robertogreco + berg   101

Matt Jones: Jumping to the End -- Practical Design Fiction on Vimeo
[Matt says (http://magicalnihilism.com/2015/03/06/my-ixd15-conference-talk-jumping-to-the-end/ ):

"This talk summarizes a lot of the approaches that we used in the studio at BERG, and some of those that have carried on in my work with the gang at Google Creative Lab in NYC.

Unfortunately, I can’t show a lot of that work in public, so many of the examples are from BERG days…

Many thanks to Catherine Nygaard and Ben Fullerton for inviting me (and especially to Catherine for putting up with me clowning around behind here while she was introducing me…)"]

[At ~35:00:
“[(Copy)Writers] are the fastest designers in the world. They are amazing… They are just amazing at that kind of boiling down of incredibly abstract concepts into tiny packages of cognition, language. Working with writers has been my favorite thing of the last two years.”
mattjones  berg  berglondon  google  googlecreativelab  interactiondesign  scifi  sciencefiction  designfiction  futurism  speculativefiction  julianbleecker  howwework  1970s  comics  marvel  marvelcomics  2001aspaceodyssey  fiction  speculation  technology  history  umbertoeco  design  wernerherzog  dansaffer  storytelling  stories  microinteractions  signaturemoments  worldbuilding  stanleykubrick  details  grain  grammars  computervision  ai  artificialintelligence  ui  personofinterest  culture  popculture  surveillance  networks  productdesign  canon  communication  johnthackara  macroscopes  howethink  thinking  context  patternsensing  systemsthinking  systems  mattrolandson  objects  buckminsterfuller  normanfoster  brianarthur  advertising  experiencedesign  ux  copywriting  writing  film  filmmaking  prototyping  posters  video  howwewrite  cognition  language  ara  openstudioproject  transdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  sketching  time  change  seams  seamlessness 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Metafoundry 6: Accident Blackspot
"AGE OF NON-CONSENT: On my way home from the airport last week, I got into a cab that had a TV screen in the passenger area (as is now common in Boston and other cities). As I always do, I immediately turned it off. A few minutes later, it turned itself on again. That got me thinking about this amazing piece [http://modelviewculture.com/pieces/the-fantasy-and-abuse-of-the-manipulable-user ] by Betsy Haibel at Model View Culture, about ‘when mistreating users becomes competitive advantage’, about technology and consent (seriously, go read it; it’s more important that you read that than you read this). I had started thinking more about how technology is coercive and how it pushes or crosses the boundaries of users a few weeks ago, when I got a new phone. Setting it up was an exercise in defending my limits against a host of apps. No, you can’t access my Contacts. No, you don’t need access to my Photos. No, why the hell would you need access to my Location? I had to install a new version of Google Maps, which has crippled functionality (no memory of previous places) if you don't sign into Google, and it tries to convince you to sign in on every single screen, because what I obviously really want is for Google to track my phone and connect it to the rest of my online identity (bear in mind that the only objects that have have a closer average proximity to me than my phone does are pierced through bits of my body). Per that Haibel article, Google’s nagging feels exactly like the boundary-crossing of an unwanted suitor, continually begging for access to me it has no rights to and that I have no intention of providing.

This week, of course, provided a glorious example of how technology companies have normalized being indifferent to consent: Apple ‘gifting’ each user with a U2 album downloaded into iTunes. At least one of my friends reported that he had wireless synching of his phone disabled; Apple overrode his express preferences in order to add the album to his music collection. The expected 'surprise and delight' was really more like 'surprise and delete'. I suspect that the strong negative response (in some quarters, at least) had less to do with a dislike of U2 and everything to do with the album as a metonym for this widespread culture of nonconsensual behaviour in technology. I've begun to note examples of these behaviours, and here are a few that have come up just in the last week: Being opted in to promo e-mails on registering for a website. Being forced by Adobe Creative Cloud into a trial of the newest version of Acrobat; after the trial period, it refused to either run Acrobat or ‘remember’ that I had a paid-up institutional license for the previous version. A gas pump wouldn't give me a receipt until after it showed me an ad. A librarian’s presentation to one of my classes was repeatedly interrupted by pop-ups telling her she needed to install more software. I booked a flight online and, after I declined travel insurance, a blinking box appeared to 'remind' me that I could still sign up for it. When cutting-and-pasting the Jony Ive quote below, Business Insider added their own text to what I had selected. The Kindle app on my phone won’t let me copy text at all, except through their highlighting interface. When you start looking for examples of nonconsensual culture in technology, you find them absolutely everywhere.

Once upon a time, Apple was on the same side as its users. The very first iMac, back in 1998, had a handle built into the top of it, where it would be visible when the box was opened. In Ive’s words, ‘if there's this handle on it, it makes a relationship possible…It gives a sense of its deference to you.’ Does anyone feel like their iPhone is deferential to them? What changed? Part of it is what Ethan Zuckerman called ‘the original sin’ of the Internet [http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/08/advertising-is-the-internets-original-sin/376041/ ], the widespread advertising-based model that depends on strip-mining user characteristics for ad targeting, coupled with what Maciej Ceglowski describes as ‘investor storytime’ [http://idlewords.com/bt14.htm ], selling investors on the idea that they’ll get rich when you finally do put ads on your site. The other part is the rise of what Bruce Sterling dubbed “the Stacks” [http://www.well.com/conf/inkwell.vue/topics/459/State-of-the-World-2013-Bruce-St-page01.html ]: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft. Alexis Madrigal predicted [http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/12/bruce-sterling-on-why-it-stopped-making-sense-to-talk-about-the-internet-in-2012/266674/ ], “Your technology will work perfectly within the silo...But it will be perfectly broken at the interfaces between itself and its competitors”, and that can only be the case if the companies control what you do both inside and outside the silo. And, finally, of course, our willingness to play ball with them—ie why I didn't want to sign into Google from my phone—has eroded in direct proportion to our trust that the data gathered by companies will be handled carefully (not abused, shared, leaked, or turned over). Right now, a large fraction of my interactions with tech companies, especially the Stacks, feel coerced.

One of the reasons why I care so much about issues of consent, besides all the obvious ones (you know, having my time wasted, my attention abused, and my personal behaviours and characteristics sold for profit) is because of the imminent rise of connected objects. It’ll be pretty challenging for designers and users to have a shared mental model of the behaviour of connected objects even if they are doing their damnedest to understand each other; bring in an coercive, nonconsensual technology culture and it doesn't take a lot of imagination to consider how terrible they could be. The day before Apple’s keynote this week, London-based Internet of Things design firm BERG announced that they were closing their doors (although I prefer to think of them as dispersing, like a blown dandelion clock). The confluence of their demise with Apple’s behaviour made me extra-sad, because BERG were one of the few companies that worked in technology that really seemed to think of their users as people. Journalist Quinn Norton recently wrote a fantastic piece on the theory and practice of politeness, "How to Be Polite...for Geeks" [https://medium.com/message/how-to-be-polite-for-geeks-86cb784983b1 ], which could just as easily be "...for Technology Companies". The Google+ 'real name' fiasco and Facebook's myriad privacy scandals could have been averted if the companies had some empathy for their users, and listened to what they said, instead of assuming that we are all Mark Zuckerbergs [http://dashes.com/anil/2010/09/the-facebook-reckoning-1.html ]. As well as laying down some Knowledge about Theory of Mind and Umwelt [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umwelt ], Quinn notes that politeness is catchy--social norms are created and enforced by what everyone does. I commute by car daily in Boston but I spent a year on sabbatical in Seattle. The traffic rules in Boston and Seattle are virtually identical, but a significant chunk of driver behaviours (in particular, the ones that earn Boston drivers the epithet of 'Massholes') are the result of social norms, tacitly condoned by most of the community. And driving is regulated a lot more closely than tech companies are.

I don’t know what it’ll take to change technology culture from one that is nonconsensual and borderline-abusive to one that is about enthusiastic consent, and it might not even be possible at this point. All I really know is that it absolutely won’t happen unless we start applying widespread social pressure to make it happen, and that I want tech companies to get their shit together before they make the leap from just being on screens to being everywhere around us."
coercion  culture  privacy  technology  consent  debchachra  2014  maciejceglowski  anildash  ethanzuckerman  jonyive  berg  berglondon  quinnnorton  google  apple  facebook  data  betsyhaibel  functionality  behavior  alexismadrigal  socialnetworks  socialmedia  mobile  phones  location  socialnorms  socialpressure  ethics  abuse  jonathanive  maciejcegłowski 
september 2014 by robertogreco
On BERG's hibernation
"Today BERG Cloud (Formerly BERG, formerly Schulze and Webb) announced it was shutting shop. I spent about 2 years all together working for or with BERG, so I wanted to share some thoughts on my time there. All of this is purely from my point of view, is not official, and I am certain the others would have differing opinions.

