

IBI spoke of the “Urban Immune System”, explaining its origins and inspiration alongside the demonstration of prototypes that include hacking into healthcare products to feel, grab and steal people’s Twitter updates and creating a device to exchange information for free, by-passing control systems set up by corporations.

While Mudlark discussed the value of people’s data, where data goes and how we can access it to educate and inform society about current and future issues that affect the way we interact with one another. Marcia (my HighWire partner in crime) questioned the meaning of the data we collect. Much of the cited work counted the instances of data generation, but meaning was less considered, interpretation of the data dilutes meaning.

James Auger spoke of speculative design or design fiction as a means of starting conversations to responsibly consider future realities and implications of innovation. For this I tip my hat, though we do run the risk of creating new and dangerous realities by virtue of design ability to ‘make pretty and sell’. Auger spoke of robots as ‘akin to welcoming a wolf into the home’ domestification doesn’t happen overnight. Examples he cited include HappyLife, Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots, Robjects.

I’ve also been reading Open Design Now which considers Open Design, a potential basis of design practice in the digital economy. It is good, you should read it too. I also popped by the Design Museum London, to see Wim Crouwel and  Brit Insurance 2011 photos here.

(Most of the above will share their slides and videos in due course.)

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