Original video: https://soundcloud.com/lithub/william-gibson-part-two
Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/
Original video: https://soundcloud.com/lithub/william-gibson-part-two
In part one of Paul Holdengraber’s conversation with William Gibson topics include the future, the past, and how weird and cool the phone is.
Original video: https://soundcloud.com/lithub/william-gibson-part-one
Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/
That the future needs us to be different is unarguable. But the world cannot change until we change our minds to meet it. We must be literate about the choices the future offers us and moral in ones we take. Mark Stevenson spends his life working with organisations of every hue, helping see their role in creating a better future, or to die gracefully if they need to. Our closing address will be a call to arms. The future is up for grabs. Grab hold.
Mark is one of the world’s most respected thinkers and speakers on technology and societal trends, helping us see where the world is going and how to adapt. He is the author of the best-selling “An Optimist’s Tour of the Future”, and the forthcoming “We Do Things Differently: travels on the cutting edge of change”. He is the founder of the cultural change agency We Do Things Differently, and his many advisory roles include Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Earth Challenge, crowd-investing company Trillion Fund, start-up incubator Mass Challenge, as well as Civilised Bank and The Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Look around you. The buildings in the city you’re looking at are probably much as they looked 25 years ago (I’m taking a punt that you’re not in Shanghai.) They will probably look much like that in 25 years time too. Architecture changes cities slowly, if at all. The major changes in the way we live, work and play in cities are instead played out in a layer of objects bigger than a mobile phone and smaller than a building — vehicles and wearables, street furniture and sensors, informal infrastructure and pop-up structures, ‘sharing economy’ services and soon enough, urban robotics. This layer is parasitical, accessible, adaptable — new applications running on the old hardware — and replete with possibilities and pitfalls. A new practice of city making is emerging as a result, shaped as much by interaction design and service design as by architecture and urban planning. This talk explores some of what this might mean for design, technology and cities, and how these new intersections change what the very-near-future city is.
Dan Hill is Executive Director of Futures at the UK’s Future Cities Catapult. A designer and urbanist, he has previously held leadership positions at Fabrica, SITRA, Arup and the BBC. He writes regularly for the likes of Dezeen, Domus and Volume, as well as the renowned blog City of Sound.
Throughout a career focused on integrating design, technology, cities, media and people, Dan has been responsible for shaping many innovative, popular and critically acclaimed products, services, places, strategies and teams. He is one of the organisers of the acclaimed architecture and urbanism event Postopolis!, running in New York and Los Angeles so far. He also writes City of Sound, generally thought of as one of the leading architecture and urbanism websites, as well as regularly writing for architecture and design press worldwide.
Dan is also a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which selects nominees and winners for the Webby Awards, the leading honour for websites, as well as being a jury member for both Core77 and IxDA interaction awards in 2012. He was included in the inaugural list of Sydney’s ‘Creative Catalysts’for the Vivid Sydney arts festival 2009.
Books and essays include “Dark Matter & Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary” (Strelka Press, 2012), “Sentient City: Ubiquitous Computing, Architecture, and the Future of Urban Space”, Mark Shepard (ed.) (2011), “Best of Technology Writing 2009”, Steven Berlin Johnson (ed.) (Yale University Press, 2010), and “Actions”, Mirko Zardini (ed., 2008), amongst others. His writing also appears regularly in Domus’ magazine, amongst others, where he curates the SuperNormal series. He is also a strategic design advisor to Domus.
His design work has featured in the Istanbul Design Biennal (2012), the AAA exhibition ‘Remodelling Architecture: Architectural Places - Digital Spaces’ (Sydney, 2009) and ‘Habitar: Bending the urban frame’ (Gijon, 2010).
At a conference focused on ‘designing the future’, the concept of and narratives about time travel seem like inevitable topics of conversation. While there are a wide variety of types of time travel stories, the narrative Ingrid has been thinking about the most is the one in which someone from the future (or, depending on how you think about time travel paradoxes, a future) comes to the past and intervenes to rewrite and/or game their present.
Ingrid has been thinking about this particular kind of time travel for a few reasons. One is that she has been kind of obsessed with the Terminator movies (for reasons she’ll get into a little bit later) and the other is she’s been interested in emerging technologies and systems that, while not literally from the future, share certain motivations with the revisionist time traveler. The time machines used today don’t look like Deloreans. They look like NTP servers and low-latency networks, like real-time data streams and predictive models, visitors from algorithmically bestowed futures to let us fix, or at least game, our current conditions.