I never went to university, but after working with BERG on Mag+ my interest in interaction design grew. I nearly applied for the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design but when BERG offered me a full time position, my recurring theme of choosing experience over formal education got the better of me. And it was not a mistake.

To describe a company as a family is incredibly cheesy, but of everywhere I’ve worked it applies most to BERG. My favourite times were definitely on Scrutton Street, when the 13 (or there about) of us were squeezed into an office far too small for us. We had an airport express that anyone could play tunes on, and only one conversation could really happen at once. Of course there were times we would rub each other the wrong way, but one thing that never wavered was the immense respect I had for everyone.

This enabled us to work in a way I’ve never seen anywhere else, and what I half-jokingly dubbed ‘emotion driven development’. If Kanban is the more fluid state of a trusted and able team compared to scrum, then what we had was a step beyond that. We trusted in our own, and importantly each others, strong opinions and (this sounds cheesy again) feelings to drive us forward. This is probably a fragile and unscalable way of working, but without it, I think much of the work would be very different, and BERG wouldn’t have attracted the attention it did. We worked in a different way, and the work was often different because of it.

BERG had an interesting cult following. It certainly punched way above its weight in the design world for such a small company. It was able to create work that turned the heads of both the industry and mass audiences alike. One thing I was always impressed with was how easily new aesthetics were created, something that others spend entire careers developing was almost effortless to my colleagues. Making Future Magic (a project I had nothing to do with) perhaps most exemplifies this.

I am now focusing on working in the public sector, and I went into much detail as to why, but I will always miss my time at BERG. For me it will always feel like my university time; a time to spend learning and experimenting on what we found interesting with very few constraints.

For a group of people who were professionals on thinking about “what’s next”, I think we’re a bit knocked back as we truly don’t know what’s next. It’s an interesting (and scary in a very high up Maslow’s hierarchy kind of way) time. BERG was a major part of East London’s tech culture, and its demise is another blow to it. I imagine there are plenty of people wondering where their friends are going next. I know I am."

[See also: http://morning.computer/2014/09/for-berg-my-london-launchpad/ ]
berg  berglondon  autodidacts  srg  experience  learningbydoing  jamesdarling  2014  design  howwework  tcsnmy  families  workenvironments  teams  respect  groups  howwlearn  learning  mattwebb  emotions  feelings  culture  workculture  creativity 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Pixel Track | Berg Blog
"Pixel Track is a new kind of connected display. We prototype products continuously — sometimes to explore the Internet of Things, making sure our platform is up to the task, and often to help businesses find opportunities in connected products. We produced Pixel Track in collaboration with the Future Cities Catapult as part of a research project about data and public signage. We made a film about Pixel Track, and you can watch it here."
berg  berglondon  signs  displays  aesthetics  information  communication  pixeltrack  internetofthings  iot 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Domestic Folklore, or Washing Machines for Men | fabric of things
"It’s a washing machine for people who don’t know how to use washing machines; who don’t need to wash a wide-range of fabrics, worry about how colourfast material is, or how wet or dry clothes are when you take them out of the machine. It’s a washing machine for people who do bulk washes of jeans and t-shirts and sometimes wash other things."



"Like it or not, there’s a Secret Language of Domesticity. In technology terms, it’s the equivalent of “viewing source”: it’s not intentionally secret, it’s just easy to ignore if you’re not interested or don’t understand it."
berg  berglondon  begcloud  feminism  gender  washingmachines  clothing  chores  2014 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Workalong: Critical Design / Design Fiction lecture finally written up. (loooooong)
[A very thorough catalog of "design fiction" examples]

"So futures. Design fiction, critical design, speculative design and all that stuff tends to be based in the future, or a futures, or futures. Why? Because it's a fertile playground and fair game. We're open to the suggestion of future images. It's how advertising works. It's evocative, it compounds hopes and fears and it's malleable. Most work isn't about the future, it's about now, but you can explode the now into the future to make it much more visible and understandable.

The archetypal quote. [WILLIAM GIBSON] This is one of the cornerstones of futures work. Somewhere, someone else has your future, and right now, your iPhone is someone else's future.We have to understand there's no kind of absolute rule for 'the' future. There is no 'the' future. There's just a bubbling and propagating mess of technologies and hopes and fears that sometimes arrange themselves into 'a' future.

So this is kind of where you aim at when thinking about the future. This is the futures cone, another one of those tools or symbols that comes up and over and over again. Uncertainty tells us that the future opens up to possibilities. The Google Glass future vision sits in that green preferable part but is unlikely to happen. Where it becomes interesting is exploring some of those wild cards that sit right on the outside. You lend that perspective to people and you can blow their minds. 'Hey there's this new technology and they say it'll do this, but what if it did this instead.'"



"Right, so this is the end and I want to leave you with some questions that I don't have answers to, having seen all of that stuff.

First up, 'Yes, but is it art?' Most of the projects I showed end up in a gallery. They're not sold in shops or made into real products, so how is this not art? There are cleverer people than I that could answer that question. I believe on some fundamental level that it's design because it uses the language of design to try and attract an audience. Because like I said earlier, it rearranges existing phenomena we can understand to give them new meaning and because it's for other people, not for the creator.

Secondly 'What if? ... Then what?' Critical design poses difficult questions and forces us to confront them, but then what? Once we have the questions and we have the provocation how do we deal with it, individually and societally? I don't know, I'm trying to figure that out.

'How do you measure success?' A question that is coming up more and more. You can measure the success of a normal design project by it's kickstarter funding or by units sold, but here we're not selling units or launching startups, we're trying to get people to deal with difficult things so how do you measure if that works? Well, there's a good spread of projects that get a lot of media attention so I guess that's a success, but is it enough?"
tobiasrevell  designfiction  speculativefiction  criticaldesign  design  futurism  2013  fionaraby  hertziantales  robots  superstudio  williamgibson  bigdog  saschapohflepp  goldeninstitute  power  normalcy  venkateshrao  anabjain  superflux  nickfoster  brucesterling  stanleykubrick  childrenofmen  diegetics  diegeticdesign  davidkirby  revitalcohen  prophecyprogram  stanleymilgram  phillippronnenburg  jamesbridle  berg  berglondon  littleprinter  newaesthetic  liamyoung  vincentfournier  josephpopper  larissasansour  peckhamouterspaceinitiative  cristinademiddel  hefinjones  welshspaceprogram  materials  3dprinting  markuskayser  thomasthwaites  toasterproject  jeremyhutchinson  cohenvanbalen  stelarc  choykafai  sputniko  agathahaines  unnaturalhistory  aihasegawa  synthetics  georgetremmel  shihofukuhara  art  canon  davidbenque  geopolitics  yosukeushigome  zoepapadopoulou  stacktivism  julianoliver  dunne&raby  anthonydunne  posthumanism 
december 2013 by robertogreco
cityofsound: Sketchbook: Announcing Sandbox, a collaboration between BERG and Fabrica
"It's an extensive pallette of materials to which we're adding both wireless and data, and with which we can really test what it's like to work with these new materials in real spaces. We also have around 60 people, of all kinds and doing real projects, and so we can begin to explore what it's like to really live, work and play amidst and betwixt connected and disconnected objects and spaces. This will change the way we communicate with each other, and our environment, and it's Fabrica's job to be on top of that."
2013  berg  fabrica  danhill  cityofsound  sandbox  wireless  internetofthings  smartcities  bergcloud  projectideas  iot 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Lamps: a design research collaboration with Google Creative Labs, 2011 – Blog – BERG
"As a technical challenge it’s been one that academics and engineers in industry have failed to make compelling to the general populace. The Google team’s achievement in realising this vision is undoubtedly impressive. I can’t wait to try them! (hint, hint!)

It’s also a vision that is personal and, one might argue, introverted – where the Big Brain is looking at the same things as you and trying to understand them, but the results are personal, never shared with the people you are with. The result could be an incredibly powerful, but subjective overlay on the world.

In other words, the mirrorworld has a population of 1. You.

Lamps uses similar techniques of computer vision, context-sensing and machine learning but its display is in the world, the cloud is painted on the world. In the words of William Gibson, the mirrorworld is becoming part of our world – everted into the spaces we live in.

