Transformations in design practice between the Dotcom Crash and the rise of machine intelligence
As technology becomes more complex and opaque, how will we as designers understand its potential, do hands-on work, translate it into forms people can understand and use, and lead meaningful conversations with manufacturers and policymakers about its downstream implications? We are entering a new technology landscape shaped by artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and synthetic biology.
Historically, design has transformed and generated new disciplines during times of fast technological change. Through conversations led by Tellart, this project explores and documents transformations in design between the Dotcom Crash and the rise of machine intelligence. Through reflections on key projects from this period and interviews with a community of today’s top design practitioners, Design Nonfiction explores the future of design practice. It emphasises the timeless need to make the invisible visible and the immaterial tangible, in order to sketch and build with emerging technologies.
Design Nonfiction is funded and produced independently by Tellart. The video media are available for free download and distribution through the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Contact us with ideas for other forms you imagine this content can take!
Design Nonfiction Keynote
Interaction20, Milan Italy
In his keynote, Tellart Founder & Chief Design Officer Matt Cottam illustrates how design has evolved with digital technology, and how it will be forced to further adapt in response to a new wave of emerging technology including advanced robotics, synthetic biology and artificial intelligence. He shares some highlights from the Design Nonfiction interviews and some of the hopes, concerns and questions that guide us as we imagine the path ahead.
MIT Media Lab
Formerly Assistant Professor and Founder of Playful Systems Group at MIT Media Lab, Founding Chief Science and Technology Officer The Shed, Vice Chairman of Cooper Union Board of Trustees, Co-founder and Chairman of Area/Code, Adjunct Professor at Cooper Union, Adjunct Professor at NYU ITP.
Magic and play
What changed with the arrival of mobile and locative media?
Behaviour versus appearance
What is the premise of augmented reality, and can it deliver meaningful experiences?
Thin versus rich
What happens at the intersection between social media and virtual reality?
Black-boxness as material
How we can we better understand and engage with artificial intelligence?
Unnamed life forms
What does it mean to design with biology as a material?
Storytelling for science
What is the designer’s role in society today?
The Digital Revolution
Compilation Part 1 of 4
Historically, design practice has transformed and generated new disciplines during times of fast technological change. In the early 2000s, the rapid spread of digital technologies drove designers to explore how to adapt 20th-century foundational design methods and tools to a new wave of invisible and intangible materials that promised to revolutionise material culture at every scale.
Molly Wright Steenson Ph.D.
Carnegie Mellon University
Senior Associate Dean for Research, College of Fine Arts, Associate Professor in Ethics and Computational Technologies, Associate Professor, School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. Formerly Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Associate Professor at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. Ph.D. from Princeton University in Architecture.
Bursting the bubble
What was the context for the Dotcom Crash?
How has architecture shaped digital design?
Is there a tension between architecture, information architecture and computational practice?
What is the connection between architecture patterns, software design and physical space?
Problems of scale
How does artificial intelligence impact interactivity and ubiquitous computing?
What fears or creative hopes have computer aids triggered for architects?
Why were early AI pioneers drawn to collaborating with architects?
Agendas behind AI
What is driving new developments in artificial intelligence?
The “Immaterials” Come of Age
Compilation Part 2 of 4
The evolution of Web, mobile and social media led to the emergence of new interdisciplinary design fields and communities. Designers sought ways to sketch with hardware and software, infusing interactivity into physical products and spaces. Today’s continuing advances in Physical Computing, Augmented and Virtual Reality promise to further blend the physical and digital while offering new ways for people to experience the world and each other.
Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg Ph.D.
Studio Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg
Artist, Director of Studio Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg Ltd., Design Fellow of Synthetic Aesthetics at University of Edinburgh and Stanford University, Author of Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology’s Designs on Nature. Ph.D. from Royal College of Art in Design Interactions.
What is synthetic biology and what does it mean for design?
A broad church
What roles can designers play in this field and how does biology function as a material?
How can architecture and design training prepare us for working with biology?
What unique value can design practitioners bring to collaborations with scientists?
The idea of “Better”
What makes designers different from engineers?
How can design frameworks improve the scientific practice of designing living things?
Asking good questions
What is the future of design education?
Where is the line between speculative and applied design, when working with biology?
Mistaken as Real
What’s the right visual language for engaging an audience with speculative life forms?
Are your fictional organisms storytelling devices or concrete proposals for preferable futures?
A question-seeking practice
What is critical design and what is its contribution to the world?
Can critical design make synthetic biology “Better”?
Can irony and dystopia be helpful tools in speculative practice?
What is the power of design?
Power of the imaginary
How do synthetic biologists use speculation to advance their vision?
How does synthetic biology connect with artificial intelligence?
Hands-on with biology
What will design schools look like in 50 years?
