robertogreco + julianbleecker   94

Critical Design Fictions CSPL 225
"Design fiction involves the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change. Through practices of estrangement and defamiliarization, and through the use of carefully chosen design methods, this course experiments with the creation of provocative scenarios and imaginative artifacts that can help us envision different ways of inhabiting the world. The choices made by designers are ultimately choices about the kind of world in which we want to live--expressions of our dreams, fantasies, desires, and fears. As an integrated mode of thought and action, design is intrinsically social and deeply political. In conversation with science fiction, queer and feminist theories, indigenous discourses, drag and other performative interventions, this course explores speculative and critical approaches to design as catalysts for imagining alternate presents and possible futures. We examine a number of environmental and social issues related to climate change, incarceration, gender and reproductive rights, surveillance, emerging technologies, and labor."



"Readings include: Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby, SPECULATIVE EVERYTHING: DESIGN, FICTION, AND SOCIAL DREAMING and Patrick Parrender (ed.) LEARNING FROM OTHER WORLDS: ESTRANGEMENT, COGNITION, AND THE POLITICS OF SCIENCE FICTION AND UTOPIA, along with selections from Carrie Lambert-Beatty, Julian Bleeker, Paul Preciado, Bruce Sterling, Darko Suvin, Samuel Delany, Elizabeth Grosz, José Esteban Muñoz, Ursula LeGuin, and Octavia Butler, among others.

Examination and Assignments:
Participation and collaboration, short assignments in conversation with readings, midterm and final projects. Students will design and prototype a series of objects, scenarios, and characters as devices to explore alternate presents and possible futures."

[see also:
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/channels
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/speculative-design-1519962911
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/misc-design-1519956499
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/sensory-ethnography
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/ethnographic-design-films
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/design-methods-1519961030

http://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/faculty/baadams/profile.html
http://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2017/10/23/taylor-07-teaches-design-thinking-workshop-at-wesleyan/
http://wesleyanargus.com/2018/02/02/fellow-barbara-adams-talks-design-ideas-minor/
http://www.wesleyan.edu/ideas/faculty.html
http://www.wesleyan.edu/ideas/index.html
http://www.gidest.org/barbara-adams/
https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/design-as-future-making-9780857858399/
https://nssr.academia.edu/BarbaraAdams ]
barbaraadams  design  designfiction  2018  classes  anthonydunne  fionaraby  patrickparrender  carrielambert-beatty  paulpreciado  brucesterling  darkosuvin  samueldelany  elizabethgrosz  joséestebanmuñoz  ursulaleguin  octaviabutler  speculativefiction  speculativedesign  scifi  sciencefiction  utopia  julianbleecker  dunne&raby  wesleyan 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Digital Manifesto Archive: Design Fiction's Odd Present vs. Science Fiction's Near Future
"Julian Bleecker's "Design Fiction's Odd Present vs. Science Fiction's Near Future" proposes that Design Fiction supplant typical Science-Fiction narratives with diegetic prototypes--actual objects that test an idea."



"If there is anything to be gained from these Design Fiction practice it is the playful optimism that comes from "making things up." Making things up is playful and serious at the same time. It's playful in that one can speculate and imagine without the "yeah, but," constraints that often come from the dour sensitivities of the way-too-grown-up pragmatists. It's serious because the ideas that are "made up" as little design fictions - formed into props or little films or speculative objects - are materialized things that hold within them the story of the world they inhabit. There is the kernel of a near future, or a different now, or an un-history that begins the mind reeling at the possibilities of what could be. When an idea is struck into form we have learned to accent that as proof - a demonstration that this could be possible. The translation from an idea into its material form begins the proof of possibility. Props help. Things to think with and things to help us imagine what could be.

This is how the world around us is made, by people who imagine what could be and then go forth and make it material. Wheels did not suddenly appear on luggage, but they are and its hard to imagine that it didn't happen sooner.

Playfully, seriously making things up is how the world around us comes to be. Don't sit around and wait. Make up the world you want. Believe it. Tell its story. Inhabit it and it will become.

Design Fiction strides alongside of Science Fiction, obligating itself to fashion representation of what could be - whether that's a different present, a reassessment of the recent past, or a future likely to be obtained, it may be a reaction to a sense that Science Fiction has given up on the future, or ceded its remit to imagine the future. Perhaps Science Fiction has shifted to envisioning the differently present or the recently past. Ridley Scott recently said, "We have done all we can for Science-Fiction. After 2001 A Space Odyssey, Science-Fiction is dead."

Design Fiction mucks around in this odd present in which we live. Every year the future is held aloft in the hand at widely publicized consumer electronics trade shows. The press eats it up. It's the new science fiction. This is how we imagine the future. Through 100 million dollar trade shows. Through the trade's hand-held technologies and their odd mash-ups of telephone fitness devices brain wave TV remote controls. (No wonder the science-fiction literary has thrown in the towel. They'd do better as consulting engineers. What a great idea.) Our future is shown to use as made things - prototypes, or evocative objects that suggest, MacGuffin like, what they do. Objects that take batteries and have screens that goad us to massage them. Objects that cycle every 12-18 months and thence end up in a discard drawer or in a closet under last year's crap. Or on the Internet's close, Craigslist.

Design Fiction's commitment is to create a legible, tangible, material representation of alternatives. it uses designed objects - props, prototypes, fakes, punks, speculative consumer electronic objects, evocative ingots of color, material and precision manufacturing, prompts, provocations, little films, atmospheres and visual moments - to start conversations about the future. Design Fiction embraces the cycles of obsolescence, that banal next-new-thing - but it does so in order to find chinks in the iron-clad cycle and find innovative alternatives to the mediocre experiences they inevitable deliver.

The emphasis of Design Fiction is on alternative world as represented through the things. These props are called diegetic prototypes." They are objects that test an idea. The fact that they exist as material objects imply their existence in the same way an objects existence in a movie or play makes the object come to life. In some cases, those props spread ideas more effectively than could a laboratory prototype. Diegetic prototypes serve to tell a story about an object and start conversations, sometimes even before technical possibility has been considered. Diegetic prototypes implicate themselves as things that people would live with, rather than operating solely as technological, scientific or engineering possibility. They are designed, evocative, desirable, ineffable and imbued with a sense of imminent possibility, even necessity. They come across as things that actually make sense.

Design Fiction creates these things because they can help tell the stories about the worlds they occupy, without the stories being told in a typical narrative - and because telling good stories is hard. Making suggestive, evocative, compelling, curious objects is a designer's way of telling stories about worlds that could or should become."
manifestos  designfiction  speculativefiction  speculativedesign  design  sciencefiction  scifi  julianbleecker  optimism  making  play  playfulness  prototyping  tinkering  criticalmaking 
february 2016 by robertogreco
How design fiction imagines future technology – Jon Turney – Aeon
"As technological choices become ever more complex, design fiction, not science, hints at the future we actually want"



"Design fiction’s efforts to create imaginative realisations of technology, which consciously try to evoke discussion that avoids polarising opinion, have a key ingredient, I think. Unlike the new worlds of sci-fi novels, or the ultra-detailed visuals of futuristic cinema, their stories are unfinished. Minority Report is not about critical design because its narrative is closed. In good design fiction, the story is merely hinted at, the possibilities left open. It is up to the person who stumbles across the design to make sense of how it might be part of a storied future."



Design fiction’s proponents want to craft products and exhibits that are not open to this simplified response, that fire the imagination in the right way. That means being not too fanciful, not simply dystopian, and not just tapping into clichéd science‑fictional scripts. When it works, design fiction brings something new into debates about future technological life, and involves us – the users – in the discussion."



"As design fiction comes to be recognised as a distinctive activity, it will continue to find new forms of expression. The US design theorist Julian Bleecker of the Near Future Laboratory suggests that the TBD Catalog with its realistic depictions of fictional products models a different way of innovating, in which designers ‘prototype and test a near future by writing its product descriptions, filing bug reports, creating product manuals and quick reference guides to probable improbable things’. The guiding impulse is to assist us in imagining a new normality. Design and artistic practice can both do that.

Design fictions are not a panacea for some ideal future of broad participation in choosing the ensemble of technologies that we will live with. Most future technologies will continue to arrive as a done deal, despite talk among academics of ‘upstream engagement’ or – coming into fashion – instituting ‘responsible research and innovation’. The US Department of Defense, for instance, and its lavishly-funded, somewhat science-fictional Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has an extensive catalogue of research and development (R&D) projects on topics from robotics to neural enhancement, selected according to a single over-riding criterion: might they give the USA a military advantage in future? DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office tells us, in a ghastly combination of sales talk and bureaucratese, that it is ‘looking for the best innovators from all fields who have an idea for how to leverage bio+tech to solve seemingly impossible problems and deliver transformative impact’. Here, as in other fields, military, security and much commercial R&D will probably go its own way, and we’ll get weaponised biology whether we like it or not.

For the rest, though, there is a real contribution to be made through a playful, freewheeling design practice, open to many new ideas, and which is technically informed but not constrained by immediate feasibility. There are already enough examples to show how design fiction can invite new kinds of conversations about technological futures. Recognising their possibilities can open up roads not taken.