The mirrorworld is shared with you, and those you are with."
projection  projectors  imagerecognition  robotreadableworld  microworld  spoookcountry  williamgibson  googleglass  light  interface  google  2012  2011  berglondon  berg  lamps  mattjones  basaap  from delicious
december 2012 by robertogreco
Slide 1 of 50 (Sci-fi I like, Fictional Futures, Goldsmiths)
"This presentation isn’t about telling. Just read and look at the pictures, and maybe new ideas will come. That’s all it’s about."

"Climb up on the Moon? Of course we did."
http://interconnected.org/notes/2006/02/scifi/?p=8

"You point towards the galactic centre for two centuries then away for another two."
http://interconnected.org/notes/2006/02/scifi/?p=9

"Years are pretty arbitrary, and long periods to count. I can’t really conceive of them. But these stars come along every few months, which is a more human scale."
http://interconnected.org/notes/2006/02/scifi/?p=11

"To get to your house, you had to climb up on top of the city, walk along until you got to your chimney and climb down."
http://interconnected.org/notes/2006/02/scifi/?p=34

“When I hit the drum like this
I think the sound
was there from the beginning,
and everything has gone to make that sound,
and after it
everything is different.”
http://interconnected.org/notes/2006/02/scifi/?p=39
perception  scale  humanscale  moon  years  time  streets  turkey  cities  Çatalhöyük  ronherron  archigram  italocalvino  schul  schulzeandwebb  berg  berglondon  ursulaleguin  fictionalfutures  mattwebb  sciencefiction  fiction  culture  literature  science  technology  future  design  scifi  from delicious
december 2012 by robertogreco
Is it the Internet of Things?
"Does it visualize your social network?
Does it have an LED matrix display?
Is it an Alternate Reality Game played in the real world?
Can it give you a virtual hug?
Is it on kickstarter?
Is it RFID enabled?
Does it dispense bubbles or candy?
Does it stalk you?
Does it have ears?
Is it connected to the internet?
Does it have a face?
Is it wifi enabled?
Does it augment your reality with digital content?
Does it connect you to loved ones at a distance?
Is it haptic?
Does it use Arduino?
Does it help you save on your energy bill?
Does it make your digital world more tangible?
Does it light up?
Is it the future?
Is it citizen science?
Was it created at a hackathon?
Does it knit?
Does it open new avenues for lighting?
Is it Quantified Self?
Is it attached to a helium balloon?
Is it a TED talk?
Did BERG make it?
Is it open source?
Can it make plants talk?
Is it 3D printed?
Does it have sensors that upload stuff to the internet?
Does it sit on your bookshelf?
Does it track your activity with numbers you don't understand?
Is it an ambient display?
Does it have an LED matrix display?
Does it use Big Data?
Does it tweet?
Does it alert you to emails, tweets, friend statuses without you having to open a computer?
Is it self-aware?"

[via: http://www.designculturelab.org/2012/11/17/but-is-it-the-internet-of-things/ ]
internetofthings  humor  berg  berglondon  haiyanzhang  things  iot 
november 2012 by robertogreco
‘The Matt Ward Manoeuvre’ (part 1) « SB129
"Over self-awareness and the weight of a poor school education are the main factors that stop people making the most of their drawing. We are constantly told what a ‘good’ and ‘correct’ drawing is, with these preconceptions we miss the true power of drawing; the intimate link between mind, eye and hand and its effervescent ability to stimulate invention. Striping back preoccupations of ‘reality’ representation and the need to build confidence in order to allow the mind and hand to meander are two of the main challenges in drawing education.

Ideational drawing is always ‘in action’, it happens in real time and therefore the focus needs to be on the moments it provokes not the product that results. Ideational drawing sets up a thinking space, where ideas can be spatialised, connected and tested. By locating ideas in a visual form on the space of a page, you can see new relationships and opportunities."

[Part 2: http://sb129.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/exercises-in-drawing/ ]
howwethink  thinking  communication  practice  intertextuality  jackschulze  mattjones  berglondon  berg  doing  learning  ideation  design  self-awareness  drawing  2012  mattward  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
notes on "when you see the future you want you buy it"
"Human.io is a different sort of thing. It is an iPhone app that provides an interface to people. Developers write “micro-applications” that can present questions or request work from people. Some have called it an “IFTTT for people” and I think that is somewhat true, but there is a lot more there that hasn’t been fully brought out.

Human.io is made by Tasty Labs, makers of Jig. I think they have a similar problem that IFTTT in that this sort of human->computer/computer->computer software requires a lot of good documentation and plain English examples. IFTTT managed it with a really clear site that still took a few months for people to fully grok*.

I think Human.io is a bit more Mechanical Turk than IFTTT. The thing that MT was missing was what Human.io provides: a very simple way to construct micro-apps to present elements that extract work from humans."
medium  branch  applications  ios  iphone  tastylabs  microapps  micro-apps  mechanicalturk  ifttt  andretorrez  berg  littleprinter  2012  human.io  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Week 371 – Blog – BERG
"A black start is (and let me quote from the article here) “the process of restoring a power station to operation without relying on the external electric power transmission network.”"

"And all this is tough, you know, starting up an autopoietic system from scratch, trying to get every single part to move simultaneously.

So getting a studio like this up-and-running feels like a black start.

One day we’ll be our own power station, humming along and lighting up a city of smart products, ones touched by particular BERG values — happiness and hope, whimsy, socialising, play, excitement, culture, invention.

In the meantime: we do what has to be done. Fire up the diesel generators! Jump start the heavy turbines by flashing the electricity grid with a solar flare to create a potential difference across 2,000 miles! (Can we arrange that? I suppose not, but it’s worth a go.)

You take on work to build capabilities to generate experience and expertise… You jumpstart…"

[See also: http://snarkmarket.com/2012/7934 ]
newness  mattwebb  2012  starting  learning  startups  berglondon  berg  mattjones  blackstart  blackstarts  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
But it moves: the New Aesthetic & emergent virtual taste | metaLAB (at) Harvard
"It’s not totally unreasonable to suppose that *something* is going on in nature, that its constituent objects have some kind of motivation, even if they’re composed of mere chemical gradients or pressure differentials or quantum states. The computer opens up a special case because we made it, and yet it manifests itself in all kinds of ways that seem like a nature—another nature—a little nature, perhaps. There is a strong sense that with computers and their networks, something is going on in there, something emergent and radically other, which nonetheless does begin to infiltrate our edges."

"I don’t think the New Aesthetic is heralding the approach of the Singularity’s event horizon, where computers will vault into consciousness and begin writing a sui-generis literature that drops fully formed from the brow of Stanislaw Lem. The New Aesthetic is making a much humbler move: pointing out these feral phenomena erupting into our midst and saying, but they move."
galileo  jgballard  berg  metalab  theory  technology  2012  jamesbridle  brucesterling  matthewbattles  newaesthetic  thenewaesthetic  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
Gardens and Zoos – Blog – BERG
"So, much simpler systems that people or pets can find places in our lives as companions. Legible motives, limited behaviours and agency can illicit response, empathy and engagement from us.

We think this is rich territory for design as the things around us start to acquire means of context-awareness, computation and connectivity.

As we move from making inert tools – that we are unequivocally the users of – to companions, with behaviours that animate them – we wonder whether we should go straight from this…

Ultimately we’re interested in the potential for new forms of companion species that extend us. A favourite project for us is Natalie Jeremijenko’s “Feral Robotic Dogs” – a fantastic example of legibility, seamful-ness and BASAAP…

We need to engage with the complexity and make it open up to us.

To make evident, seamful surfaces through which we can engage with puppy-smart things."
williamsburroughs  chrisheathcote  nataliejeremijenko  companionship  simplicity  context-awareness  artificialintelligence  ai  behavior  empathy  2012  interactiondesign  interaction  internetofthings  basaap  robots  future  berglondon  berg  mattjones  design  spimes  iot  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
Matt Jones & Jack Schulze, “Immaterials” on Vimeo
"Matt Jones and Jack Schulze will explore a cross-section of recent and ongoing work from BERG, examining how the design of products and services comes from working intimately with the materials of your domain, even if they are intangible—like radio or data."

[Diagram at 16:33 mark reminds me of my interest in audiences of one.]
design  materialsim  jackschulze  mattjones  weakties  dunbar  dunbarnumber  materiality  audiencesofone  berg  berglondon  immaterials  smallgroups  groupsize  stongbonds  2011  data  comics  michelgondry  time  radioactivity  touch  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
“Sometimes the stories are the science…” – Blog – BERG
"About a decade ago – I saw Oliver Sacks speak at the Rockerfeller Institute in NYC, talk about his work.

A phrase from his address has always stuck with me since. He said of what he did – his studies and then the writing of books aimed at popular understanding of his studies that ‘…sometimes the stories are the science’.