The Next Revolution
Compilation Part 3 of 4
We now enter a new technology landscape shaped by advanced robotics, machine intelligence and synthetic biology. As technology becomes even more complex and opaque, how will designers experiment with it hands-on, in order to understand its potential and give it useful and culturally relevant form? Is this simply the next technology revolution, or are we now entering uncharted territory for design?
Rory Hyde Ph.D.
Victoria & Albert Museum
Curator of Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism at Victoria & Albert Museum, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Design Advocate for the Mayor of London, Author of Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architecture. Ph.D. from RMIT University in Architecture.
Black box design
Is the best user interface an invisible one?
How do we reveal the inner workings of digital products in meaningful and useful ways?
Value of Designers
Can patterns and technologies like 3D printing replace the designer?
To what extent might robots and artificial intelligence replace architects?
Do designers have a role to play in the ethics of emerging technologies?
How do digital, or "intelligent", technologies fit into modern architectural practice?
How might architects and designers partner creatively with artificial intelligence?
Should we be optimistic about technology’s potential to solve 21st Century problems?
Reclaiming the future
How can technology be used in the service of building optimism and agency?
What is the most meaningful brief for designers in a world of artificial intelligence?
Rich with potential
How can designers pull a new wave of “intelligent” materials into their practice?
Reality is radical
How does the V&A’s “rapid response collecting” relate to design fiction?
How can designers contribute meaningfully to politics, beyond using fiction as critique?
A New Path for Design
Compilation Part 4 of 4
Design’s traditional role was to create solutions for people using appropriate tools and materials. As our social and environmental challenges grow in urgency and complexity, our tools and materials become increasingly intelligent and autonomous. Today’s designers may play a pivotal role in society by giving emerging technologies tangible form and helping people grasp the downstream implications of today’s choices—creating preferable futures for humanity and the planet.
Artist, Co-founder and CTO of virtual and augmented reality company Within. Work in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Centre Pompidou. Formerly Director of the Data Arts Team, at the Google Creative Lab, Abramowitz Artist in Residence at MIT.
In a world of artificial intelligence, how can data visualization be used for good?
How much agency should we knowingly hand over to machines?
Bastions of hope
How should designers interface with increasingly complex and autonomous tools?
Tools with influence
How does data help us be more human?
Explore vs. classify
Is there a spectrum between data visualization, information design and data arts?
How do we create a meaningful discourse about the ethics of Big Data?
How is the idea of “interface” evolving and what is its next frontier?
Parameters of Existence
How does virtual reality promise to change interaction and storytelling?
Suspension of Belief
Where does VR borrow from existing media and where is it fundamentally new?
Where is virtual reality on the hype curve?
Does virtual reality offer a fundamentally new version of “presence”?
Growing up immersed
What are the downstream implications of virtual reality for today’s kids?
As algorithms advance, how will human authorship evolve?
How is the line shifting between hardware and biology?
Principal Designer, Google AI, Advisory Board Member at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. Formerly Design Director at Google Research & Machine Intelligence, Principal at BERG, Visiting Tutor at Royal College of Art, Co-founder and Lead Designer of Dopplr, Internet Portfolio Executive at BBC, UX director at Nokia.
Flavours of intelligence
What is machine intelligence and what is it good at?
The centaur concept
What is the ideal scenario for human-machine collaboration?
Perception to inception
What does it mean for machines to “dream”?
Owners vs. users
How can we approach form when designing products with machine intelligence?
Can machine intelligence creatively augment and delight humans?
Tools that dream
What is the most promising use of machine learning today?
What do UX designers bring to the design of machine intelligent systems?
Does anyone really understand how machine intelligence works?
Artist, Co-creator of the Processing programming language for the visual arts, and Professor at University of California, Los Angeles. Work in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Formerly Associate Professor at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea.
Code as material
How has working with software disrupted design practice?
What did the early Internet mean for creative practices?
Sketching with code
How has Processing provided tools for new generations of designers?
Systems for learning
How has coding education for designers evolved, and what works best today?
How will machine intelligence shape culture and creative practice?
Rhode Island School of Design
President of Rhode Island School of Design. Founder of the Furniture Design department, Co-editor of The Art of Critical Making, and maintains her professional studio practice Rosanne Somerson Furniture. Formerly Professor, Department Head of Furniture Design, Provost at Rhode Island School of Design.
Making as physical thinking
How does RISD teach idea creation?
21st century Foundation year
Which traditional craft skills should make room for digital media in Foundation studies?
Are these fields merging, or deepening as silos with bridging vocabularies?
How can designers uniquely tackle complex challenges like climate change?
Data, biology and critical making
How are emerging technologies transforming design practice?
People as purpose
How do students develop focus and mastery in a torrent of content and technology?
How can technology give designers new lenses for understanding the world?