Design fiction with a less critical (and more commercial) edge will continue to appeal to innovative corporations anxious to configure new offerings to fit better with as yet undefined markets. Their overriding aim is to reduce the chances of an innovation being lost in the ‘valley of death’ between a bright idea and a successful product that preys on the minds of budget-holders.

But the greatest potential of this new way of working is as a tool for those who want to encourage a more important debate about possible futures and their technological ingredients. This is the debate we’re still too often not having, about how to harness technological potential to improve the chances of us living the lives we wish for."
design  designfiction  2105  jonturney  technology  science  participatory  future  complexity  debate  futures  potential  howwelive  lcproject  openstudioproject  darpa  scifi  sciencefiction  change  nearfuturelaboratory  julianbleecker  tbdcatalog  fiction  prototyping  art  imagination  tinkeringwiththefuture  paulgrahamraven  alexandraginsberg  christinapagapis  sisseltolaas  syntheticbiology  alexiscarrel  frederikpohl  cyrilkornbluth  margaretatwood  anthonydunne  fionaraby  dunne&raby  koertvanmensvoort  hendrik-jangrievink  arthurcclarke  davidnye  julesverne  hgwells  martincooper  startrek  johnunderkoffler  davidkirby  aldoushuxley  bravenewworld  minorityreport  jamesauger  jimmyloizeau  worldbuilding  microworldbuilding  thenewnormal 
march 2015 by robertogreco
For the Walker Art Center, a Shop That Peddles Evanescence - NYTimes.com
"Visitors to the gift shop at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis will soon be able to buy something a little more esoteric, alongside their Chuck Close posters and Pantone mugs. “On Mother’s Day,” the promotion might go, “how about a new ringtone calibrated by the composer Nico Muhly, just for stressful family calls?”

Maybe Dad or Sis would enjoy an instruction manual for a technology that has yet to be invented — or, to unwind, a vacation property with a short commute, on the virtual network Second Life. Even more accessible is a series of images from the photographer Alec Soth, sent via Snapchat and meant to disappear moments later.

These items are all wares from Intangibles, a conceptual art pop-up store that the Walker, the contemporary-art and performance center, plans to unveil on Thursday. Created by Michele Tobin, the retail director of its gift shop, and Emmet Byrne, the museum’s design director, it is in equal parts a digital bazaar with pieces priced to sell, and an exhibition, of sorts, with curated original artworks.

It upends the logic of a regular shop. “The priority isn’t ‘get as much as you can for that item in the marketplace,’ ” Ms. Tobin said. “The priority becomes the artist’s intention and what we all think is right for that work.”

Sam Green, an innovative documentary filmmaker, will charge $2,500 to create a hybrid video-performance piece specific to the buyer. The ringtone compositions by Mr. Muhly, the modern classical arranger and musician, are $150 each. The Snapchat photos by Mr. Soth, the recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim fellowship, are priced low at his request — $100 for 25 of them.

In the tradition of Conceptual art, documentation of the process is part of the point. “A lot of people won’t be purchasing actual products,” Mr. Byrne said, so “we want the online representation to be just as compelling as the objects themselves.”

The Walker sees Intangibles as blurring the boundaries between art, shopping and media. It’s hardly the first such effort: Eliding commerce and art, mass and high culture, was in vogue long before the advent of Keith Haring’s Pop Shop, the SoHo store that sold clothing and other items with his work from 1986 to 2005. (It still operates online.) This month, Red Bull Studios, a gallery and performance space in Chelsea, opened the Gift Shop, its own artist-led store. But to have a museum shop peddle ideas, rather than artsy T-shirts or coveted décor, is a digital-age twist.

The experiment is also an acknowledgment that artists, especially those well versed in technology, are more comfortable in entrepreneurial roles. Where it once might have been anathema, or at least deeply uncool, for an artist to consider marketing and audience engagement — let alone inventory codes — salability and consumer savvy are now frequently embedded in original work. And not necessarily at the behest of art dealers or curators; as artists engage with potential collectors via Instagram or YouTube, they are becoming shrewd digital marketers and self-promoters. And there seems to be no shame in that.



The work of Martine Syms, a multimedia artist based in Los Angeles who explores identity, race and communication, is exhibited more often than sold; she refers to herself as “a conceptual entrepreneur” who creates “machines for ideas,” a riff on Sol LeWitt’s vision of Conceptual art. “I think of entrepreneurship as a way of creating value,” she said.

That sentiment was echoed in a more alarmist tone by the critic William Deresiewicz in a recent essay in The Atlantic titled “The Death of the Artist.” It’s no wonder, he suggests, that so many “creators” these days work in multimedia. “The point is versatility,” he wrote. “Like any good business, you try to diversify.”

For Ms. Syms, 26, a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago who supports herself through freelance graphic design work, multimedia is simply a language she grew up speaking, and digital tools are a source of freedom. She has worked with galleries but is happy to showcase her work online or in do-it-yourself publications. The traditional gallery system “doesn’t give you a lot of control over your work or your audience,” she said.

“Especially for myself, a woman of color, I think that a lot of times, these systems aren’t really interested in what I’m doing or what I’m saying,” Ms. Syms added. “A lot of times, I would rather create my own world.”

For Intangibles, Ms. Syms will perform in the guise of her fictional one-woman band, Maya Angelou, on the voice mail of her buying public; the piece will be accompanied by an online blurb about the so-called band, which has yet to record a note. Ms. Syms said she didn’t want to deal directly with her customers — “I feel I’m already bad enough on the phone” — and that she likes the evanescence of voice mail, which is often automatically deleted after a certain period. (In “Surround Audience,” the current New Museum Triennial, she also has a room-size installation dealing with the shifting norms of sitcoms.)

That many of the items for sale in Intangibles are interactions rather than objects does not surprise Christine Kuan, chief curator for Artsy, the online art platform. With the growing commercialization of the art world and daily life ever more tethered to devices, “people want life experiences and memories that aren’t mass-produced for consumption, that are special and created by an artist,” she said. “It’s a kind of consumerism that is a little bit of anti-consumerism.”

Mr. Soth, whose photojournalism has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, views Snapchat as a way to engage with the changes in photography as a medium. “For me, it’s about stopping time, documenting the world, preserving it,” he said in a telephone interview from his home in Minneapolis. His 12-year-old daughter was nearby, glued to her cellphone and, he said, “communicating, as we speak, in pictures.”

For her, photography is “simply conversation,” Mr. Soth said. “And I think that’s fascinating and terrifying.”

An early adopter of many new technologies who has also started a small publishing imprint — “I either dabble with these things or I just say, ‘My time’s over’ ”— Mr. Soth, 45, explained why he didn’t want his work for Intangibles, called “Disappear With Me,” to be expensive. “When it’s less about economics, I feel freer to experiment,” he said.

Proceeds from the projects will be split between the artists and the museum. A few artists, like Ms. Syms, deferred to the Walker on pricing, which in some cases gave the organizers pause: how to assign a monetary figure to a brief message from the ersatz singer of a fake band? Ultimately, said Mr. Byrne, the design director, “we really thought that sticking to the logic of the marketplace would add some rigor. And we also knew that we are giving a better profit-share rate than galleries.” (The voice mail messages are $10 each.) Many of the artists involved said they were in it less for the money — though they viewed that exchange as a necessary part of the deal — than for the creative inspiration. The designer and engineer Julian Bleecker and the Near Future Laboratory, a research company that typically charges thousands of dollars for corporate consultations, will produce briefs on items that do not yet exist (some future antibiotic’s warning label, for example, for $19.99) — what he called “design fiction.”

There are a few literal objects, like the extra parts and doohickeys that end up in a junk drawer, marketed as “Box of Evocative Stuff,” but Mr. Bleecker said the project was mostly a conceptual provocation “to get a larger public audience to think more deeply about the implications and conveniences of new technology.”

“I’m hoping that, with a commitment of $19, we’ll have a conversation,” he said."
walkerartcenter  nearfuturelaboratory  alecsoth  2015  designfiction  art  design  intangibles  emmetbyrne  micheletobin  martinesyms  entrepreneurship  museums  museumshops  shopping  commerce  media  culture  highbrow  lowbrow  andreasangelidakis  architecture  julianbleecker  adamharvey  speculativefiction  criticaldesign  conversation  newinc  snapchat  performance  interaction  christinekuan  artsy  identity 
march 2015 by robertogreco
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
CURIOUS RITUALS | Gestural Interaction in the Digital Everyday
[Direct link to the PDF: https://curiousrituals.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/curiousritualsbook.pdf ]

[See also: http://nearfuturelaboratory.com/projects/curious-rituals/
https://vimeo.com/92328805 ]

"URIOUS RITUALS is a research project conducted at Art Center College of Design (Pasadena) in July-August 2012 by Nicolas Nova (The Near Future Laboratory / HEAD-Genève), Katherine Miyake, Nancy Kwon and Walton Chiu from the media design program.