Sometimes our film work is the design work.

Again this is a commercial act, and we are a commercial design studio.

But it’s also something that we hope unpacks the near-future – or at least the near-microfutures – into a public where we can all talk about them."
oliversacks  learning  deschooling  unschooling  education  berg  berglondon  mattjones  timoarnall  storytelling  design  understanding  newgrammars  conversation  meaning  meaningmaking  glvo  tcsnmy  classideas  art  paulklee  domains  interdisciplinarity  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crosspollination  perspective  mindset  wbrianarthur  jackschulze  mattwebb  technology  future  dansaffer  rulespace  simulation  believability  materialquality  film  video  invention  creativity  time  adamlisagor  brucesterling  vernacularvideo  victorpapanek  jasonkottke  andybaio  johnsculley  apple  stevejobs  knowledgenavigator  prototypes  prototyping  iteration  process  howwework  howwelearn  communication  simulations  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Why Microsoft's Vision Of The Future Is Dead On Arrival | Co. Design
"Futuristic interfaces are supposed to solve problems and make life easier. What good are they--besides being eye candy--if the future around them is picture-perfect already? The Microsoft video takes that conceit of perfection and carries it so far that the concepts begin to look ridiculous: You can pick out all kinds of clever touches, such as the way the images on a computer screen can be dragged off screen to become holograms--and then can be controlled with gestures. But by that point, we're way off in future land, where none of these clever touches feel rooted in life. They don't address problems we understand."
berg  berglondon  microsoft  future  problemsolving  realism  johnpavlus  johngruber  interfaces  minorityreport  conceptvideos  2011  interactiondesign  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
Infovore » Blessed are the Toymakers
"Why not put technological skills to use making art (as I argued at Culture Hack Day)? Go one step further: rather than putting technology to use serving existing media – the books and films that Robin talks about – why not just invent new forms of media, as Jack Schulze and Timo Arnall describe? The new liberal arts are not on the edge of something big; they are on many edges, all at once. We get to decide where they tip over into; what’s at the bottom of those cliff-faces. Maybe those media will have the tiny audiences Sloan describes; maybe they’ll become huge. But we get to decide, and right now, there is space to play, and a need for those of us with weird skillsets – technological hands and flighty, artistic brains, or vice versa, ‘consecutive or concurrent’ – to go explore.

Inventing media is a big job. We could start by making toys."
tomarmitage  making  robinsloan  doing  tools  mediainvention  newliberalarts  berg  berglondon  mattjones  jackschulze  timoarnall  media  storytelling  toys  play  2011  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
BBC Dimensions: How Many Really?
"How Many Really? compares the number of people involved in key historical events or situations to the people you know through Facebook or Twitter. You can also add your own numbers — for example, the amount of students in your class.

Choose a story to get started."
berg  berglondon  bbc  comparison  history  visualization  data  statistics  numbers  scale  howmanyreally?  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
BBC Dimensions: How Many Really? – Blog – BERG
"One of the concepts was called ‘Dimensions’ – a set of tools that looked to juxtapose the size of things from history and the news with things you are familiar with – bringing them home to you.<br />
<br />
About a year ago, we launched the first public prototype from that thinking, http://howbigreally.com, which overlaid the physical dimensions of news events such as the 2010 Pakistan Floods, or historic events such as the Apollo 11 moonwalks on where you lived or somewhere you were familiar with.<br />
<br />
It was a simple idea that proved pretty effective, with over half-a-million visitors in the past year, and a place in the MoMA Talk To Me exhibition.<br />
<br />
Today, we’re launching its sibling, howmanyreally.com"
berg  berglondon  history  data  howmanyreally?  socialmedia  mashup  2011  comparison  numbers  context  howbigreally?  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
BBC - Dimensions: How big really?
"Dimensions takes important places, events and things, and overlays them onto a map of where you are.

Type in your postcode or a place name to get started."
history  science  maps  mapping  visualization  scale  comparison  classideas  berg  berglondon  bbc  dimensions  howbigreally?  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Design Firm Seeks to Humanize Technology - NYTimes.com
“Historically, design has associated itself with utility and problem-solving, but we prefer the landscape of cultural invention, play and excitement,” Mr. Schulze said. “When technology is infinitely complex, and our attention increasingly finite, producing something you can act on and observe at a human and cultural level is hard.”
berg  berglondon  design  2011  mattwebb  jackschulze  culture  culturalinvention  glvo  human  technology  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
My problem with the “Internet Of Things” « Magical Nihilism
"The network is as important to think about as the things.

The flows & the nodes. The systems & the surface. The means & the ends.

The phrase “Internet Of Things” will probably sound as silly to someone living in a spime-ridden future…

In that sense it is useful – as a provocation, and a stimulus to think new thoughts about the technology around us. It just doesn’t capture my imagination in the same way as the Spime did.

You don’t have to agree. I don’t have to be right. There’s a reason I’ve posted it here on my blog rather than that of my company. This is probably a rambling rant useless to all but myself. It’s a bit of summing-up and setting-aside and starting again for me. This is going to be really hard and it isn’t going to be done by blogging about it, it’s going to be done by doing.

This is just what I what I want to help do. Still.

Better shut-up and get on with it."
spimes  2011  mattjones  berg  berglondon  internetofthings  doing  making  cv  lcproject  glvo  mindchanges  brucesterling  future  iteration  systems  unproduct  russelldavies  physical  digital  seamlessness  beautifulseams  mujicomp  fabbing  seams  iot  mindchanging  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Practical Magic | Think Quarterly by Google
"The most original innovations spring from mucking about, not from thinking hard. Perhaps that’s really why all this is happening now – components are getting smaller and cheaper, computing is becoming disposable, networking is getting easier – but I don’t think this is driven just by technology. It’s driven by a generation of inventors who’ve learned the power of fast, cheap ‘making’ on the web and want to try it in the world.

This, to me, is as exciting as the day I downloaded a browser. We’re seeing the connectivity and power of the web seeping from our devices and into our objects. Everyday objects, yes, but also new generations of extraordinary objects – flying robot penguin balloons, quadrocopters that can play tennis, Wi-Fi rabbits that tell you the weather."
google  innovation  russelldavies  tinkering  berglondon  berg  wifi  arduino  mikekuniavsky  html  web  internet  making  hacking  internetofthings  spimes  2011  iot  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis [on Google+, but with some unrelated notes about BERG/SVK]
"On July 9, I made my sole public post on Google+.  It reads:<br />
<br />
Dear 1000 people who have added me to their circles apparently overnight: very kind of you to think of me, but the system is just not fine-grained enough yet to let me sort through you effectively. So I have to declare Google+ bankruptcy. Sorry.<br />
<br />
Also none of you invoked me in the approved manner, which requires a bottle of whisky, ritual drumming, fire, two chickens, a bucket of eels and a nurse."
warrenellis  via:preoccupations  google+  2011  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  svk  berg  berglondon  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
The art of working in public « Snarkmarket ["Work in public. Reveal nothing."]
"…two very different dudes…different positions…different objectives…both written in essentially the same style, with common characteristics both superficial—a smart but very informal voice that reads like a long email from your smartest coolest friend ever—& structural:

…both conjure a sense that the piece is almost being written as you read it…slightly chaotic & totally thrilling…both let you inside their heads…But!—they don’t let you all the way inside. There’s plenty withheld…here’s the genius of the style: they don’t tell you much at all…

I tend to zero in on this kind of writing because I aspire to do more of it myself, & to do it better. Working in public like this can be a lot of fun, for writer & reader alike, but more than that: it can be a powerful public good…When you work in public, you create an emissary (media cyborg style) that then walks the earth, teaching others to do your kind of work as well. And that is transcendently cool."

[See the great comments too.]

[See also Clive Thompson's post, which references this one: http://www.collisiondetection.net/mt/archives/2011/08/the_art_of_publ.php ]
writing  business  public  robinsloan  publicthinking  mattwebb  berg  berglondon  alexismadrigal  classideas  transparency  surprise  revelation  style  newliberalarts  chaos  publicgood  learning  teaching  mediacyborgs  sharing  web  internet  informality  balance  spontaneity  immediacy  thinkinginpublic  thinkingoutloud  2011  comments  questions  possibility  pondering  emptiness  workinginpublic  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Shuush
"Shuush is a prototype by BERG. It's a web-based Twitter reader that displays the updates of the people you follow in relation to the frequency of their tweets. It aims to amplify the people that don't usually get heard, and scale back those with frequent updates."