“Beauty” as instigator for industry
What are the origins of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)?
Artist, Co-founder of the School for Poetic Computation, Co-creator of the openFrameworks programming language for creative coding. Formerly Assistant Professor of Computational Design at Parsons School of Design, resident at Ars Electronica Futurelab and Eyebeam.
How do you experience the triangle between teaching, artistic practice and commercial work?
A world hungry for ideas
How do you use historical context to help your students overcome the pressure of being novel?
How did your training prepare you for the intersection of design and technology?
Fine art to code
How did you move from printmaking to technology?
Rhythm and materials of coding
How do you sketch in an abstract medium?
Tools open doors
How have the tools evolved around you since you started creating with code?
Flavours and energies
How would you characterise different programming languages for designers?
The School of Poetic Computation
What is the future of schools, and what inspired you to start one?
Timescale for artistic communities
Is there a natural arc to art and design schools, or can they sustainably grow over time?
A celebration of language
How did you choose a name for your school?
Heather Dewey–Hagborg Ph.D.
Transdisciplinary artist and educator. Her work is held in public collections of the Centre Pompidou, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the New York Historical Society, among others. Heather is an artist fellow at AI Now, an Artist-in-Residence at the Exploratorium, as well as Science Center, and is an affiliate of Data & Society.
Where is the balance between science and art in speculative design?
Is there an ethical responsibility in making art with technology?
How do science, art and digital technology combine into meaningful practice?
The speed of life
How goes fluency with digital technology carry across to biological materials?
What are the political implications of biotechnology research?
What is the best defence against data exploitation?
Can there be beauty and hope in a biotechnological future?
Genetics and data
What are the pros and cons of DNA storage?
Have we already crossed a line in the practice of genetic engineering?
Refiguring the future
How is the concept of identity shifting and where might this lead us?
Bill Verplank Ph.D.
Visiting Lecturer at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) and d.school. Formerly Area Chair at Interval Research, Interaction Design and Human Factors at ID2 (now IDEO), Human Factors Researcher at Xerox. Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering on man-machine systems.
Newly appreciated skillset
What was your path into this field of interaction design?
Feel the click
What is it about tangible, physical interfaces that comforts you?
What fundamental forces were you working with when designing man-machine interfaces for space?
What role did human intervention play in your early work with vehicle automation?
Magical and intangible
What challenges do designers face when designing automated systems?
The advantage of community
How are microcontrollers connected with early interaction design programs?
The edge of technology
How did Interaction Design Institute Ivrea originate and was there an explicit reference to the Bauhaus?
Human in the center
How was the term "Interaction Design" first coined?
Start with a mistake
What is your framework for teaching interaction design and is it evolving?
Maps and paths
What is Interaction, and how do you design it?
Are there useful paradigms for framing the future of interaction design?
Beliefs and illusions
What are your hopes and fears concerning AI?
Political and financial
What issues do you see with algorithmic music and automating cultural production?
Simona Maschi Ph.D.
Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design
Co-founder and CEO of Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. Formerly Faculty at 180° Academy, Lecturer at Designskolen Kolding, Associate Professor and Researcher at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. Ph.D. from Politecnico di Milano in Industrial Design and Multimedia Communication.
Theoretical and applied
How has design education established itself and evolved?
One team, one room
What is the key to the marriage of functionality and aesthetics in Italian design?
How do you curate design teams for depth and breadth?
Prototype as a common language
How was your pedagogical approach influenced by design traditions from different cultures?
A visual contract
What is the importance of drawing in multidisciplinary design education?
How do you ensure that design education evolves with the times?
What is unique about this moment in history and how should designers prepare for the future?
The right conversations
In the age of automation, what is the role of design in shaping a world that is better for all?
How can we design ethically with increasingly opaque technologies?
How do you support students in finding a meaningful path in this time of rapid change?
Constant live prototype
How are digital technologies shifting the relationship of thinking to making?
Robin McNicholas & Ersin Han Ersin
Marshmallow Laser Feast
McNicholas is a Founder and Creative Director at Marshmallow Laser Feast. Ersin is a Partner and Director at Marshmallow Laser Feast. The collective specializes in virtual reality, augmented reality, haptic technology for social good.
In the Eyes of the Animal
How do you explore the line between virtual and real-world experiences in your practice?
The fifth wave of VR
Is this new enthusiasm for VR significant or lasting?
How can we develop VR experiences that meaningfully connect people?
Go deep or move on
Do new technologies spark an overproduction of tools?
Which technologies have shaped you and what are you excited about now?
Fork in the road
Are you optimistic about the direction of AI?
Machines with muscle memory
How would you define Machine Learning?
Snowballing ideas to form hailstones
How do you see the collaboration between Tellart and Marshmallow Laser Feast?
