neil / tags / dconstruct2015

Tagged with “dconstruct2015” (4)

  1. A Brief History of Tomorrow

    What did you imagine the early 21st century would look like when you were a kid? Was it all flying cars and jetpacks? Daily trips to the moon and hoverboards back here on Earth? Or were you more enamoured with the darker sides of futurism? Perhaps Doomsday prophecies and the ravages of Future Shock were on your mind. Did you sit up nights worrying about acid rain and environmental degradation?

    How we imagine the future says a lot about us both as individuals and as groups. And by studying past visions of the future we can not only gain new insights into history, but we might even learn something about where we’re heading today.

    Matt Novak’s talk, “A Brief History of Tomorrow”, looks at the history of invention and imagination — from robot vacuum cleaners of the 1950s to visions of the internet before the internet even existed. He’ll trace the history of popular ideas about how we’d be living here in the year 2015, and debunk a few common historical myths along the way. No matter how talented our prognosticators, we often discover that the future is never exactly as anyone predicted. Which is precisely what makes studying it so much fun.

    http://2015.dconstruct.org/speaker/matt-novak

    Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo’s Paleofuture blog, which looks at past visions of the future. He explores the history of our most optimistic dreams and our most pessimistic fears by looking at everything from flying cars and utopian communities to overpopulation and complete societal collapse. His work is inspired by his private collection of retro-futuristic artifacts, including hundreds of vintage tech magazines, space age lunchboxes, 1980s videophones, among hundreds of other pieces. Matt started the Paleofuture blog independently in 2007 and it was later acquired by Smithsonian magazine in 2011 and then by Gawker Media in 2013. He currently lives in Los Angeles, a city which has about four years until it’s set to achieve the utopia depicted in the 1982 documentary Blade Runner.

    —Huffduffed by neil

  2. Magical UX and the Internet of Things

    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.

    http://2015.dconstruct.org/speaker/josh-clark

    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.)

    —Huffduffed by neil

  3. Come With Me If You Want To Live, or How To Survive A Time Travel Paradox

    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.

    http://2015.dconstruct.org/speaker/ingrid-burrington

    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.

    —Huffduffed by neil

  4. Up for Grabs

    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.

    http://2015.dconstruct.org/speaker/mark-stevenson

    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.

    —Huffduffed by neil