[Meant to bookmark this sooner.]
berg  berglondon  twitter  frequency  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Week 315 – Blog – BERG
"Your sensitivity & tolerance improve only with practice. I wish I’d been given toy businesses to play w/ at school, just as playing w/ crayons taught my body how to let me draw.

I’ve written in these weeknotes before how I manage three budgets: cash, attention, risk. This is my attempt to explain how I feel about risk, and to trace the pathways between risk and cash. Attention, & how it connects, can wait until another day…

I said I wouldn’t speak about attention, but here’s a sneak peak of what I would say. Attention is the time of people in the studio, & how effectively it is applied. It is affected by the arts of project & studio management; it can be tracked by time-sheets & capacity plans; it can be leveraged with infrastructure, internal tools, and carefully grown tacit knowledge; and it magically grows when there’s time to play, when there is flow in the work, and when a team aligns into a “sophisticated work group.”
Attention is connected to cash through work."
design  business  management  berg  berglondon  mattwebb  attention  flow  groups  groupculture  sophisticatedworkgroups  money  risk  riskmanagement  riskassessment  confidence  happiness  anxiety  worry  leadership  tinkering  designthinking  thinking  physical  work  instinct  frustration  lcproject  studio  decisionmaking  systems  systemsthinking  manufacturing  making  doing  newspaperclub  svk  distribution  integratedsystems  infrastructure  supplychain  deleuze  guattari  cyoa  failure  learning  invention  ineptitude  ignorance  deleuze&guattari  gillesdeleuze  interactive  fiction  if  interactivefiction  félixguattari 
june 2011 by robertogreco
How Print Design is the Future of Interaction - Mike Kruzeniski
"Products like Flipboard are attractive because they are consciously and carefully designed to highlight the content, instead of crowding the experience with UI tools. The design of these experiences is being driven by new thinking in interaction design, where visual design is central to the experience, rather than painted on at the end. Once the traditional elements of UI are torn away, designers can concentrate their efforts on working iwth the content that remains. And it ends up looking a lot like Print. If we pull Visual Design to the front of the product creation process, we can break free of the bad design habits that surround us. As Interaction Designers we can stop polishing our icons, and focus on communicating the content inside, clearly and with style. The rewards are simple: more beautiful products that are easier to use, and beautifully branded experiences with more room for self-expression."

[Now here: http://kruzeniski.com/2011/how-print-design-is-the-future-of-interaction/ ]
2011  mikekruzeniski  technology  digital  print  design  content  undesign  overdesign  history  interaction  interface  experience  ui  flipboard  printdesign  adamgreenfield  typography  pacing  instapaper  iconography  imagery  objectivity  markboulton  berg  berglondon  vannevarbush  paulrand  andreiherasimchuk  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Week 304 – Blog – BERG
"I’m looking forward to travel pausing for a bit, and having everyone back in the same room. There have been lots of changes recently, and the Room – which in my head I’ve started capitalising, Room not room – is nothing if not a culture – a particular stance to design and the world, and shared values – a way to work which is beautiful, popular and inventive – and a network of people in which ideas transmit, roll round and mutate, and come back in new forms and hit you in the back of the head. The Room is what it’s all about. It’s a broth that requires more investment than we’ve been giving it recently. So, yeah, that."
mattwebb  theroom  openstudio  work  howwework  networkedlearning  networks  berg  berglondon  sharedspace  space  place  learningplaces  learningspaces  2011  schooldesign  lcproject  tcsnmy  culture  sharedvalues  invention  creativity  cv  socialemotionallearning  shaedspace  sharedtime  community  communities  howwelearn  socialemotional  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Suwappu: Toys in media – Blog – BERG
"We all remember making up stories with our toys when we were young, or our favourite childhood TV cartoon series where our toys seemed to have impossible, brilliant lives of their own. Now that we have the technology to have toys soak in media, what tales will they tell?"

[See also: http://www.dentsulondon.com/blog/2011/04/05/introducing-suwappu/ ]
berg  toys  ar  suwappu  cartoons  animals  storytelling  2011  play  media  berglondon  timoarnall  dentsu  augmentedreality  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Three cheers for Plumen: Design Of The Year – Blog – BERG
"Shipping atoms is hard.<br />
<br />
Shipping atoms when you are a small company is harder.<br />
<br />
Shipping populist, beautiful atoms at affordable prices that aim to change the world a little tiny bit is the hardest thing.<br />
<br />
But it’s not impossible now, and should always be applauded and recognised."
design  berg  berglondon  shipping  mattjones  making  doing  fabrication  manufacturing  2011  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
SVK
Website for the BERG London + Warren Ellis publication experiment.
berg  berglondon  warrenellis  comics  publishing  experimentalpublication  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Totems and City Avatars – Blog – BERG
At one point during City Tracking, I commented that I still felt a connection to London during my time in San Francisco through the bike-key on my keyring (above)…

The bike-key has no functionality without the service: it’s just an RFID tag inside a piece of plastic. The service itself is unavoidably located in London. The computer systems that run it do not have to be, but the bikes themselves – the critical hardware within the service – cannot be located anywhere else.

The city and the service are tied together.

And so, for me, that keyfob that I pass through my fingers when I pick my keys up, or fidget with them in my pocket, is not just a service avatar; it’s an avatar for a city…

On my keyring, everywhere I go, I carry a piece of London."
tomarmitage  berg  berglondon  avatars  cities  london  inception  memory  totems  objects  socialobjects  memoryobjects  keyfobs  connections  physical  representation  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Our experimental rockets are our people – Blog – BERG
"Our culture and way of working is what makes us BERG. And our culture is made by our people. Everyone here has a colossal impact on the life of the room. Nobody just “fits in,” we grow together — learning, teaching and developing as we go. Tom and Matt B are irreplaceable, we’ll miss them enormously!

That said, one of the things that makes me most pleased is that the studio is a place that people travel through and move on from. I’m proud of our alumni! When they achieve great things, I admit I take a good deal of satisfaction that a fellow traveller has carried a little bit of BERG into the world.

We keep it quiet, but the secret history of our name is that is stands for the British Experimental Rocket Group. Our experimental rockets are our people.

So what next?

The studio will grow and change. We’re established enough that we can treat these moments as opportunities."
berglondon  berg  mattwebb  culture  learning  openstudio  lcproject  howwework  howwelearn  people  hr  teaching  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Artificial Empathy – Blog – BERG
"Artificial Empathy is at the core of B.A.S.A.A.P. – it’s what powers Kacie Kinzer’s Tweenbots, and it’s what Byron and Nass were describing in The Media Equation to some extent, which of course brings us back to Clippy.

Clippy was referenced by Alex in her talk, and has been resurrected again as an auto-critique to current efforts to design and build agents and ‘things with behaviour’

One thing I recalled which I don’t think I’ve mentioned in previous discussions was that back in 1997, when Clippy was at the height of his powers – I did something that we’re told (quite rightly to some extent) no-one ever does – I changed the defaults.

You might not know, but there were several skins you could place on top of Clippy from his default paperclip avatar – a little cartoon Einstein, an ersatz Shakespeare… and a number of others."
ai  robotics  emotion  design  artificialempathy  empathy  bigdog  robots  mattjones  berg  berglondon  machines  dogs  behavior  adaptivepotentiation  play  seriousplay  toys  culture  human  basaap  emotionalrobots  emoticons  alexdeschamps-sonsino  reallyinterestinggroup  2011  animals  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
RORY HYDE PROJECTS / BLOG » Blog Archive » ‘Know No Boundaries’: an interview with Matt Webb of BERG London
"we attempt to invent things and create culture. It’s not just enough to invent something and see it once, you have to change the world around you, get underneath it, interfere with it somehow, because otherwise you’re just problem solving. And I wont say that design has an exclusive hold over this – you can invent things and change culture with art, music, business practices, ethnography, market research; all of these are valid too – design just happens to be the way we do it…our things should be hopeful, and not just functional…beautiful, inventive and mainstream…you could see our work as experimental, or science-fiction, or futuristic…our design is essentially a political act. We design ‘normative’ products, normative being that you design for the world as it should be. Invention is always for the world as it should be, and not for the world you are in…Design these products and you’ll move the world just slightly in that direction."
mattwebb  berg  berglondon  design  invention  hope  culture  change  purpose  innovation  scifi  sciencefiction  designfiction  beauty  future  inventingthefuture  speculative  speculativedesign  fractionalai  ai  brucesterling  evolutionarysoup  storytelling  isaacasimov  arthurcclarke  argoscatalog  schooloscope  behavior  evocativeobjects  collaboration  functionalism  technology  architecture  people  structure  groups  experience  interdisciplinary  tinkering  multidisciplinary  play  playfulness  crossdisciplinary  flip  gamechanging  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Announcing SVK: an experimental publication by Warren Ellis, D’Israeli & BERG – Blog – BERG
"What is SVK?
It’s going to be a very beautifully-printed object – a graphic novella, drawn by one of our very favourite artists – Matt “D’Israeli” Brooker – who Warren collaborated with on “Lazarus Churchyard” back in 1991. I think I’m right in saying it’s their first major collaboration since then…

We can’t tell you too much more just yet, as they are both currently hard at work on it, but Warren describes SVK as “Franz Kafka’s Bourne Identity”.<

Brilliant.