Theo Watson & Emily Gobeille
openFrameworks & Design IO
Watson is an Artist, Co-creator of the openFrameworks programming language for creative coding, Partner and Creative Director at Design I/O, Associate at YesYesNo. Gobeille is an Artist, Partner and Creative Director at Design I/O, and Associate at YesYesNo.
Computers and robots
What were the key technologies that shaped you during your visual arts and design education?
How do you approach creating interactive media for children?
Start with the impossible
How do you design for interactive media?
Are you optimistic about young children’s use of digital technology?
A level of magic
What are the challenges and opportunities facing AR and VR?
Pixels in concrete
How does architecture affect your work?
What is machine learning and how do you apply it in your practice?
Wear many hats
What is the role of the designer today and how do you feel about the pace of new tools being developed?
Claire L. Evans
Writer and singer/coauthor of the pop group YACHT. Founding editor of Terraform, VICE's science-fiction vertical. She is the former futures editor of Motherboard, and a contributor to VICE, Rhizome, The Guardian, WIRED, and Aeon. Evans is an advisor to design students at Art Center College of Design and a founding member of the cyberfeminist collective Deep Lab.
A civilisation of the mind
What were the values and hopes behind the early Internet?
Values at the origin
Do you think that a different, better Internet could be possible and what would that look like?
Care as afterthought
Can you unpack the idea of masculine vs. feminine contributions to computer science?
Too close to see
Where has technology had the greatest impact on culture since 2000, and what can this teach us?
Systems that kick back
Can AI change us for the better?
Creator and consumer
What role do you see for AI in the future of creativity?
Twin paths merging
Are AI and Synthetic Biology a new development—or a fundamental departure from what came before?
What is the value of science fiction when working with futures?
Mindfully attempt the impossible
What can designers uniquely accomplish in the world?
Timo Arnall Ph.D.
Co-founder of Playdeo. Formerly Co-founder of Ottica, Creative Director at BERG, Visiting Faculty at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, Visiting Lecturer at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, and Umeå University. Ph.D. from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO).
Why is it important to make invisible technologies visible, as in your project Immaterials?
What materials want
How has computation shifted the hands-on practice of design?
Considering technologies such as 3D printing, do you see design becoming a widespread skill?
Agency and power
With technology increasingly anticipating our needs, should we still design user interfaces?
New wave of challenges
How can we visualise invisible systems like AI?
How do you design future products and services, what are the tools, methods and challenges?
Ask more of pixels
As a designer, how do you balance utilitarian values with culture and aesthetics?
Alchemy of Game Design
What can interaction designers learn from game design?
Goldsmiths, University of London
Senior Lecturer, Head of the Department of Design, Goldsmiths, University of London, Co-founder of DWFE. Formerly research affiliate at MIT Media Lab, and Interaction Design at Royal College of Art, Design Researcher at NCR Knowledge Lab.
Culture + Systems
How has design practice changed since the late 80s?
Working in the wild
What kind of attitude is necessary for designers today?
Cults, cowboys and Coney island
How do you frame your design curriculum to foster creativity?
Tendrils into the future
What is the relationship between fiction and design?
How can design fiction be used to generate tangible change?
Training vs. educating
Do you see a shifting role for design education in creating change in the world?
Draw to invent
Why is hand sketching a key tool in the creative process?
Edge of design
How should design education respond to emerging technologies?
The bomb project
How do you bring fun and play into academic design research?
Anab Jain & Jon Ardern
Jain is a Co-founder and Director of Superflux, and Professor of Design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Ardern is a Co-founder and Designer of Superflux. Work exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the National Museum of China, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
What is ‘futures thinking’ and how is it applied in a creative practice?
Ways of seeing
What is the relationship between design and science?
Adjusting the course
What is the value in designing dystopian future scenarios?
Provocations vs. solutions
How can critical design lead to positive innovation?
How does interaction design set itself apart from other design practices?
What are the challenges in communicating your design practice to the outside world?
From belief to action
What are your ethical and moral considerations when creating future scenarios for the public?
Compassion for the future
Does your role as parents impact how you approach futures as a design practice?
Carnegie Mellon University
Artist, Professor of Electronic Art at Carnegie Mellon University, and Director of the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. Formerly Adjunct Faculty at Parsons School of Design, and Interaction Designer and Research Scientist at Interval Research.
How did you forge your creative path as a New Media Arts pioneer starting in the 80s?
Aesthetics and computation
How did MIT Media Lab become an epicenter for New Media Arts?
Steal like an artist
What led to the birth of open-source, creative toolkits such as openFrameworks?
For artists, by artists
How did commercial forces affect New Media artists in their search for tools?
Computational idea sharing
What did New Media Arts have to do with the birth of Internet virality?
What is at the heart of New Media Arts and how do you nurture new talent?
Sensing the change
What is the artist’s role at the intersection of emerging technology and culture?