These systems for forecasting futures, however, often lend themselves to the same predestination paradox or self-fulfilling prophecy faced by the T-800 in the first Terminator movie. SKYNET creates John Connor by trying to kill Sarah Connor, governments create terrorists by trying to find terrorists, capitalism eats itself by trying to move faster than capitalism.
So Ingrid been thinking a lot about this because she’s been thinking about resistance—resistance within time travel narratives and resistance to proscribed futures. How do you design a future with resistance built in? What does that resistance look like? In popular time travel narratives, it tends to look like a lot of property destruction—like taking, or quite literally breaking, time and time machines. While she may not be completely sold on that method, there are some examples of acts of civil disobedience that she thinks might offer some insights into the fragility of futures and why, exactly, the Terminators keep on coming.
Ingrid Burrington writes, makes maps, and tells jokes on a small island off the coast of America. She’s a member of Deep Lab, the author of Networks of New York: An Internet Infrastructure Field Guide, and currently an artist in residence at the Data and Society Research Institute.
As designers, new technologies are always capturing our imaginations, but in order to become part of our everyday life they need be introduced through human contexts and meaningful stories. In this talk, IoT expert and “maker-futurist” Carla Diana will share methods and strategies for new product visions based on vivid storytelling and tangible model making, looking at techniques such as scenario storyboarding, video narratives and vision imagery. She’ll share case studies from recent product design projects as well as experiments from her design lab work to showcase ways that near future technologies can be embraced as compelling ideas for new types of everyday products.
Carla Diana is a hybrid designer keenly focused on realising new visions for Smart Objects and the Internet of Things. In addition to her industry experience at some of the world’s top design firms, such as frog Design and Smart Design, Carla maintains strategic alliances with a number of academic research groups. She is a member of the Georgia Tech Socially Intelligent Machines Lab, and a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts and the University of Pennsylvania’s Integrated Product Design Program, where she developed the first course on Smart Objects. She is Advisor for the group Tomorrow-Lab, a young design firm that creates electro-mechanical solutions for smart devices and she continues work as a Fellow at Smart Design, where she oversees the Smart Interaction Lab.
Carla’s recent article, “Talking, Walking Objects”, appeared on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Review in January 2013, and is a good representation of her view of our robotic future. She has just completed a children’s book for Maker Media about the future of 3D printing and design entitled LEO the Maker Prince.
Design projects fall into three distinct categories: now, next and future. For near-term projects the design industry has developed and refined a variety of processes, but when approaching ideas for the future, things begin to fall apart. Designers are left to wander aimlessly between science fiction cinema, futurist literature and technology digests, and it’s clear from their output that something is amiss. Current sources of inspiration have their uses, but they often pull the designer in unhelpful directions, blinding them to the realities of a world to come. The future will include spacecraft, artificial skin and self-driving vehicles, but it will also include garbage, staplers and milk. It will be, in a very real sense, mundane. You will not be a hero. You will inherit furniture. Your morning will be spoiled when your toaster fails to sync with your bread app…
Nick will introduce an approach which looks at the role of the mundane in building a view of the future, and how experimenting with format and delivery we can make the future more tangible and achievable. It’s more fun than it sounds.
Nick Foster is and industrial designer, futurist, film-maker and writer. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2001 and worked for companies including Sony, Seymourpowell and Nokia. In 2012 he moved to California to take a role as creative lead for Nokia’s Advanced Design studio. He currently works with a brilliant team in Mountain View to help define the next generation of Google products. Nick is also a partner at the Near Future Laboratory, developing projects in the field of design fiction, speculative and critical futures.
Through the book Make it So (Rosenfeld Media, 2012) and scifiinterfaces.com, Chris has spent years meticulously tracing the lines of influence between designs in sci-fi and the real world. And yes, there are clearly influences. But that does not mean that design in the real world should take its marching orders from sci-fi. Sure, a lot of it is jaw-droppingly beautiful. But some of those same, lovely designs—if implemented—would quickly result in the “usability problems” of severed limbs, munitions craters, mangled bodies, and even the plain old end of the world. Join Chris as he deconstructs enough examples to make us deeply, deeply wary of fetishizing them, and approach sci-fi interfaces with a critical (and still intact) eye.
In his day job at Cooper, Christopher designs products and services for a variety of domains, including health, financial, and consumer; as well as teaching, speaking, and evangelising design internationally. Prior experience includes developing kiosks for museums, helping to visualise the future of counter-terrorism, building prototypes of coming technologies for Microsoft, and designing telehealth.