It’s also a story about looking, and it’s an investigation into perception, storytelling and optical experimentation that inherits some of the curiosities behind previous work of the studio such as our Here & There maps of Manhattan.

For us – it’s also an investigation into new ways to get things out in the world, and as a result we’re talking about SVK now because we’re looking for people, brands and companies who would like to be in the SVK project… "
berg  warrenellis  design  comics  graphicnovels  berglondon  mattjones  hereandthere  kafka  bourne  bourneidentity  looking  observation  towatch  storytelling  perception  noticing  communication  publishing  svk  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Media Surfaces: The Journey – Blog – BERG
"These little inventions have hopefully got you to your train (Arthur, remember?) on time, and in a more of a relaxed state of mind…

In one of our concept sketches below we’re exploring that first case – could your ticket be the missing jigsaw piece to the reservation stub?

A bit Willy Wonka magic ticket!…

We know that we’re going to be passing certain places at certain times, to some accuracy, during our journey.

The burgeoning amount of geo-located data about our environment means we could look to provide snippets from Wikipedia perhaps, with timings based on how they intersect with your predicted journey time – alerting you to interesting sights just as they pass by your window.

These tiny, personalised, collectable paper-spimes provide a kind of papernet augmented-reality – giving a routine journey an extra layer of wonder and interest."
berg  berglondon  papernet  paper  trains  augmentedreality  2010  displays  everyware  spimes  design  information  future  ubicomp  mediasurfaces  dentsu  transport  surfaces  mattwebb  timoarnall  jackschulze  ar  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
The Do Lectures | Matt Webb
"Matt Webb is MD of the design studio BERG, which invents products and designs new media. Projects include Popular Science+ for the Apple iPad, solid metal phone prototypes for Nokia, a bendy map of Manhattan called Here & There, and an electronic puppet that brings you closer to your friends.

Matt speaks on design and technology, is co-author of Mind Hacks - cognitive psychology for a general audience - and if you were to sum up his design interests in one word, it would be “politeness.” He lives in London in a flat with a wonky floor."
mattwebb  design  designfiction  computing  ai  scifi  sciencefiction  berg  berglondon  future  futurism  retrofuture  space  speculativedesign  2010  dolectures  books  film  thinkingnebula  nebulas  history  automation  toys  productdesign  iphone  schooloscope  redlaser  mechanicalturk  magic  virtualpets  commoditization  robotics  anyshouse  twitter  internetofthings  ubicomp  anybots  faces  pareidolia  fractionalai  fractionalhorsepower  andyshouse  weliveinamazingtimes  spacetravel  spaceexploration  spimes  iot  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Magic tables, not magic windows – Blog – BERG
"A while back, in 2007, I wrote about ‘a lost future’ of touch technology, and the rise of a world full of mobile glowing attention-wells.

“…it’s likely that we’re locked into pursuing very conscious, very gorgeous, deliberate touch interfaces – touch-as-manipulate-objects-on-screen rather than touch-as-manipulate-objects-in-the-world for now.”

It does look very much like we’re living in that world now – where our focus is elsewhere than our immediate surroundings – mainly residing through our fingers, in our tiny, beautiful screens."
mattjones  apple  attention  2010  flickr  nokia  touchscreen  ipad  iphone  collaboration  sharedexperience  berg  augmentedreality  games  interaction  social  mobile  devices  ux  berglondon  glowingrectangles  floatymedia  ar  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
YouTube - Matt Webb - What comes after mobile
"Matt Webb talks about how slightly smart things have invaded our lives over the past years. People have been talking about artificial intelligence for years but the promise has never really come through. Matt shows how the AI promise has transformed and now seems to be coming to us in the form of simple toys instead of complex machines. But this talks is about much more then AI, Matt also introduces chatty interfaces & hard math for trivial things."
mattwebb  mobile  phones  future  scifi  toys  2010  berg  berglondon  momo17  productinvention  invention  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Matt Webb – What comes after mobile « Mobile Monday Amsterdam
"Matt Webb talks about how slightly smart things have invaded our lives over the past years. People have been talking about artificial intelligence for years but the promise has never really come through. Matt shows how the AI promise has transformed and now seems to be coming to us in the form of simple toys instead of complex machines. But this talks is about much more then AI, Matt also introduces chatty interfaces & hard math for trivial things."

[via: http://preoccupations.tumblr.com/post/1157711285/what-comes-after-mobile-matt-webb ]
mattwebb  berg  berglondon  future  mobile  technology  ai  design  productinvention  invention  spacebinding  timebinding  energybinding  spimes  internetofthings  anybot  ubicomp  glowcaps  geography  context  privacy  glanceableuse  cloud  embedded  chernofffaces  understanding  math  mathematics  augmentedreality  redlaser  neuralnetworks  mechanicalturk  shownar  toys  lanyrd  iot  ar  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Making Future Magic – a bit about the music – Blog – BERG
"Some of the best bits about working at BERG are how everyone, despite having particular specialist skills, gleefully ignores boundaries, disciplines, labels and predefined processes, and allows themselves space to just run with things when they get excited. Deciding to do the music for the first Making Future Magic film ourselves was one of those moments."
crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  specialization  specialists  generalists  berg  berglondon  do  make  creativity  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
B.A.S.A.A.P. – Blog – BERG [Be As Smart As A Puppy]
"Imagine a household of hunchbots.

Each of them working across a little domain within your home. Each building up tiny caches of emotional intelligence about you, cross-referencing them with machine learning across big data from the internet. They would make small choices autonomously around you, for you, with you – and do it well. Surprisingly well. Endearingly well.

They would be as smart as puppies. …

That might be part of the near-future: being surrounded by things that are helping us, that we struggle to build a model of how they are doing it in our minds. That we can’t directly map to our own behaviour. A demon-haunted world. This is not so far from most people’s experience of computers (and we’re back to Byron and Nass) but we’re talking about things that change their behaviour based on their environment and their interactions with us, and that have a certain mobility and agency in our world."
berg  berglondon  mattjones  hunch  priorityinbox  gmail  biomimicry  design  future  intelligence  uncannyvalley  adamgreenfield  everyware  ubicomp  internetofthings  data  ai  machinelearning  spimes  basaap  biomimetics  iot  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
The life of products – Blog – BERG
"Products are not nouns but verbs. A product designed as a noun will sit passively in a home, an office, or pocket. It will likely have a focus on aesthetics, and a list of functions clearly bulleted in the manual… but that’s it.

Products can be verbs instead, things which are happening, that we live alongside. We cross paths with our products when we first spy them across a crowded shop floor, or unbox them, or show a friend how to do something with them. We inhabit our world of activities and social groups together… a product designed with this in mind can look very different."

[Related: http://berglondon.com/blog/2010/09/03/patina/ ]
products  use  actions  experience  engagement  berg  berglondon  meaning  apple  interaction  2006  design  mattwebb  beausage  patina  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Patina – Blog – BERG
"I’m not sure patina can be designed. After all, it’s a product of the relationship between product and owner.

The form it takes can be shaped – by the materials used in a product, by the nature and frequency of operations that an owner might perform. I suppose that a product can be designed to age gracefully, to wear attractively; it’s just the exact nature of that wear that’s out of a designer’s hands.

In considering the patina a product might develop, you of course have to ask a series of interesting questions: about longevity, about sustainability, about materials, about manufacturing. Going beyond “peak X” and towards “resilient X”, as Matt J said. But I think the most interesting questions – at the very heart of that consideration – are emotional ones. “What if someone adores your product? What if someone really does want to make a product a part of their life? What will your product look like when it’s been worn into the ground by virtue of its own success?”"