What is the most unique and radical aspect of interactive media?
Future of New Media Arts
How is machine learning changing the conversation in New Media Arts?
The multiplier effect
Why is supporting open-source initiatives the most impactful way of nurturing the New Media Arts field?
MIT Enchanted Objects
Vice President Vision Technology at Warby Parker, Lecturer and Researcher at MIT Media Lab, Author of Enchanted Objects. Formerly Board Member and Instructor at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, Futurist in Residence at IDEO, CEO of Ditto Labs, CEO of Vitality, Founder and CEO of Ambient Devices, Lecturer at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Why is peripheral vision an important concept in crafting information experiences?
How does thinking of the end-user lead to surprising design decisions?
The opt-out strategy
What makes us feel secure about our data?
The empathy gap
How can data-enabled products help us make better decisions?
Nurturing the AI
How to design future systems of trust, transparency and user empowerment?
Why is the social aspect important for new, immersive technologies?
If design is not about the object itself, then what is it about?
The fifth option
What is the future of interface design?
God of the gaps
How is machine intelligence making us rethink our ‘human uniqueness’?
Stuart Candy Ph.D.
School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University
Futurist and Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University School of Design, Director at Situation Lab. Formerly Foresight and Innovation Leader at Arup, Professor in hybrid design-futures approaches at leading design schools around the world. Active actor in the establishment of Experiential Futures. Ph.D. from University of Hawaii at Manoa in Futures Studies.
The mental map of possibilities
What are some stereotypes surrounding futures practice?
What is the relationship between ‘futures thinking’ and design fiction?
Towards experiential futures
What challenges and opportunities does futures practice present?
The way we think
Why should future scenarios be staged as immersive experiences?
Cartography of the unknown
What are some methods you use to generate future scenarios?
What are the guiding principles for futures practice?
What is the relationship between futures practice and design?
Design for the long run
What is the importance of perceiving time in the context of design?
The Polak Game
What are some of the methods to determine forces driving future scenarios?
Possible, probable, preferable
How can experiential futures projects impact our world today?
James George, Alexander Porter & Yasmin Elayat
George is a Co-founder and CEO of Scatter, Co-founder of Depthkit, Adjunct Professor at NYU ITP. Porter is a Co-founder and CPO of Scatter, Co-founder of Depthkit, Adjunct Professor at NYU ITP. Elayat is a Co-founder and CMO of Scatter, Adjunct Professor at NYU ITP.
The creator’s dilemma
What comes first, medium or the story?
How can you stake a claim in shaping the future of your chosen medium?
Momentum for change
As a medium, what makes photography especially prone to technological innovation?
Letting go of the frame
What changes when the viewer is empowered to control the story?
In virtual reality, how do you craft a story to reflect the interconnectedness of real life?
Window of a different shape
Does VR need to be an isolating experience, or does it introduce new cultural possibilities?
A high bandwidth time
Do you see emerging technologies leading us to a positive future?
Tom Igoe & Dan O'Sullivan
Igoe is an Arts Professor at NYU ITP, Core Partner at Arduino LLC., Author of Making Things Talk. O'Sullivan is Associate Dean at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and Chair of NYU ITP, Co-author of Physical Computing with Igoe. Formerly Fellow at Interval Research, Eyebeam Artist in Residence, Research Scientist at Intel, Microsoft, Developer of QuickTimeVR at Apple.
Not getting the joke
At ITP, how do you create a culture of invention?
Skills for a lifetime
How do you teach students to be agile thinkers?
Communicating at a distance
How did the evolution of the Internet shape new media?
Design for the flesh
What are some key design principles for physical computing?
A false sale
What are the real problems and opportunities in the Internet of Things?
What are the principles for working with machine learning?
Today and tomorrow
How do you feel about the current state of digital technologies?
Co-founder and Creative Director of Experientia, and Visiting Professor at Domus Academy. Formerly Visiting Professor at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, Visiting Professor at Banff New Media Institute, Senior Associate Professor at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Assistant Professor at Rhode Island School of Design.
Between two revolutions
What is the role of the Rhode Island School of Design in the history of design and the arts?
Beyond technical innovations, how did the Industrial Revolution transform society?
From spoon to city
Why is the Bauhaus considered a cornerstone of modern design history?
Universal principles of design
What are the foundational skills designers need today?
What can we learn from the practice of Charles & Ray Eames?
Lead with behaviour
How can user-centered design thinking enrich a broader spectrum of design practices?
New ways of making
Why should we embrace new democratic design tools?
Practice of sensemaking
How does designing thinking lead to better products?
How will machine learning impact design practice?
How can designers make positive decisions for future generations?
Gillian Crampton Smith & Philip Tabor Ph.D.