This research project is about gestures, postures and digital rituals that typically emerged with the use of digital technologies (computers, mobile phones, sensors, robots, etc.): gestures such as recalibrating your smartphone doing an horizontal 8 sign with your hand, the swiping of wallet with RFID cards in public transports, etc. These practices can be seen as the results of a co-construction between technical/physical constraints, contextual variables, designers intents and people’s understanding. We can see them as an intriguing focus of interest to envision the future of material culture.

The aim of the project is to envision the future of gestures and rituals based on:

1. A documentation of current digital gestures
2. The making of design fiction films that speculate about their evolution

For more information, please contact nicolas (at) nearfuturelaboratory (dot) com

“Curious Rituals” was produced as part of a research residency in the Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California."
nicolasnova  danhill  julianbleecker  gestures  technology  curiousrituals  2015  nearfuturelaboratory  katherinemiyke  nancykwon  waltonchiu  postures  rituals  designfiction  ritual 
march 2015 by robertogreco
New book on 'Design Ethnography' — pasta and vinegar
"Here's the book blurb:
"What do designers mean when they say they’re going to do “ethnography” and “field research”? What are the relationships between observing people and designing products or services? Is there such a thing as a “designerly” way of knowing people? This book is a report from a research project conducted at HEAD – Genève that addressed the role of people-knowing in interaction/media design. It describes the wide breadth of approaches used by designers to frame their work, get inspiration or speculate about plausible futures. This book presents practitioners’ tactics and illustrates them with several cases. Unlike many resources on user-centered design, it takes a broader approach to design by considering cases in which design is not only a problem-solving activity, but a tool to speculate about the near future, reformulate problems or propose a critical discourse on society. In doing so, this book helps designers, students and consultants to challenge their own perceptions and update their approaches."

The book is a collective effort, with texts from John Thackara, Julian Bleecker, Sara Ljungblad, Gilles Baudet, Anab Jain and Jon Ardern, James Auger, Virginia Cruz and Nicolas Gaudron, Liam Young, Fabian Hemmert, Steve Portigal, Gordan Savičić and Selena Savić, Anne-Catherine Sutermeister and Jean-Pierre Greff. 

It can be purchased online here at we-make.it [http://we-make.it/shop/ and http://wemakeitberlin.tictail.com/product/design-ethnography ]"
design  ethnography  designethnography  nicolasnova  johnthackara  julianbleecker  saraljungblad  gillesbaudet  anabjain  jonardern  superflux  jamesauger  virginiacruz  nicolasgaudron  liamyoung  fabianhemmert  steveportigal  books  gordansavičić  selensavić  anne-catherinesutermeister  jean-pierregreff  futurism  speculativedesign  disign  nearfuture  fieldresearch  research  observation 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Patently untrue: fleshy defibrillators and synchronised baseball are changing the future (Wired UK)
[Design fiction unravels.
https://twitter.com/annegalloway/status/405110546225061888
https://twitter.com/annegalloway/status/405111061268819969
https://twitter.com/annegalloway/status/405111820903387136
https://twitter.com/matthewward/status/405116759340249088 ]

"A design fiction is not real. This seems like a severe limitation. However, "real things" aren't absolutely and permanently real, either. Objects are designed, made, and then pass out of existence all the time.

The objects offered to us in a capitalist marketplace have three basic qualities: they are buildable, profitable and desirable. They have to be physically feasible, something that functions and works. They need some business model that allows economic transactions. And they have to provoke someone's consumer desire.

Outside of these strict requirements is a much larger space of potential objects. And those three basic limits all change with time. Through new technology, new things become buildable. Business models collapse or emerge from disruption. People are very fickle. That's how it works out -- and the supposed distinction between "real" and "not-real" is pretty small.

Most patents are never manufactured. Most startups fail and vanish. Product advertisements are fantastic -- and full of blatant lies. Most military technologies are theatrical, there to scare and intimidate and overawe people, rather than to kill them with maximum efficiency. Companies
commonly launch "vapourware" campaigns that pledge to build things they have no intention of actually building. There's a lot of fantasy and pretence in all technologies.

People who are good at design fiction are very keen on these little weaknesses in the Emperor's New Clothes. The adept of design fiction comes to realise that every object, even a common fork or dad's boring tie, is "diegetic". They're all background props in some grander story.

A fork exists so that aristocrats could avoid staining their fingers with gravy. The fork is a tool for class distinction. We use forks today not because forks are "practical", but because we're a feudal society that became democratic. Dad's boring tie was originally a Croatian "cravat" -- a coloured war scarf around the neck of a Balkan cavalryman. Ties are said to have been imported into Britain by Charles II when he returned from his exile in France, having picked up the fashion from Croatian mercenaries in the service of Louis XIII. That story is quite exotic, far-fetched and amazing -- but who cares? Ties are still boring, even despite the rhetorical stunt I just pulled where I made them seem amazing for a while.

Design fiction plays games with these transitions of the amazing and the boring, the transitions of the believable and the incredible.

If you understand that -- and if you know a lot about design, and also something about internet razzle-dazzle -- you can really mess with people's heads nowadays. With design fiction you can pull coins from their ears and rabbits out of their hats. Who couldn't like that?"

[Also here: http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2013/11/design-fiction-patently-untrue-by-bruce-sterling/ ]
designfiction  brucesterling  julianbleecker  2013  fiction  design  transitions  diegetic 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Campsick: Julian Bleecker Reports from Alec Soth’s Camp for Socially Awkward Storytellers — Magazine — Walker Art Center
"To give a measure of what a Camp for Socially Awkward Storytellers is, let me describe some of its awkward moments.

1. Unspecified expectations, except whatever happens, it will be shared at a public slideshow on the last day.

2. No packing list. Usually, when I went to summer camp as a young tot, there were checklists of bug spray, 12 changes of underwear, swim trunks, swim goggles, toiletries, sleeping bag, wash cloth, pajamas, sun hat, etc.

3. No agenda, except to show up on July 9 at the offices of Little Brown Mushroom around 9:30 or 10.

4. Suburban excursion in a stout RV. That just sorta happened. Spontaneously.

5. Itchy, scratchy mosquito bites in spite of semi-legal, high-test, under-the-counter mosquito repellent.

6. Late-night slideshows. (Think of it as a modern variant of the campfire story telling hour.)

7. A surprise birthday cake.

8. A dance.

9. Campsick. It’s like homesick, but for camp. Specifically, an aching in the belly, like you’ve finished a great summer at camp and must immediately make plans to stay in touch and meet again. As soon as possible. Like something happened you didn’t want to stop, but you had to because it was too expensive to change flights and stay another day or two.

That was the Little Brown Mushroom Camp for Socially Awkward Storytellers, a project that brought together 15 eager campers from all over the map. Camp, as Soth described it to me, “evokes campfires and canoes, but the definition is actually quite flexible. ‘Camp’ simply means a summertime gathering that lacks the formal and institutionalized aura of school.” For Soth, the hope was “to just create a context in which people can make art happen.”

But that context, as camp’s name suggests, is decidedly awkward. That’s fitting for a group like Little Brown Mushroom. There is not the pretension that one might expect from a studio attached to an artist’s name. It would’ve been clear to anyone who knew of LBM—either through its blog, their books, or Soth’s work—that camp would not be supplicating students learning from the great master. First of all, Soth is self-admittedly awkward in front of people, so he would not be holding forth in the style of the self-indulgent artist. We’d be working among each other, campers and counselors on equal footing. It was activity-time camp, nearly 14 hours every day. We’d be defining the activities. Exuberant, exhausting, difficult, strange, get-your-game-face-on kinds of activities."



"I have no idea what’s going on, or what I’m doing, but I’m doing it.

And now, back at our encampment there are four of us quietly sitting, thinking, drawing, talking. Out of nowhere, Jim’s lying on the ground in front of the limb-and-leaf backdrop. He’s perfectly still. Is it overdone performance, or is he my muse for the day? I decide, game-face on, he’ll be my muse. Most people have left to find stories in the neighborhood surrounding the park. Some have driven to other parts of town.

The hard part is finding a story in that. You have to, though. Day Two slideshow is at 7 pm. That’s just a couple hours from now.

This is the day that I realize I need to be inspired by the constraints that exist at camp. There are constraints of time, obviously. Cooking out a slideshow from a day of conversations, excursions, light reading, trundling in RVs, following fellow campers in the woods. All this means I have to hold my ideas lightly, not make things too precious, keeping my nose up for any whiff of a story to find and tell.

Today, I’ve become sensitized to what Soth refers to as “humble epics.” Big, powerful things, perhaps in modest, carefully constructed, simple, compact, $18 or cheaper packages.

That’s a kind of storytelling that feels quite modern in a sense. The overwrought image and text story is not what will come out of camp. There are no Taschen-sized epics to be done here, at least for me. I find that liberating. As I quickly refine and hone and edit my forest slideshow, I consider LBM’s obsession with audaciously democratizing the pricing of their publications at $18. I think about Target, the Twin Cities mega-mega that I can imagine goes to nutso ends to whittle pricing by fractions of pennies to make them the no-brainer store. Soth mentions an LBM book that they couldn’t get cheaper than $24, and you can physically see the disappointment at the price-point in his shoulders. Soth would make a great Target buyer. You know, in case this whole photography thing doesn’t work out.