[Don't miss this too: http://berglondon.com/blog/2006/11/22/the-life-of-products/ ]
patina  beausage  berg  berglondon  tomarmitage  wear  materials  longevity  productsasverbs  relationships  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Week 272 – Blog – BERG [Matt's description of "gardening a studio" sounds very much like gardening a classroom, especially the studio classroom that we have at TCSNMY.]
"One of the things that was easier, writing these notes about the studio back in 2009, was that the room was smaller. There’s something about stewing in each other’s pheromones. You share moods. If the week was tiring, you were all tired. If you had the sherbet fizz of excitement in your belly, you knew that was the collective unconscious of the studio at large.

[Now] we’re too big for that. We’re not big by any means! Eight people, a network of experts, and just taken on a ninth, but big enough for different moods and senses to sit together in the same space…

Mood transmission follows lines of physical proximity, conversations, & collaboration.

Part of the job of gardening a studio – a community of people – is to encourage the right transmissions and tides. By weaving together sources of energy, in reinforcing loops, a collective exuberance may take place…

I monitor three budgets: attention; cash; risk. All are flows to be directed…"
mattwebb  berg  berglondon  teaching  cv  management  studiogardens  studioclassroom  collaboration  conversation  proximity  mood  moodtransmission  attention  risk  cash  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Chimeric Thinking in the Trough of Disillusionment « Snarkmarket
"We obvi­ously love hybrids and inter­dis­ci­pli­nary think­ing here at Snark­mar­ket. But you know, I think we might love chimeras even more.
snarkmarket  robinsloan  chimeras  chimericthinking  recombinant  interdisciplinary  mashups  hybrids  hacking  patterns  patternrecognition  hacks  theadjacentpossible  recombinantgizmos  classideas  mattjones  mattwebb  berg  berglondon 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Week 245 – Blog – BERG
"found ourselves having to refer very precisely to weird abstract concepts that arose from data. To have conversations w/out misunderstandings, made up words & put long dictionary on wall w/ title “Teach yourself Dutch.”...project lingo... ...not really Dutch...But to English speaker listening in...wouldn’t be comprehensible. ...never just shorthand...expresses things that cannot be fully expressed in regular English...ends up having its own grammar...team end up having to become fluent speakers... ...Timo is learning...practises every day....we’ve written dictionary, he’s inventing idioms. He might need new words...revise the dictionary...in a few weeks we’ll have a much larger team & everyone will need to speak it. It’ll start to carry meanings of its own, & its structure will encourage particular kinds of new Dutch poetry that we never imagined. ...ecological management...invention of right kind of Dutch can steer project creatively w/out explicit directing."
culture  language  berg  berglondon  mattwebb  community  management  leadership  ecologicalmanagement  conversation  invention  creativity 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Week 241 – Blog – BERG
"always put something on the table, no matter how half-formed the concept, and then it’s perfectly okay to critique it and pull it to bits… but only if you can replace it with something better. It’s a strategy that means you’re always left with a working concept, and not something about which you know everything that’s wrong but nothing that’s right. ... As to what I do care about, it’s the gestalt: happiness, growth, and direction, and not how I do it but how we do it, together. I’m not sure I’m terribly good at it yet (it requires a level of self-awareness that I’ve yet to develop), and in fact I slip an awful lot, but maybe it’s because I find it so hard that I find it so fulfilling."
iteration  howwework  berg  berglondon  mattwebb  doing  critique  glvo  working  tcsnmy  happiness  collaboration  self-awareness 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Weeknotes.com | Talent & Fervor
"Weeknotes are updates about what your business has been doing over the past seven days or so.
aggregator  berg  schulzeandwebb  berglondon  transparency  workplace  business  tcsnmy  storytelling  notes  weeknotes  webservice  collaboration  blogging  feeds 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Week 235 – Blog – BERG
"When a studio is really working, people & ideas feed off one another. Code or design will reveal an opportunity or problem. An idea will be floated. Someone will take it, reference something they know (an unusual style of photography; rare game format from 80s; nature of time & space), spin it & throw it back. Ideas fold & stretch. & then, somehow, something simple and to the point will appear, & that’ll be the new direction. It doesn’t matter what people are working on, everyone has something to do. There a kind of multiplier effect, the more people are in flow, in the studio. What I try to concentrate on is enabling this studio-wide flow. When it’s working well I’m buoyant, exuberant. What blocks it? Concerns about direction, time, support, money; overwork; unhappiness; lack of confidence in the work; lack of openness to critique. How can it be steered? Enthusiasm & passion, examples & influences, shared values. What do we value? That which is: Popular. Inventive. Beautiful."
berg  berglondon  mattwebb  management  administration  leadership  flow  work  mission  tcsnmy  passion  morale  enthusiasm  well-being  motivation  happiness  confidence 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Another Science Fiction: An Intersection of Art and Technology in the Early Space Race – Blog – BERG
"Within the realm of monthly and weekly periodicals, trade publications aimed at working professionals within industry are less examined than their internationally-known general interest counterparts such as Science and Scientific American. Together they offer a body of advertising literature that forms a time capsule of the emerging dynamic between design and technology during the late 1950s and very early 1960s, the peak of technological eruption during the Cold War in the U.S. During those years mid-century Modern design asserted itself within the trade-based advertising literature as a powerful visual language with a killer application."
design  technology  future  scifi  berg  berglondon  coldwar  science  history  space  advertising  fiction  sciencefiction  losalamos 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Humanising data: introducing “Chernoff Schools” for Ashdown – Blog – BERG
"In one of our brainstorms, where we were discussing ways to visualise a school’s performance – Webb blurted “Chernoff Schools!!!” – and we all looked at each other with a grin. Chernoff Schools!!! Awesome. Matt Brown immediately started producing some really lovely sketches based on the rough concept… And imagining how an array of schools with different performance attributes might look like… Whether they could appear in isometric 3D on maps or other contexts… And how they might be practically used in some kind of comparison table… Since then Tom and Matt Brown have been playing with the data set and some elementary processing code – to give the us the first interactive, data-driven sketches of Chernoff Schools."
education  cognition  faces  datavisualization  infographics  identity  mattjones  chernofffaces  psychology  data  schools  berg  berglondon  accessibility  design 
november 2009 by robertogreco
UX Week 2009 » Blog Archive » VIDEO: Matt Webb
"Smart products bring their own design challenges. Internet-connected devices and plastic filled with electronics behave in unexpected ways: what does it means for a physical thing to side-load its behaviour, or for a toy to have its own presence in your social network? What we’ve learned about user experience on the Web is a great place to start: social software, adaptation, designing for action creating action — these are principles familiar on the Web, and still valuable when design is not on the screen but in your hands."
mattwebb  berg  berglondon  design  mobile  ux  process  product  manufacturing  adaptation 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Escalante (Slide 1) - Talks - BERG
"The 21st century is a participatory culture, not a consumerist one. What does it mean when small teams can be responsible for world-size effects, on the same playing field as major corporations and government? We can look at the Web – breaking down publishing and consuming from day zero – for where we might be heading in a world bigger than we can really see, and we can look at design – playful and rational all at once – to help us figure out what to do when we get there."
berg  berglondon  mattwebb  design  future  creativity  maps  trends  web  sciencefiction  stewartbrand 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Week 231 – Blog – BERG
"An active blog is like a green activity light in instant messaging. For those of us who aren’t habitual bloggers, week notes help the process become regular. But more than that, companies are so often opaque. I write here whatever’s going on and whatever’s on my mind, and make connections I didn’t expect with readers I didn’t know I had. Little doors open to empathy. Running a small company is both hard and the best thing in the world. These week notes act as a kind of diary of reflections for me – I find writing them personally helpful – but they also trigger conversations with friends in similar situations about what they’ve seen before and what they’ve learned. I’d love for more companies and studios like us to keep week notes. I learn a lot, both writing and reading them, and it satisfies my nosiness as to what’s actually going on."
writing  berg  berglondon  diaries  reflection  blogs  blogging  recordkeeping  memory  sharing  business  tcsnmy 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Tangled histories – Blog – BERG
"I don’t know why I write this. I’m interested in tangles and multi-actor histories, and how you tell stories in them. Books are for the linearisable. Hypertext is for hyperhistories. I’m curious about how simple patterns in behaviours or social relationships somehow persist, complexify and grow over decades and hundreds of thousands of people, and somehow don’t die away.