Interaction Design Institute Ivrea & Iuav University of Venice
Crampton Smith, Honorary Professor at University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, was Professor of Computer Related Design at Royal College of Art. Tabor was Director of Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. They taught at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, of which Crampton Smith was Founder-Director, and established Interaction Design masters programmes at Iuav University of Venice and tech accelerator H-Farm.
The great chain
What makes architecture and design contributing elements of culture?
Thinking through the body
Why should ideation be done away from the screen?
Uncertainty as a material
Should we design by intuition or with intent?
Where is the heritage of the Bauhaus in today’s design?
Poetry in everyday life
Why should we consider objects beyond their primary purpose?
What does it mean to design the electronic world of the future?
Design is a question
What makes designers well-positioned to reinvent the world around them?
What is the story behind the Ivrea Institute of Interaction Design?
An idea is not enough
How is agility a fundamental quality of design practice?
Head Of Design at PARC, a Xerox Company. Co-founder of design consultancy Adaptive Path and ubiquitous computing device studio ThingM. Author of Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research, and Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design.
The grand tour
How did Internet technologies evolve through the late 80s and early 90s?
What happened in the Dotcom Crash in the early 2000s?
What was the next big shift in digital technology, starting in the early 2000s?
What were the key visions that shaped physical computing?
Promise of potential
Are we missing something in the way we pursue new technology?
How can technology become an accessible medium?
Which major landmarks of digital technology led to the data-mediated world of today?
How can we grow our understanding of emerging technologies?
Where is the balance between generalists and specialists in design?
Taking a stand
What makes designers uniquely positioned to tackle technological challenges?
Associate Director at Arup, Visiting Professor at Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and Adjunct Professor at RMIT, Mayor of London's Design Advocate. Formerly Executive Director of Future Cities Catapult, CEO of Fabrica, Strategic Design Lead at Sitra, Head of Interactive Technology and Design at BBC.
Range of tolerance
What differentiates design practice from “design thinking”?
Leap into the unknown
What distinguishes design practice from other disciplines?
Building blocks of complexity
What makes architecture a strategic thinking practice?
Architecture for the 21st century
How can we transform architecture into a more user-focused and agile practice?
Democratisation of design
What makes design ‘democratic’ in terms of professional and public engagement?
What is the importance of writing in the design process?
Predicting the unpredictable
How do you design for complex and dynamic systems such as cities?
How can we design machine automation in a humane way?
How can we make technology more understandable and relatable?
Should designers aim for simplicity and intuitiveness, or complex multipurposeness?
Co-founder and CEO at Playdeo, Visiting Faculty at Copenhagen Institute of Interactive Design. Formerly Co-founder of Ottica, Co-founder of BERG, Co-founder of Schulze & Webb, Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.
Taking the user seriously
What can interaction designers learn from digital games?
How do you design user motivation into digital games?
What other design narrative exists beyond functionality?
Objects of belief
Why does curiosity matter?
The value of design
Why should context be considered as a design principle?
Patterns of curiosity
What does design democratisation bring to society?
What predictions can we formulate from current digital design trends?
Problems of abstraction
Which key challenges should designers focus on when working with emerging technologies?
Regina Bittner Ph.D.
Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
Head of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation Academy. Professor and Developer of postgraduate programs in design, Bauhaus and architectural research. Curator of numerous exhibitions on Bauhaus and the cultural history of modernism. Ph.D. from the Institute for European Ethnology at the Humboldt Universität in Berlin in Cultural Anthropology.
What defines object culture?
How does systems thinking connect to community-based design projects?
How can designers help address the climate crisis?
How did the design field evolve around technological advancements?
How did the Bauhaus explore form in relation to the future?
What role can designers play in society today?
What can kindergartens and Design Masters programs teach one another?
Designer translating data into objects and experiences. Author of Feltron Annual Reports credited to have inspired the design of Facebook’s Timeline, Co-founder of Daytum, and Reporter App. Named a top 50 designer in America by Fast Company. Work in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Formerly Product Designer at Facebook, Adjunct Professor NYU.
What differentiates information design from data visualization?
What differentiates information design from data visualization?
Patterns of the world
What is the intent behind your 'PhotoViz' project?
Data for good
How can graphic design help to drive positive change?
Are humans programmed well enough to make it through the crisis ahead?
State of awareness
How can designers make social media more inclusive?
Partner and Design Lead at PwC Norway, Board Member of No Isolation, Founding partner of Live|Work, the world’s first service design agency. Co-author of Service Design from Insight to Implementation, and Service Design for Business. Formerly Board Member of DOGA, Visiting Professor at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea.
Why do we strive to design ‘magical’ experiences?
How did industrial design shape digital technology?
Is service design a novel approach to solving complex problems?
Solidarity vs. negotiation
Why is crafting relationships central to design practice?
Business as a material
How do the Bauhaus principles apply to service design today?