The inexpensive, accessible, humble, epic, image+text LBM books come with an inherent simplicity in production, packaging, and design that is an aesthetic in its own right. Accessible, humble epics are a thing of note, especially within the world that Soth could circulate. He’s a Minnesotan first, Magnum photographer second. Beautiful, seductive, tangible $18 stories-in-books are not a gimmick. Free camp isn’t a gimmick. I can see the earnestness in his explanation of the non-tuition camp. He wants it open. He doesn’t want to turn away someone who could not afford to attend because of a fee. He doesn’t want LBM to be big business.

And only now do I realize that we’re learning how to tell stories. I’ve never mentioned it and stifled the thought in my own head, but we’ve not had formal discussions about photography. At the end of Day Two, during the slideshow, I resolve the suspicion I’ve had since shortly before I arrived: this is not a photography camp, despite being in a photography studio. That thought relaxes me. No one’s geeking out on gear. There is scant feedback on technical elements of image-making or storytelling. We’re free to find stories. Of course, that’s liberating and debilitating at the same time. We’re not told what to do. We’re only told that “whatever you do, whatever story you want to tell at the public slideshow on Saturday, it mustn’t take more than five minutes to tell.”

Day Three
Bookmaking Day, although we don’t make books. We talk about books and their making and unmaking. Some campers wonder why we’re doing a slideshow rather than a book as a final deliverable. A book is easier to keep and share and show again and again. We have a nice, long discussion in the morning facilitated by Alec and designer and art director Hans Seeger. We talk about the materiality and tangibility of books. Their preciousness. The contrast in books designed too earnestly, and books devoid of design that are merely containers for famous photographs by famous photographers. We talked about the great glissade of books after 1986 when computers performed their radical democratization of visual design and publishing. And I wondered how short-form composition and networked dissemination frameworks like Twitter, Instagram, and Vine would do similar things. I wonder aloud to camp if the modern image+text story as we know it now—the things in Soth’s studio library—are for doddering “old” folks like us? I want to talk about the modern, modern image+text story? Is Adam Goldberg’s Vine feed tomorrow’s Willliam Eggleston, or perhaps Cindy Sherman? The comparison may sound idiotic. I once thought that instantly sharing one’s thoughts in 140 characters was idiotic and self-indulgent. I once thought #selfies were idiotic. Then the Arab Spring happened, facilitated in part by 140 characters and what protesters could share in a single image.

The bookmaking-day discussions turn into a list of books to get and a note to consider getting another bookshelf at home. That’s fine. Having a library of books—the material sort—is validated by LBM’s amazing collection. It’s the morning-quiet-time gathering place we all meander through as our coffee takes hold. There’s a quiet reverence to the library in the mornings as campers peruse the stacks, heads cocked to the side to read titles. I find my first photo book in the B’s [Hello, Skater Girl, 2012] and feel suddenly embarrassed at its earnest naivete. I wish I had been to camp and learned what I am learning at camp before I made that.

LBM is a publisher of stories, so one might think camp would do a book as a final outcome. But that brings along complexity and time and money, and you begin to obsess over the operational details of producing such a thing. The slideshow. It has a tradition. It’s familial. It’s familiar. It’s something that can be condensed into a short amount of time. It has history."



"I think about “bookmaking” day’s discussion of Darin Mickey’s Stuff I Gotta Remember Not To Forget and his image story about his father’s odd, Cohen-esque life as a salesman of storage space in underground vaults. In 27 images, Mickey tells a remarkable, humorous, heartfelt story about his father. And I think of Soth’s image of a strikingly pale Indonesian girl he stumbles upon, photographs for The Auckland Project, loses the photograph and then spends the rest of his time struggling to find a story, struggling to find an image that moves him. He finds “missing cat” posters, bird road kill, and pale models. Just hours before he leaves Auckland, he stumbles upon Diandra, the pale Indonesian girl, sitting delicately on a low wall, watching the tiniest bird.

These count as powerful stories in my mind and from what I’ve been learning at camp. I’m thinking about “humble epics,” creative constraints. And how to get done in the next four hours."
julianbleecker  campforsociallyawkwardstorytellers  alecsoth  openstudioproject  camp  lcproject  classideas  walkerartcenter  minnesota  adventure  fun  conferences  unconferences  experientialeducation  design  bookslcproject  summerinwintercamp  littlebrownmushroom  ncmideas  conferenceideas  2013  camps  learning  collaboration  projectideas  experientiallearning 
august 2013 by robertogreco
PLAY Stories: To Be Designed
"On Oct. 1st- 3rd, 2012, a group of designers, makers and technologists gathered in Detroit to collectively imagine and produce a piece of design fiction: a catalog of products from the future."

[See also: http://tobedesigned.nearfuturelaboratory.com/ ]
design  designfiction  tobedesigned  tbd  aaronstraupcope  brucesterling  cezannecharles  chriswoebken  christiansvaneskolding  emmetbyrne  jamesbridle  johnmarshall  julianbleecker  karldaubmann  marcgreuther  marcusbleecker  mokapantages  mickfoster  micolasnova  raphaelgrignani  tombray  maganmulholland  zackjacobson-weaver  2012  nearfuturelaboratory 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Julian Bleecker: The Future Never Gets Old — The Gradient — Walker Art Center
“I have personally been interested in the overlap of design and speculation for a while, but inviting Julian out in the context of the IWG posed a new set of questions: how can an organization like the Walker embed speculative practices into its workflow, how is interdisciplinary experimentation already inherently speculative, and when should our institution embrace a process that is not necessarily results-oriented—or at least, not in the typical sense? Speaking of mundane . . .”

[Related: Julian Bleecker on ‘Undisciplinarity’ https://vimeo.com/7196709 ]
julianbleecker  designfiction  future  futures  futurism  design  williamgibson  longtail  walkerartcenter  interdisciplinary  interdisciplinarydesigngroup  emmetbyrne  susannahschouweiler  2012  nearfuturelaboratory  making  storytelling  lcproject  openstudioproject  undisciplinarity  doing  scifi  sciencefiction  innovation 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Julian Bleecker on ‘Undisciplinarity’ on Vimeo
"‘Undisciplinarity’ is as much a way of doing work as it is a departure from ways of doing work, even questioning what ‘counts’ as work. It is a way of working and an approach to creating and circulating culture that can go its own way, without worrying about working outside of what histories-of-disciplines say is ‘proper’ work. It is ‘undisciplined’. This is important because we need more playful and habitable worlds that the old forms of knowledge production are ill-equipped to produce. It’s an epistemological shift that offers new ways of fixing the problems the old disciplinary and extra-disciplinary practices created in the first place."
julianbleecker  2010  undisciplinarity  glvo  cv  openstudioproject  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  generalists  design  extradisciplinary  knowledgeproduction  learning  culture  making  doing  innovation  scienceofscience  anthropology  science  sciencestudies  historyofconsciousness  sciencefiction  simulation  play  simulations  tinkering  prototyping  exploration  speculation  experimentation 
april 2013 by robertogreco
News from the Executive Suite, Los Angeles Bureau | Near Future Laboratory
"they are projects and they reflect the more complete aspects of the Laboratory as a practice. They are a reflection of our additional interests, curiosities and explorations. Some of them are exercises of a more proto-professional nature, to explore ways of studying the world around us, short probes into a field of practice about which we want to understand by doing rather than by idle observation. In sum, they represent ways that the Laboratory is always curious, always learning, never set or fixed in what it does and how it does it. This makes me understand the Laboratory as a practice. A bit like a studio. But, I understand now even more as we grow and as more people join in, that it is better to communicate the multivalent character of the Laboratory through more aspects of what we here do.

There are no “side projects” in this practice. There are we all who are always following our curiosities."
julianbleecker  2013  projects  creativity  curiosity  curiosities  nearfuturelaboratory  learning  howwelearn  glvo  understanding  learningbydoing  observation  iteration  tcsnmy  lcproject  openstudioproject 
march 2013 by robertogreco
TO BE DESIGNED
"A multidisciplinary group of thinkers, makers and near future speculators will spend three days in Detroit to “do” science fiction: tangle up in fact and fiction and engage in curious crosstalk about the things that could be. The goal, then, is to Design Fiction and turn talk into deliberate actions and artifacts; to swerve the present by telling the story of a near future we imagine can be possible.

What we aim to create — to spur conversations about the things that will matter in the near future — is a near future product catalog. For example, a SkyMall, or Sears Wish Book or McMaster-Carr catalog for the near future. Think of it as a near future science fiction sourcebook of products. It’s a collection of stuff , as if that collection of stuff existed as routinely as Sasquatch garden statuettes, inflatable neck pillows, combination USB thumb drive nail clipper laser pointers, battery-powered screwdrivers, allen wrench sets and flat tire repair kits…"
production  conversation  artifactsfromthefuture  artifacts  storytelling  detroit  catalogs  skymall  nearfuture  sciencefiction  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinarythinking  multidisciplinary  interdisciplinarity  aaronstraupcope  cezannecharles  chriswoebken  johnmarshall  jamesbridle  emmetbyrne  christiansvkolding  karldaubman  marcgreuther  tombray  mokapantages  nickfoster  raphaelgrignani  marcusbleecker  nicolasnova  julianbleecker  brucesterling  designfiction  nearfuturelaboratory 
october 2012 by robertogreco
The Setup / Julian Bleecker
[Julian reads my mind.]