His spidey-sense goes off semi-randomly, leading him to speak about a range of things including interactive narrative, ethnographic user research, interaction design, sex-related technologies, free-range learning, generative randomness, and designing for the future.
He is co-author of Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction (Rosenfeld Media 2012), and the force behind the blog scifiinterfaces.com.
Designers of the future! Set aside your sonic screwdrivers, put down those jetpacks, and step away from the holodeck. Our sci-fi visions of the future often run to the cold and technical, describing a life swallowed by screens, machines, and robot companions. We can do better; the best UX bends technology to the way we live our lives, not the reverse. We can find more humane inspiration in a different kind of fantasy—in the familiar, age-old tales of magic and myth.
“What if this thing was magic?” should be the opening question for designing any connected device. The internet of things is fundamentally about creating physical interfaces for digital systems, about blessing everyday objects, places, and people with extraordinary abilities. Sharing a rich trove of examples, designer Josh Clark explores the new interactive experiences that are possible when anything can be an interface and magic is your inspiration. Sling content between devices, bring objects to life from a distance, weave “spells” by combining speech and gesture. For designers of the future, it turns out Harry Potter is a better role model than Captain Kirk. Our challenge is not one of technology but of imagination.
Josh Clark is the founder of Big Medium, a design agency specializing in connected devices, mobile experiences, and responsive web design. His clients include Samsung, Alibaba, eBay, AOL, Entertainment Weekly, Time Inc, JCrew, O’Reilly Media, and many others. Josh wrote “Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps” (O’Reilly, 2010) and the forthcoming “Designing for Touch” (A Book Apart, 2015). He speaks around the world about what’s next for digital interfaces.
Before the internet swallowed him up, Josh was a producer of national PBS programs at Boston’s WGBH. He shared his three words of Russian with Mikhail Gorbachev, strolled the ranch with Nancy Reagan, hobnobbed with Rockefellers, and wrote trivia questions for a primetime game show. In 1996, he created the uberpopular “Couch-to-5K” (C25K) running program, which has helped millions of skeptical would-be exercisers take up jogging. (His motto is the same for fitness as it is for software user experience: no pain, no pain.)
Cooper: “I thought they chose me. But they didn’t choose me, they chose her!”
TARS: “For what, Cooper?”
Cooper: “To save the world!”
If we’re going to talk about designing the future, let’s understand two things - who is doing the designing, and who is this future for, anyway?
Much of our cultural upbringing, from the pages of comics, to the Hollywood studios, repeatedly told us that we could step up and be the heroes. We’re programmed to feel that we’re the ones who will make the difference.
It’s time to look further than the end of our own egos, because there are problems coming we can’t find answers to, because we’re products of the system that created them.
Instead, whether we’re designers or clients, peers or parents, we must switch our attention to Metadesign; “nurturing the emergence of the previously unthinkable” in those around us, and those who will come after us.
It’s about ideas and environments, books and blocks, objects and systems, all examined through the contents and context of the most intriguing bedroom in sci-fi.
John Willshire is the founder of innovation studio, Smithery.
Smithery helps organisations Make Things People Want, rather than Make People Want Things. It lies somewhere on a strange map that features Product & Service Design, Research, Media, Marketing, Innovation and Organisational theory.
A proponent of a constructionist learning theory (i.e. Making Is Thinking), John has recently completed a new thesis on the relationship in organisations between People and Space, which has spawned a lot of tools, instruments and methods on how you can make the things you want to happen, happen (someone observed one of them “looks a bit… Gallifreyan” which is brilliant.)
Since 2011, Smithery has worked with numerous people including Konica Minolta, Penguin Random House, The Design Museum, Experian, Oxfam, Google, Carlsberg, Adaptive Lab, Gravity Road, Saïd Business School at The University of Oxford, London College of Communications, The Huffington Post, Royal Mail, Samsung, Google, Channel 4 and Skype.
John also created Artefact Cards, a way to help people and teams play with ideas, making up card games to find better ideas whilst having more fun. There are now over a million Artefact Cards are now out there in the world, helping people work in new ways, and they’ve been covered by everyone from the Financial Times and Maria Popova’s Brainpickings.
Prior to founding Smithery, John spent seven years at PHD Media in London, becoming Head of Innovation in 2007 when that wasn’t a thing.
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