What does design have to do with behavioral economics?
Breaking down silos
What are the principles in service design that enable organizations to change?
Rooting in trust
What is unique about Nordic service design and how can it shape preferable futures?
Co-founder of Line-us. Formerly Designer at SAM Labs, Designer at BERG, Partner at Luckybite, Interaction Designer at IDEO, Co-founder of Itch, Researcher at Royal College of Art, Visiting Researcher at Interval Research, and Designer at Apple Advanced Technology Group. Visiting Faculty at Copenhagen Insititute of Interaction Design.
Language for perceiving
What makes design a unique medium for describing the world?
Product as visualisation
How is the digital landscape transforming design language?
What skills are needed to design digital products?
How can today's makers realise their ideas as market-ready products?
How can we make software more tangible?
Anticipate the unforeseeable
Why is prototyping so important in interaction design?
Sketching with behaviour
What are the key principles of interaction design?
What was the driving force for interface design in the late 90s?
Keeping it simple
How can we design lasting products in a rapidly shifting digital landscape?
Founder of XPLANE, Founder and CEO at The School of the Possible. Author of Selling to the VP of NO, Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers, The Connected Company, and Liminal Thinking.
What is the power of visual communication?
What value does drawing bring when sharing ideas?
Drawing the future
How is sketching an active form of prototyping?
Can co-creation be done individually?
Visuals in 2050
What is the future of visual communication?
Who is a designer, and who is not?
Can drawing be an educational tool?
Why does narrowing the scope help move faster and further?
What are the dangers of labeling terms in design?
Design Director at Tellart. Zuilhof works closely with clients, partners and Tellart's internal team, to give form to strategies, installations and exhibitions. She frequently teaches workshops at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.
What defines creative collaboration?
What unique perspective can designers adopt when approaching a new subject?
In what ways do immersive experiences play a role in society?
How can experience design help further dialogue around the future?
How can interactive exhibitions help government officials in decision making?
How vs. why
In what ways can designers broaden their vision?
Fabien Girardin Ph.D.
Near Future Laboratory
Co-founder and Partner of Near Future Laboratory. Formerly Co-CEO at BBVA Data & Analytics, Co-creator of Quadrigram a visual programming environment to sketch with data. Ph.D. from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Computer Science and Digital Communications.
What is the starting point for navigating the landscape of digital technologies?
What is the interplay of data science and design?
How does current technology limit our imagination for the future?
Next big question
How can organisations benefit from future thinking?
Science of you
What is the link between machine learning and behavioural economics?
Bursting the filter bubble
What are some ethical principles for designing machine learning systems?
How does machine learning change the way we interact with objects?
Beyond attention economy
How might we design for less pervasive digital experiences?
Business of curiosity
What is a good futures practice built around?
What makes design fiction an effective tool to drive a big business change?
Julian Bleecker Ph.D.
Near Future Laboratory
Co-founder of Near Future Laboratory, and Co-founder and CTO of Omata Inc. Formerly artist-in-residence at Eyebeam, Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California (USC) Interactive Media Division. Ph.D. from the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) in the History of Consciousness.
Future of technology
How did the Internet intersect with your practice in the mid 90s?
How did science fiction become a point of reference for VR pioneers?
Why have immersive technologies such as VR become a cultural phenomenon?
Dawn of mobile
What were the precursors of today’s digital technologies?
How did the iPhone disrupt design culture?
How do you go about creating relatable future scenarios?
What can we learn from extrapolating today's trends?
What is the purpose of creating fictional futures based on today’s technologies?
What is the value of design restraint?
Wendy Ju Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in Information Science at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech in New York City. Formerly Executive Director of Interaction Design at the Center for Design Research at Stanford University, Associate Professor at California College of the Arts. Ph.D. from Stanford University in Design, Mechanical Engineering.
Staging the future
What can we learn by observing people interacting with objects?
How can technology be designed with cultural sensitivity?
Wizard of Oz
How does fidelity play into design prototypes?
Why do people expect machines to behave like humans?
What can other industries learn from interaction design?
Is interaction design closer to science or craft?
Complex made simple
What are the landmark moments in interaction design history?
What are objects designed today communicating?
What is the potential for multi-modal interactions?
How should ethics be considered in the design process?
Founder and Managing Partner of Changeist. Lead Instructor in Strategic Foresight/Futures at Dubai Future Academy, Visiting Professor in Innovation & Futures Thinking at IED Barcelona. Formerly Visiting Lecturer at School of International Futures, Lead instructor at the Futures Institute at Duke University TIP.
Pathways to success
What does it mean to practice futures?
What is the role of emerging technology in shaping future scenarios?
How do you navigate personal assumptions as a futurist?
How does futures practice compare to design thinking?
Tools of the trade
What are the key tools and methods used in futures practice?