That’s one of the reasons I’m interested in cybernetics — surely it’s important, the weird individual relationships, the probes into the nature of being human, the mix of countercultural and military-industrial, the attitudes and ideas, all fermenting in the bottleneck population that contributed so much to modern culture? Surely those patterns persisted and weren’t diluted, and will throw light on the here and now? Beginnings matter."
berg  cybernetics  history  storytelling  stories  consilience  stevenjohnson  brianeno  mattjones  timelines  graphy  charts  1989  prague  brunolatour  longzoom  multi-actorhistories  hypertext  books  behavior  relationships  social  interactive 
november 2009 by robertogreco
“All the time in the world” talk at Design By Fire 2009, Utrecht – Blog – BERG
"My talk at DxF2009 in Utrecht last week was an hour’s wander around the idea of Time, particularly historical and cultural ideas of time.
mattjones  science  time  history  culture  technology  design  webstock  berg  berglondon 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Why social matters – Blog – BERG
"now feels natural to incorporate our friends into photo management, encyclopaedias & tracking our finances...social software are part of everyday Web design discourse. But it’s important to remember that for 10 years the Web was not a naturally social space, where conversations & creativity could flourish...and for many, now, it’s still not. That we’re prepared to give away our rights & privacy in exchange for leaving comments or joining a chat system in a game tells me that we’re still starved for social connection online. The fact that our hobbies are social again is great. Flickr builds social capital, Twitter builds social capital. The fact that are hobbies are social again is important. Social means showing off & sharing, & politeness & play. But social also means healthier, wealthier & happier & that’s a big, big deal. I believe that’s why social matters."
mattwebb  socialnetworking  health  socialcapital  socialmedia  media  software  social  web2.0  web  berg  berglondon 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Immaterials: the ghost in the field
"we hope that this work goes some way towards building better spatial and gestural models of RFID, as material for designers to build better products and to take full advantage of the various ways in which spatial proximity can be used. And with this better understanding we hope to be able to discuss and design for privacy and the ‘leakage’ of data in a more rigorous way."
berg  berglondon  timoarnall  jackschulze  visualization  rfid  sensors  visualisation  touch  nfc  nearfield  video  aesthetics  design  data  blindness 
october 2009 by robertogreco
The ghost in the field – Blog – BERG
"There is a power to be found in understanding everything from systems, to APIs, to components, to data, through to their enveloping materials (such as plastics and metals) as substrates to interfere with, bend and test...Having produced these visualisations, I now find myself mapping imaginary shapes to the radio enabled objects around me. I see the yellow Oyster readers with plumes of LED fluoro-green fungal blossoms hanging over them – and my Oyster card jumping between them, like a digital bee cross-pollenating with data as I travel the city....Matt Jones described what we do as ‘Post Industrial Design.’ Perfect! Where once industrial design was concerned with radii, form, and finish, we now deal in behaviours, experience, shifting context, and time."
berg  berglondon  rfid  visualization  interaction  nfc  nearfield 
october 2009 by robertogreco
on battle suits | varnelis.net
"my fear is that some theorists have argued against critique and self-reflection for so long that a new generation doesn't even have an inkling of how to practice it. I don't mean we should head back to the early 1990s, but just as intelligent thinkers like Matt Jones can recapture Archigram as a model, I hope that we can recapture critique as well."
networkculture  archigram  urbanism  postmodernism  architecture  culture  technology  urbancomputing  pompidou  ubicomp  paris  critique  networking  berg  berglondon  mattjones 
october 2009 by robertogreco
The City is A Battlesuit For Surviving the Future | Beyond The Beyond
"look at this amazing artifact out of BERG...I’d like to call this “the greatest design-fiction writing I’ve ever seen,” but (a) it’s not about design, (b) it’s not fictional & (c) it’s not even writing. This is new. The web has broken a lot of silos btwn the disciplines in past 10 years, but this is a new thing that is visibly rising out of that rubble. It’s contemporary creative work which pops on the screen like a web page, but feels like it wants to be art history, a comic book, an embedded video, a special FX anime movie…It even wants to plan a utopian city...BERG has become a new Archigram...same size...in the same place...think the same way. That’s some really good news...This piece is doing the same futuristic thing that Archigram did decades ago...in our idiom, w/ our techniques. It’s far-out, edgy, visionary...truly violative of the given norm & yet there’s nothing merely cheap & sensational here...Io9 calls itself a scifi blog & they’re glowing like a little furnace today."
berg  mattjones  architecture  archigram  brucesterling  berglondon  technology  futurism  scifi  cities  future  space  trends  urbanism  arg  sciencefiction  futurists  designfiction 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Week 223 – Blog – BERG
"We in the main split the work of the company in half. Matt Jones looks after client services, and Schulze looks after new product development. It’s not clear cut, of course, because we’re small and so much is shared. But I think that general wellbeing, agency, the development of unconscious expertise, and structure without management are rooted in areas of responsibility that belong to individuals, are clearly demarcated and known by the group. It took me a while to come to this – Schulze noticed it first – but I’m a believer in roles now."
management  hierarchy  roles  organization  responsibility  berg  mattwebb  berglondon  well-being  structure  sharing  distributed  tcsnmy  lcproject  glvo 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Hello, Ojito! – Blog – BERG
Ojito --> "ojito, eh" --> Maradona, Kirchner, Gabriel Favale --> Supplemento al dizionario italiano --> Bruno Munari --> barbarakruger
comments  brunomunari  mattjones  berg  berglondon  logos  ojito  ojo  argentina  italian  language  gestures  barbarakruger  art  photography  design  glvo  books 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » BERG
"I sort of accidentally named BERG. Because when Matt Jones laughingly asked me for company name suggestions, I said BRITISH EXPERIMENTAL ROCKET GROUP. And I guess it kind of stuck. Upon the announcement of the new company name, and the activation of the COMPLIMENTARY RE-ADJUSTMENT SEMINAR video projection, all principals of BERG donned blue lab coats with the BERG logo and their surname embroidered underneath. I like BERG because, if nothing else, they understand Mythic Resonance on their long Science-Factory Floor walk to the Future with mugs of tea in their hands."
names  naming  berg  berglondon  schulzeandwebb  jackschulze  mattwebb  warrenellis  mattjones  future 
august 2009 by robertogreco
The British Experimental Rocket Group « Matthew Sheret Online
"Last night I had the pleasure of attending Schulze & Webb’s ‘complimentary re-branding seminar’, as the design firm entered a new phase and blossomed into BERG: the British Experimental Rocket Group. Decked out in customised lab-coats, the team looked and sounded excited, terrified, enthusiastic, and nostalgic. To a man they also wound up being inspirational. ... To place a distance, a logo, an idea between the conception, execution and reception of a product means, for the first time in five years, that he [Matt webb] no longer lives or dies on his name alone. What an incredible thing. He and The British Experimental Rocket Group have become ideas – vague, powerful concepts that have all the potential to change the world or dissipate trying. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?"
berg  mattwebb  schulzeandwebb  berglondon  warrenellis  tomarmitage  mattjones  jackschulze  design  future  identity  indeas  gamechanging  worldchanging  tcsnmy  glvo  branding 
august 2009 by robertogreco
This is BERG – Blog – BERG
"Schulze & Webb Ltd isn’t the original name of the company. Schulze and I renamed an off-the-shelf company we bought in summer 2005...for a while the company was called Z.V.B. Ltd..."Zero Version Behaviour?” said Schulze’s dad...that particular company was formed 1 June 2005. I like that it pre-dates us, if only by a few weeks...summer of 2008 we began the Dayuejin. It’s important to name the eras of a company. It gives a sense of purpose, and of history. The Dayuejin is also known as the Great Leap Forward...To make the products we wanted, we needed more money petrol, which needed bigger projects, which needed more people & a bigger studio, which needed more money, which needed our own projects to build confidence. Everything had to move forward at once. It took a year, more or less, to find the right way to do it and lock it in. The current era started last week. It’s the Escalante, the Grand Staircase...This is an invention, strategy and new product development design company."
schulzeandwebb  berg  berglondon  design  jackschulze  mattwebb  mattjones  tomearmitage  change  evolution  growth  tcsnmy  glvo  agency  uk  business  gamechanging  naming  time  perspective  branding  names 
august 2009 by robertogreco
BERG - "The new name for Schulze & Webb"
"BERG is a design consultancy, working hands-on with companies to research and develop their technologies and strategy, primarily by finding opportunities in networks and physical things." [introduction here: http://berglondon.com/blog/2009/08/19/this-is-berg/]
mattwebb  jackschulze  design  uk  invention  berg  berglondon  development  products  schulzeandwebb 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Pulse Laser: Stating the obvious: the book you can read with one hand.
"It’s been said that 2009 is the year that e-books go mainstream, with the industrial and service design of Amazon’s Kindle and Stanza on the iPhone doing the same for the format as the iPod and iTunes did for MP3/digital music.
books  reading  iphone  change  disruption  disruptiveinnovation  gamechanging  mattjones  stanza  schulzeandwebb  berg  berglondon 
july 2009 by robertogreco
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