"The dream setup is a studio that's a short bike's ride from home. In front would be a cafe that the studio would run in a haphazard way — sometimes someone from the studio might pop around and decide to make coffee for patrons. Sometimes you'd just have to turn people away. But the cafe would also be a bit of a literati cafe, so people would come by and read and write and talk and use as a meeting place and to teach little "Public School" style classes on anything and everything. There'd be books and a bit of a lending library. The only thing between the cafe and the studio behind it would be a bit of glass wall and a door. The studio would have a proper cooking kitchen (no microwave and robot coffee — real cooking) and a long family style table to accommodate 15 or so — that's what experience tells me is the maximum compliment for a well-oiled, creative, functioning team of designers/makers/builders.

In back would be a 40 foot x 40 foot pitch of back garden with a fire pit, outdoor kitchen and a wall where we could show movies all year round in the California evenings. Attached and visible through a wall of sound muffling glass would be the shop. A big shop with CNC machines, clean room, electronics assembly and fabrication, hand tools, finishing tools, cutters both material and laser and a 3D printer that wouldn't be fetishized but used to compliment proper designing and making."
coffee  thesetup  california  design  making  edg  srg  kitchens  reading  books  publicschool  thirdplaces  cafes  libraries  groupsize  cv  glvo  studios  lcproject  2012  julianbleecker  thirdspaces  openstudioproject  usesthis 
july 2012 by robertogreco
New Aesthetic // OOO // Future of Things | Near Future Laboratory
"…It’s the symptom of the algorithm…what comes out of the digital-political-economy of cultures that live by networks & the machinary (soft/hard/hashtag-y) that underpin it all. All this #newaesthtic #ooo #futureofproduction stuff is the excess. The unexpected, unplanned for result…things that happen w/out one self-consciously *going after* #newaesthetic / object-oriented ontological / future of network connected things sensibilities.

You can’t force this one. You can’t “do” New Aesthetic. It’s a Zizekian-Lacanian symptom of the networked world smushed up w/ overzealous design-technology & real aspirations to get things done. It’s horrifyingly beautifully unappeallingly seductive. It’s the nostril that must be picked. It’s the *shrug of bafflement upon seeing connected porn vending machines on a Lisbon…street corner w/ a screen built-in for watching right there. It’s what results from kooky, well-meaning stuff that gets connected, gets digital & gets inexplicable and comes out weird."

[More on object-oriented ontology:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object-oriented_ontology#Hyperobjects_.28Morton.29
http://www.againstthegrain.org/program/490/id/442328/tues-11-01-11-rethinking-ecology
http://twitter.com/Daniel_Joseph/status/152972349405265920
http://larvalsubjects.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/downgoing-the-democracy-of-objects/
http://vimeo.com/29092112 ]
futurethings  alienphenomenology  tryingtohard  internetofthings  objectorientedontology  ooo  2012  newaesthetic  julianbleecker  thenewaesthetic  iot  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
Convenience | Near Future Laboratory
"The newspaper is called Convenience and it’s based on the hypothesis that all great innovations and inventions find their way into the Corner Convenience store. Take for example, the nine we selected to feature in the newspaper, amongst a couple dozen:

AA Battery (Power)
BiC Cristal Pen (Writing)
Eveready LED Flashlight (Light..and laser light!)
Durex Condom (Prophylactic)
Reading Spectacles
Map (Cartography/way-finding)
BiC Lighter (Fire)
Disposable Camera (Memory)
Wristwatch (Time)

It’s a hypothesis designed to provoke consideration as to the trajectory of ideas from mind-bogglingly fascinating and world-changing when they first appear to numbingly routine and even dull by the time they commodify, optimize and efficient-ize…"

[Follow-up post: http://nearfuturelaboratory.com/2012/03/04/corner-convenience-near-future-design-fiction/ ]
nickfoster  rhysnewman  nearfuturelaboratory  nicolasnova  2012  cornerconvenience  electricity  power  writing  vision  glasses  cartography  wayfinding  fire  cameras  memory  time  wristwatches  batteries  maps  innovation  inventions  technology  commodification  convenience  design  julianbleecker  designfiction  from delicious
march 2012 by robertogreco
Ceci n’est pas une caméra | Near Future Laboratory
"The extruded rounded rectangle isn’t bad, but it’s not so much camera as it is telescope. And if it’s signaling telescope, I’ll want to hold the thing up flush to my eyebeall, like a pirate or sea captain. And that’s fun as well. More fun, I’d suggest, than holding it out like I was getting ready to chuck a spear at someone.

The fact that I have to hold it several inches so I can pull focus on the display? Well, that’s several inches away from my subject and that little physical alignment schema of photographer —> intrusive-object —> subject is a bad set up. It ruins the intimacy of imaging making. I think that’s well-appreciated if thoroughly ignored aspect of the history of the camera design that the viewfinder makes a difference in the aesthetic and compositional outcome of picture taking. That’s a little bit of lovely, low-hanging fruit in the IxD possibilities for the future of image-making. It’s less a technology-feature, than a behavior feature…"
industrialdesign  productdesign  cameras  toshare  lytro  2012  interactiondesign  ixd  photography  julianbleecker 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Talking to the Future Humans - The Future of Pointless Things | VICE
"Provocations are good for the soul. They force one to look at the world a bit differently. We’re largely conservative beings – change is hard to imagine and even harder to suffer through. It disrupts our routines. Provocations are like lenses that turn the world upside down, if only for a moment, in order to see what could be, or how things could be different. … I’d say that storytellers are the gatekeepers of innovation, even if I’m not entirely sure what innovation is. If you can tell a big enough story with a compelling plot line you can entice people with what could be and you may even entice them enough to get them to get excited and make things and self-assuredly valuate themselves as worthy of billions of dollars. … Cloud computing has a story. It’s not an especially great one, but it got out there enough that people got hopped up and started making everything cloud-enabled. It’s a shoddy story full of holes and an incredibly high chance of becoming an epic, systemic fail, but people got excited because a story was told that normally reasonable people believed. … If cloud computing or augmented reality are examples of what you mean by innovation, I’d take innovation in whoopee cushions over that stuff any old day. … the influence is arbitrarily predetermined by saying there is some clear distinction between fact and fiction. It’s like apologising for a great sci-fi film because it’s not real. You just don’t do that. You accept things as they are and you let them shape and influence and inform how and what you think about. That’s it. It’s that simple. We shouldn’t pretend to know fact from fiction – embrace them both as ways of trying to explain the world we are in and the world we want in the future. … Technology is a reification of culture—it’s a materialization of our rituals, practices and aspirations. It’s not so much a tool or something purely instrumental as it is itself culture. We make it not to do things but as an expression of culture—it just happens to be expressed in things that take batteries or have a screen or require technical specifications, industry standards, FCC approvals and tooling to manufacture. … you have to get a bit messy and figure out how you might make the thing beyond specifying it. In that process of making the thing—and it could be a little film or a bit of code or hardware or all of those things—all these questions are forced upon you. Responding to those questions by iterate and refining, that’s the soul of design"
julianbleecker  interview  2011  design  future  change  cloudcomputing  designfiction  sf  technology  culture  making  matter  via:Preoccupations 
january 2012 by robertogreco
AA SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE - Lectures Online: Thrilling Wonder Stories 3 (3 of 3)
"We have always regaled ourselves with speculative stories of a day yet to come. In these polemic visions we furnish the fictional spaces of tomorrow with objects and ideas that at the same time chronicle the contradictions, inconsistencies, flaws and frailties of the everyday. Slipping suggestively between the real and the imagined these narratives offer a distanced view from which to survey the consequences of various social, environmental and technological scenarios.

Thrilling Wonder Stories chronicles such tales in a sci fi storytelling jam with musical interludes, live demonstrations and illustrious speakers from the fields of science, art and technology presenting their visions of the near future. Join our ensemble of mad scientists, literary astronauts, design mystics, graphic cowboys, mavericks, visionaries and luminaries for an evening of wondrous possibilities and dark cautionary tales."
mattjones  vincenzonatali  liamyoung  brucesterling  andylockley  philipbeesley  christianlorenzscheurer  charlietuesdaygates  roderichfross  naturalroboticslab  gavinrothery  gustavhoegen  radioscienceorchestra  spov  zeligsound  geoffmanaugh  bldgblog  harikunzru  chriswoebken  davegracer  simoneferracina  jaceclayton  lindsaycuff  nettle  andrewblum  jamesfleming  davidbenjamin  thrillingwonderstories  scifi  sciencefiction  art  technology  julianbleecker  storytelling  designfiction  2011  kevinslavin  towatch  debchachra  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Design Advances
"Design advances…by accepting absurdities

There's a bit of facing adversity built into that sort of discipline. It means that people are going to look at what you do as absurd — as disconnected from the state of the world right now; as idle experimentation; as just a bunch of weird stuff.