Near and far
How are futurists evolving the field today?
Why is it crucial to enable people to define their own futures?
Fabric of our lives
Can futures practice meaningfully influence how technology evolves?
Tools not answers
What is the relationship between practicing futures and being a parent?
Artist and writer working across technologies and disciplines. His artworks have been commissioned by galleries and institutions and exhibited worldwide. His writing has appeared in magazines and newspapers including Wired, Domus, the Atlantic, the Guardian and the Observer. He lectures regularly at conferences, universities, and other events.
Rematerializing the cloud
What is the New Aesthetic?
What does it mean to be comfortable with complexity?
How does ease of use mean loss of agency?
Levels of granularity
How are contemporary designs abstracting curiosity?
What are the invisible properties of contemporary technologies?
What is the value of embracing uncertainty?
Why do we need to rethink our relationship with machines?
What can we learn from machines?
What does taking responsibility mean when creating new technologies?
New Dark Age
How can we know increasingly less about the world?
Mimi Son & Elliot Woods
Kimchi and Chips
Co-founders of South Korea-based experimental art studio Kimchi and Chips and winners of the Award of Distinction at Ars Electronica. Woods is a digital media artist and has extensively contributed to the openFrameworks and VVVV creative coding platforms. Son is an artist and Adjunct Professor at Ewha Womans University, Seoul.
How did the creative sector evolve with technology?
How can public art trigger new ways of thinking?
How do materials guide the creative process?
How can labor-intensive work enable creative progress?
How can art leverage the unpredictability of nature?
How can embracing different perspectives be creatively rewarding?
What are the potential implications of augmented reality in our everyday life?
Nicolas Nova Ph.D.
Near Future Laboratory
Founding partner of Near Future Laboratory, Associate Professor at the Geneva School of Arts and Design (HEAD). Formerly curator of LIFT conferences. Ph.D. from the University of Geneva in Social Sciences, as well as a Ph.D. from the Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Human-Computer Interaction.
How does a distributed team maintain creative momentum?
The next product
How can technology enable positive change for the future?
How are fictional artifacts used in Design Fiction practice?
What are the best tools to highlight potential implications of technology?
What can we learn from observing people adapt to technology?
How can the future be anticipated?
What makes a designer unique?
How can curiosity be trained?
What impact can Design Fiction have on decision-makers?
Rituals as habits
What type of new behaviours are emerging from interacting with mobile devices?
Google Creative Lab
Creative director of Google Creative Lab in Sydney, after founding Google Creative Lab in London. Her projects include Editions at Play, Hangouts in History, Dream40, Chrome Web Lab, Life in a Day, and the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. Board Member at Biennale of Sydney. Formerly Royal Academy of Arts, the Wellcome Trust, Random House, and Christian Aid.
Einar Sneve Martinussen Ph.D.
Oslo School of Architecture and Design
Co-founder of Voy, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Interaction Design at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Organiser and Host of digital urban life conference Digitalt Byliv. Ph.D. from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design in Interaction Design (AHO) on networked cities, social media and design.
Google Creative Lab
Creative Director at Google Creative Lab in New York. His projects explore how music and code is interconnected and include mta.me, baroque.me, Les Paul Doodle, Chrome Music Lab.
Maia Garau Ph.D.
Strategy Director at Tellart. Formerly Senior Consultant at XPLANE, Senior UX Consultant at Dynamic Diagrams, Visiting Lecturer at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, Visiting Lecturer at Umeå Institute of Design (UID), Adjunct Faculty at Rhode Island School of Design. Ph.D. from University College London in Computer Science on virtual environments.
Creative Coding Amsterdam & Tellart
Artist, Technologist at Tellart, and Co-founder of Creative Coding Amsterdam, a monthly meetup for creative coding enthusiasts. Verhage frequently visits and volunteers at media art and technology events throughout Europe.
Matt Cottam & Nick Scappaticci
Cottam is the Co-founder & CDO at Tellart, and Faculty at Copenhagen Institute for Interaction Design. Scappaticci is the Co-founder and CEO at Tellart, and Adjunct Faculty at Rhode Island School of Design.
Euro Beinat Ph.D.
Global Lead Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at Naspers Limited. Founder of Numerico, Co-founder of Data Science for Social Good, Board Member and Advisor at Collective Sensing Research, Professor of Data Science and Geoinformatics at University of Salzburg. Formerly Vice President at Zebra Technologies. Ph.D. from Tinbergen Institute in Economics.
The Foundation for Public Code
Director, The Foundation for Public Code, Faculty at Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design. Formerly Co-founder and President of TEEM, Design Fellow at Samsung. Formerly, Advisor to Foresight Group at Arup, Board Member Grey Area, Director of Experience Design Lab at Frog Design, Co-founder of Flickr.