I think the challenge is around the degree of "advance." Sometimes rather than making "big disruption" sorts of advances, small, simple, low-hanging-fruit sorts of things are more tractable and, potentially — more disruptive for their simplicity… Often these "little things done much better" sorts of disruptions effect human behavior in an unexpectedly profound way. Sadly, the hubris of the main players in constructing the future consider a disruption to be wholesale system change of some sort rather than making little things better than they already are. It's also a battle between complex programs or teams, versus relatively simple ideas with small teams executing a clearly stated vision."
julianbleecker  change  design  physics  advances  advancement  2011  gamechanging  absurdities  experimentation  iteration  low-hangingfruit  disruption  disruptive  disruptiveinnovation  simplicity  vision  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Drift Deck
"Welcome to Drift Deck, a different sort of city guide. Think of it as a set of playing cards that help you playfully find your own, untouristy way through city streets. It's a set of simple cues, clues, actions, and provocations to see your way about the city, looking at it from a different angle. It will make you an active part of your own romp around.

Drift Deck will help you capture and share your discoveries. You'll be able to share your journey through the maps you make and the photos you take. Share your Drifts with others around the world! Be active, not passive. Enjoy."
situationist  driftdeck  exploration  derive  dérive  julianbleecker  dawnlozzi  jonbell  davidspencer  brucesterling  bencerveny  kevinslavin  katiesalen  janemcgonigal  ianbogost  janepinckard  urban  urbanism  ios  iphone  applications  cities  perspective  noticing  engagement  observation  interaction  serendipity  maps  mapping  photography  psychogeography  context  context-awareness  undesign  design  arttechnology  landscape  landscapeasinterface  play  games  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Nonobject Short Notes
"This is sort of where I lost a bit of enthusiasm. While I like the direction and motivation here, this did not feel like the sort of design fiction that I lust after. It seemed very designer-ywith a heavy emphasis on the perfect render. Good design fiction in my mind tends more towards believable, pushing towards the suspension of disbelief as a core tenent — because then you enter into that middle space of confusion tending towards possibility, rather than the dead-giveawy of an expert CAD render in Keyshot or Hypershot or Rhino or whatever. … These are perfectly captured, fantasy objects. For me, they look too fast, too impossible, too much like the Industrial Designer’s dreams rather than props reflecting the complexity of a fraught, much-less than perfect world. It’s singular — one person in charge of everything, which may indeed be the Industrial Design fantasy par excellence."
julianbleecker  designfiction  2011  books  design  nicolasnova  nonobjects  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
From prop to prototype to the future NOW! | platform.wk.com
"Hence, it could be argued that design fiction aims to express and implant metaphysical ideas that cannot be expressed in words.  Thus, design fiction is effectively expressed in a medium of experience. It is expressed as a combined series of moments designed to create a new actuality or at least new assumptions.

Andrew and Sitraka have been exploring the playful space between fact and fiction. They have recently put together a presentation for the agency and also submitted a proposal to the science gallery in Dublin to further explore the implication of design fiction."
2011  designfiction  design  brucesterling  julianbleecker  andrewfriend  sitrakarakotoniaina  stuartcandy  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Floor Text I Wrote For The Made Up Exhibition. | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
"If there is anything to be gained from design fiction practice it is the playful optimism that comes from "making things up." Making things up is playful & serious at the same time. It's playful in that one can speculate & imagine without the "yeah, but…" constraints that often come from the dour sensitivities of the way-too-grown-up pragmatists. It's serious because the ideas that are "made up" as little designed fictions—formed into props or little films or speculative objects—are materialized things that hold within them the story of the world they inhabit. There is the kernel of a near future, or a different now, or an un-history that begins the mind reeling at the possibilities of what could be. When an idea is struck into form we have learned to accept that as proof—a demonstration that this could be possible. The translation from an idea into its material form begins the proof of possibility. Props help. Things to think with & things to help us imagine what could be…"
designfiction  julianbleecker  accd  madeup  invention  creativity  tcsnmy  classideas  nearfuture  pragmatism  play  possibility  adjacentpossible  storytelling  2011  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » You’d Be Right To Wonder
"What I learned through that was the importance of making things — but it’s not just the made-thing but the making-of-the-thing, if you follow. In the *making you’re also doing a kind of thinking. Making is part of the “conversation” — it’s part of the yammering, but with a good dose of hammering. If you’re not also making — you’re sort of, well..basically you’re not doing much at all. You’ve only done a *rough sketch of an idea if you’ve only talked about it and didn’t do the iteration through making, then back to thinking and through again to talking and discussing and sharing all the degrees of *material — idea, discussions, conversations, make some props, bring those to the discussion, *repeat."
julianbleecker  making  make  doing  do  tcsnmy  lcproject  rapidprototyping  prototyping  iteration  thinking  designfiction  action  actionminded  glvo  cv  reflection  discussion  conversation  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » What Innovation
"best part of book is last sentence…

"Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses & other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle, reinvent. Build a tangled bank."

Had Johnson followed the walks of those innovators he was curious about, followed them along their mistakes & noted the ways they borrowed, recycled, reinvented he could have done away with the silly biology analogies. It’s all right there in the hands-on work that’s going on — there’s no need for a big, grand, one-size-fits-all theory about how ideas come to be and how they circulate, or don’t circulate and how they inflect and influence and change the way we understand and act and behave in the world. That’s the “innovation” story — or the way that *change-in-the-way-we-understand-the-world* comes about story."

[Now here: http://nearfuturelaboratory.com/2010/12/23/what-innovation/ ]
stevenjohnson  julianbleecker  innovation  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  serendipity  learning  wheregoodideascomefrom  books  criticism  biology  walking  thinking  cv  analogies  analogy  adjacentpossible  stuartkauffman  science  robertkrulwich  kevinkelly  radiolab  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Blog Archive » Weekending 09122010
"[T]he thing you learn from good work in a good studio is how to do good work. It’s less about what gets tooled and manufactured; less about what gets built and all that. It’s learning how to do what you do better than before."
julianbleecker  design  learning  studio  glvo  tcsnmy  lcproject  practice  process  iteration  improvement  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Features Aren’t A Measure Of Innovation
"For some reason lists of features are legible to accountants & engineers who often have the keys to the car & decide what gets done."'

"Innovating, only not by stacking lists of features & parts & stuff — but at least by starting with ways of creating opportunities & experiences that lead people in new, unexpected directions. That make space for experiences that go beyond expectation. Basically creating new user experiences. I don’t think you do that just by creating new features & bolting on new technologies."

[Some quick thoughts below, but more here: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/916738627/more-opportunities-not-more-features ]

[Love this. It speaks to what we do at schools that empower learners by creating a flexible learning environment, not adding more classes, more programs. We do "less" in terms of numbers, but more in terms of freedom & self-direction, helping them give themselves more options. One point missing: it's not only accountant & engineer decision-making people that need help seeing the benefit of fewer features, but also number-comparing users (parents in our case).]
tcsnmy  julianbleecker  features  featurecreep  featuritis  moreisnotbetter  less  simplicity  experience  empowerment  design  designthinking  engineers  accountants  numbers  technology  unschooling  deschooling  education  learning  innovation  focus  lcproject  cv  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Blog Archive » When Not To Use Doorknobs
"What’s do I mean by doorknob? Doorknobs are things that rarely mean anything at all to normal human beings but they mean everything in the world to doorknob enthusiasts who spend most of their time trying to put doorknobs onto everything they possibly can — coffee tables, lampposts, patio chaises, kid’s t-shirts, wrist watches, fancy cameras, car dashboards, toasters, clock radios, keychains, tea kettles, baseball hats.. I could go on, but I’ll let the “doorknob” enthusiasts go crazy themselves.

Rarely, on occasion — someone puts a doorknob on a door because, perhaps, they lead their thinking and ideas and making with principles that focus on people and their practices before they just think of shoving doorknobs on kitten collars or broom handles."
julianbleecker  trends  augmentedreality  3d  design  respect  meaning  innovation  unoriginality  outofplace  ar  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
designfiction :: NuVu studio
"In “Design Fiction Studio,” we will focus on experimental ways to combine science fiction story telling w/ new forms of media production. The students will be asked to write a short science-fiction story & expected to illustrate it in an experimental book. We will explore ways to combine alternative materials–such as very basic electronic elements, conductive inks, phase-&color-changing materials– w/ new kinds of fabrication & production techniques to learn both about materials & way they can be used in different kinds of fictional products.

Topics to be covered:

—Basic scifi writing skills to develop a short story or concept that will address a problem we may have in the near future.

—Experiment w/ new kinds of smart materials, design & interaction techniques to build an interactive book to illustrate the story.

—Discuss how writing fiction & building fictional objects can contribute to our thinking & allow us to bring into attention problems before they may even emerge."

[via: http://www.nearfuturelaboratory.com/2010/07/30/design-fiction-studio-for-young-minds/ ]
designfiction  education  future  learning  design  julianbleecker  mit  writing  classideas  nearfuture  brucesterling  scifi  sciencefiction  science  newmedia  multimedia  objects  fiction  designfictionstudio  nuvustudio  nuvu 
august 2010 by robertogreco
6 Questions from Kicker: Julian Bleecker ["5 things all designers should know? Humility; Listening skills; How to find 3 positive, thoughtful observations about something you dislike; be more adamantine about saying “no” to PowerPoint...]
Sadly, good ideas can be stymied by misalignment of goals & aspirations...happens in-between design sensibilities to do good in world & business priorities...Together...make up a maelstrom of entanglements often referred to...as product design...

I’m excited by expectation that designer should reflect on practice & redesign way design is done...something I learned more about studying scientists & engineers in grad school when I was learning how scientists make knowledge...tricky thing is that scientists & engineers couldn’t really be reflexive about what they were doing or they’d get in trouble w/ knowledge cops...

Follow your curiosity, even if weather smells like Rapture, everyone around you is losing heads & creek is rising pretty quick. Instinct rules out over any sense of rationality or attempts at an objective view on things...But—doing what you know in your gut is right by you? That kind of sensibility & clarity is something I continue to learn from, even in mistakes."
design  process  reflection  howwework  productdesign  risk  hunches  risktaking  clarity  sensibility  learning  julianbleecker  curiosity  doing  priorities  tcsnmy  cv  glvo  business  science  engineering  rationality 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » And the time it takes to make them is the time taken to mean it.
"'[Martin Puryear's] sculptures look the way they do because they need to in order to mean what they do. The labor that is compressed into them allows them to work over time, and the time it takes to make them is the time taken to mean it. That they so often employ specialized tradesmen’s skills in their making allows them to work at the edges of utility—vessels that might be dwellings in the shapes of bodies—and in that fertile seam between representation and abstraction.'

A quote from “From Head to Hand: Art and the Manual” by David Levi Strauss.

Why do I blog this? I like the way that time is emphasized here rather than the outcome. The emphasis is on the the practice and process, which have so much to say about the sculpture."
sculrpture  process  toshare  topost  julianbleecker  martinpuryear  davidlevistrauss  creation  time  processoverproduct  productasindicationofprocess  outcomes  labor  craft  representation  abstraction  sculpture  craftsmanship 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Blog Archive » Creative Corporate Cultures
"* Creative reviews, even for stuff you’re not working on. Oftentimes a company gets to a size in which no one knows everything that is going on elsewhere, which results in overlap, duplication, inefficiencies and just plain bad organizational structures... * People before ideas. Creative individuals trump project ideas. Bring in creative talent and allow the ideas to come from that... * Constructive post-mortems on projects. I think this is crucial. The time to consider what was done and what went right and wrong is a requirement if a team/company/studio is to learn from what it spent so much time and energy to create."
creativity  pixar  process  projects  reviews  work  tcsnmy  reflection  hr  hiring  leadership  culture  values  management  julianbleecker 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Partial Truths: To Do Something Interdisciplinary
“Interdisciplinary work, so much discussed these days, is not about confronting already constituted disciplines (none of which, in fact, is willing to let itself go). To do something interdisciplinary it’s not enough to choose a “subject” (a theme) and gather around it two or three sciences. Interdisciplinarity consists in creating a new object that belongs to no one.” –Roland Barthes, “Jeunes Chercheurs”
rolandbarthes  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  invention  creativity  julianbleecker 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Blog Archive » Weekending 06202010
"In my experience — which isn’t broad and wide, but it’s not nil, either — the outcomes are not entirely that which could arise with a small team of engaged, thoughtful designers prepared to refine and hone and question their own assumptions without the need for a trip advisor and hundreds of interviews. Keen observation and thoughtful reflection may be what some people in the corporate design research world call *ethnography when they haven’t a clue and want to back-load their justification for expensive trips."
julianbleecker  ethnography  design  observation  reflection  travel  expense 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » William H. Whyte Revisited: An Experiment With An Apparatus for Capturing Other Points of View
"There had been a project in the studio this time last year with things placed high for observational purposes (high chairs, periscopes, etc.) and it was filed away in the “lost projects” binder, so this seemed perhaps a way to revive that thinking. Over the course of a week, I made four trips to Home Depot, Simon jigged a prototype bracket on the CNC machine, and I had a retractable 36 foot pole that I imagined I was going to hang a heavy DSLR off of — it scared the bejeezus out of me and required two people to safely raise up. Too high, too floppy.

Another pole — 24 feet. Daunting but serviceable. It retracts to 8 feet, which is still quite high, but the range made it worth the embarrassment. After a brief bang around the reputation and suggestion networks, a wide field of view camera was identified and two ordered. Two cameras, secured to the pole produced a fair resolution, very wide field of view for displaced observations from a peculiar point of view. Good enough."

[http://www.nearfuturelaboratory.com/2010/05/31/apparatus-at-the-habitar-exhibition/ ]
anthropology  perspective  camera  photography  flow  urbanism  urban  pedestrians  perception  observation  2009  julianbleecker  video  research  cities  williamhwhyte 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » The Week Ending 04092010
"I came across this lecture that Bruno Latour gave at a conference a fistful of miles from the Laboratory which bummed me out that I didn’t find out about in time enough to attend because, what? I don’t have the right *subscription or *search parameters or *colleagues to notify me that one of my favorite idea people was in town talking about stuff. Or maybe it was just a closed thing, who knows?"
julianbleecker  missedconnections  brunolatour  driftdeck  iphone  cv 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » A Relevant Talk
"I’ve been wrong to think that design-led creation of technology *stuff is the way of the future, and Mike’s experiences plus a couple of things here and there that I’ve experienced more directly are what make me certain I was wrong. Between knowing what it takes in practical terms to materialize an idea that won’t blow smoke when you plug in the power, and knowing that you can’t force someone to do something that they don’t believe in, especially if they are a technologist — well, the in-between is this idea of working together. No one wants to create a crap experience, but defining what is a good experience is what helps you get there."
mikekruzeniski  julianbleecker  design-ledcreation  technology  collaboration 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » The Week Ending 050310
"Why little movies? Why small little films? Well — the rough thinking is to communicate differently to engage good folks who are perhaps optimized for being talked to via PowerPoint. *Death by PowerPoint, is what one might say. And *Death by CAD renderings. The death of the imagination. What we want are things that start conversations — a clever idea, something that compels a discussion and encourages a new way of doing what needs to be done. It’s also, despite the pain of production which presumably gets better with practice, quite a good way to think and design and not just a means of communication. The process of being forced to tell a small, momentary story about a thing or an experience — it gives you special language powers and new perspectives, and visual metaphors to help shape and smooth and refine the thinking. Clearly — it’s not just the film itself which is the outcome of all that work."
julianbleecker  film  video  communication  thinking  tcsnmy  powerpoint  presentations  storytelling  conversation  constraints 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Blog Archive » Predictably Not Quite Failing
"I don’t want to attempt a rough-shod bit of metaphor-stretching — or at least not too much — to try and rationalize sharing this *non sequitur of a post, except to say that, as pertains the last photo, I have been obsessed with these moments when something tried..fails. The failure has this curious, no-fear character to it. Trying the thing that seems impossible, over and over again. Getting closer, or moving away from the original idea and into something else, &c. It’s never a failure out right, at least as I see it through a viewfinder. There’s always something quite lovely about the moment when the board stays where it is, and the skater goes somewhere else."
skateboarding  failure  iteration  persistence  learning  julianbleecker  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  practice  skating  skateboards 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Hurry Up and Wait - The Slow Issue - GOOD
"“The slow movement imagines itself to belong by rights to the cultural layer”—a slow-moving layer of society—“but it’s still in the layer of fashionable activism,” he says. “An earthquake is rapid and shocking, it seems, but the underlying forces are geologically slow. So it’s actually our perception of pacing that’s odd, not pacing itself.”"
design  futurism  brucesterling  goodmagazine  slowness  culture  slow  estherdyson  johnmaeda  julianbleecker  jamaiscascio  alexanderrose  creativity  environment  trends  ideas  2010  future 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Innovation and Design
"The practice of design can happen without a formal set of processes and steps. Although it may be comforting to say — here is our process, here are its steps — instrumentalizing design in this way will lead to nothing more than what one expects, which is oftentimes not a particularly astonishing innovation. It will lead to things congruent with what exists “today” and thus never “radical” and even, arguably, consistent enough with the old stuff to barely count as new. The radical innovation by definition cannot have a formalized process. No post-it design. No PowerPoint decks. The less involvement from process-oriented and goal-oriented actors, the better. If your goal is to create something new, you can’t also expect to make something that profits because that is the same old goals"
julianbleecker  design  innovation  books  nearfuturelaboratory  designthinking  undisciplinary  howto  business  gamechanging  tcsnmy  strategy  disruption  disruptiveinnovation 
october 2009 by robertogreco
The Architectural League of New York | Situated Technologies Pamphlets 5
"In Situated Technologies Pamphlets 5, Julian Bleecker and Nicholas Nova argue to invert this common perspective and speculate on the existence of an “asynchronous city.” Through a discussion of objects that blog, they forecast situated technologies based on weak signals that show the importance of time on human practices. They imagine the emergence of truly social technologies that through thoughtful provocation can invert and disrupt common perspective."
technology  urbancomputing  nicolasnova  julianbleecker  planning  location  urban  ubicomp  architecture  books  cities  computing  designfictions  asynchronous  treborscholz  markshepard  omarkhan 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Eduardo Galeano Contemplates History’s Paradoxes
"I found the context of this radio interview intriguing for a number of reasons. The setting of a cafe as a place to think and plot and plan future worlds — of course this is resonant to me. The right cafes are peerless as places to think, observe, meet people, write, sketch, ponder. Much, much better than just about any of the social settings available in digital environments. I mean, really — Facebook is an obscure diacritic in the language of human social practices as far as my experience suggests."
eduardogaleano  thinking  facebook  writing  thirdplaces  julianbleecker  djangoreinhardt  jazz  cafes  music  books  latinamerica  uruguay  writers  thirdspaces  openstudioproject 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Digital Blur: Stories from the Edge of Creative Design Practice
"Cribbed from John Marshall’s Designed Objects blog, he and I contributed a short, analytic essay on inter/trans/undisciplinarity as it pertains to design practices for this book — Digital Blur: Stories from the Edge of Creative Design Practice."
interdisciplinary  undisciplinary  transdisciplinary  julianbleecker  design 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Urban Historical Infrastructure Layers
"Three curious examples of a kind of infrastructural sedimentation, found in New York City and Brooklyn. The first one shows a broken portion of a (ugly) sign that had been placed over the original art deco style lettering on a behemoth post office. The next is a (ugly) fancy condominium module that has been plopped on top of an old light industrial / warehouse building in the now Tony / over-the-top section of Brooklyn’s “DUMBO” (down underneath the manhattan bridge overpass) section. Finally, The Highline, a new urban park that was found within an old abandoned stretch of train track that sits one story above ground, along the westside of Manhattan, around Chelsea-ish."
julianbleecker  nyc  brooklyn  manhattan  urban  infrastructure  parks  public  urbanism  highline  history  layering 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Follow Curiosity, Not Careers - "Let things get rather undisciplined and a bit unruly. Disciplines are self-satisfied, with is akin to apathy, which never solved any problems."
"How do you follow your curiosity?...A template? Maybe something like this: Spend a year listening, reading, learning about a new practice. Find out who the thought leaders are and why. Ask everyone who is in the particular practice community three questions: what’s your story? ... who’s your hero in your field? who else should I meet? Go to the trade conferences & dive deep. Listen to everything. Read everything. Filter by simple keywords...Spend the next year helping out & apprenticing. Be a humble servant, asking questions but also getting hands dirty and trousers scuffed. Be active, modest & become a learner. Move about, but focus on the nuances of the craft aspects of the practice community. Another year making/creating/building on your own, whatever the field might be. Prepare to be a contributor in a more active way. Find a voice of your own. You would’ve created a network that knits you into the community by this time. And subsequent years, refining and polishing that “voice.”"
julianbleecker  education  learning  unschooling  deschooling  colleges  universities  multidisciplinary  interdisciplinary  specialists  generalists  creativity  curiosity  gamechanging  tcsnmy  lcproject  business  careers  apprenticeships  interestingness  specialization 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » More Than One Degree
"No one should be allowed to do what they’re diploma (or whatever..) says, especially if they have three of those diplomas — e.g. BS, MS, Ph.D. all in Computer Science or whatever. Should be a law. The other law? Switch what you do every 3-5 years..really. Versatility & variety & polymathic approaches to doing things. Depth through expanse and experience beyond chasing the same stuff for an entire education, or an entire career."
undisciplinarity  polymaths  cv  education  reinvention  learning  tcsnmy  curiosity  variety  versatility  julianbleecker 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Gradually Undisciplined. Stories Not Titles.
"Crossing into a new practice idiom, especially if it offers the chance to feel the process of learning, is a crucial path toward undisciplinarity. The chance to become part of a practice — with all of its history, ideology, languages, norms and values, personalities, conferences — is an invigorating process. Embodying multiple practices simultaneously is the scaffolding of creativity and innovating, in my mind. It is what allows one to think beyond the confines of strict disciplinary approaches to creating new forms of culture — whether objects, ideas or ways of seeing the world." ... "Objects, I have learned, are expressive bits of culture. They make meaning, help us understand and make sense of the world. They are knowledge-making, epistemological functionaries. They frame conversations and are also expressions of possibility and aspiration."
julianbleecker  undisciplinary  undisciplinarity  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  engineering  art  science  design  learning  education  tcsnmy  curiosity  objects  janchipchase  titles  stories  understanding  creativity  technology  culture  transdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  innovation  ideas  identity 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Design Fiction Chronicles: Aram Bartholl’s Vision of Augmented Reality
"Aram’s project, in my mind, playfully pokes at the vision of a near future world of such things augmenting our daily, pedestrian realities. I’m a bit skeptical when it comes to the levels of alteration to quotidian life by glasses that tell you compass bearings or map sites of interest. All that kind of stuff that would turn spatial experiences into some kind of database inquiry seem very much different from what I enjoy about the world when it is mixed with humans — curious interpretations of objects and moments that are not salted with uniform resource locators, pop-ups, soft synthesized voices telling me that I’ve got mail or to turn right at the next intersection. Sometimes, I like getting a bit lost, or learning my way about a new place."
arambartholl  augmentedreality  humor  julianbleecker  ar 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Weather instrument on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
"Weather = Change, which is why LA does not technically have weather most of the time according to Me."
julianbleecker  losangeles  weather 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Dog Eared “Distraction”
"When “DIY” attains to its logical zenith, fake becomes the new real. I actually can’t wait for this to happen. The pinnacle of knowledge circulation in the networked age. How-to, tutorials, maker culture, sharing of knowledge (or maybe just descriptions and step-by-step procedures) all coming together so that people make their own stuff, from new materials that do not have to be tuned for epic scale levels of manufacturing. You need something, make one or two rather than having 100,000 of them made offshore someplace and shipped at great expense and with enormous carbon footprint. Natural experimentation with alternative materials, features, etc."
julianbleecker  brucesterling  future  diy  reputation  making  make  tinkering  materials  experimentation  fabbing  manufacturing  howto  sharing  knowledge  sciencefiction  scifi 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Design Fiction: A Short Essay on Design, Science, Fact and Fiction
"When you trace the knots that link science, fact and fiction you see the fascinating crosstalk between and amongst ideas and their materialization. In the tracing you see the simultaneous knowledge-making activities, speculating and pondering and realizing that things are made only by force of the imagination. In the midst of the tangle, one begins to see that fact and fiction are productively indistinguishable.

Design is about the future in a way similar to science fiction. It probes imaginatively and materializes ideas, the way science fiction materializes ideas, oftentimes through stories. What are the ways that all of these things — these canonical ways of making and remaking and imagining the world — can come together in a productive way, without hiding the details and without worrying about the nonsense of strict disciplinary boundaries?"

[.pdf here: http://drbfw5wfjlxon.cloudfront.net/writing/DesignFiction_WebEdition.pdf ]
julianbleecker  design  futurology  future  science  teaching  retrofuture  research  ubicomp  fiction  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  designfiction  imagination  narrative 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Eric Paulos’ Open Disruption
"There are strong sensibilities towards new practices for new ways of living in here. The deliberate undisciplinary approach of doing unexpected, far-reaching, unknown things outside of the now-bankrupt realm of commodity fetishism and me-too product lines. The time now seems right to do things differently, to bolster the growing force of productive creativity, making the things that are our own, rather than those things that are least-common denominator, designed for everyone else so that all of our sensibilities, expectations and hopes are normalized to the least inspired amongst us. Yes. Maybe we should plant our own gardens, form local energy production collectives and tar-and-feather bank executives. But, then lets also make our own imaginations, materialize the things that we only think about rather than grousing about the crap that the bad-old, decaying manufacturing industries force upon us. Make weird things."
julianbleecker  crisisasopportunity  creativity  imagination  make  diy  tcsnmy  lcproject  undisciplinary  manifestos  ubicomp  practice  living  change  reform  gamechanging  making  doing  2009 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Interactivos - Medialab-Prado
"It should not be a surprise that smart people with the will to create new things are doing so. They may have always been, but the networks allow them to find their fellow explorers, share knowledge, encourage one another, learn the bits they need to know — all in their garage, with a bit of kit found on Ebay, low cost equipment and computers and microcontrollers, etc. This is quite a new thing, and is plainly a weak signal of a shift in who plays what part in the production and circulation of ideas. It’s a new knowledge-culture we’re in."
julianbleecker  knowledge  culture  learning  innovation  education  prototyping  electronics  microcontrollers  arduino  computers  technology  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  curiosity  creativity  autodidacts 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Design Fiction: ETech 2009
"Design is a kind of authoring practice, crafting material visions of different kinds of possible worlds. Design’s various ways of articulating ideas in material to create social objects and experiences can be seen as a kind of practice close to writing fiction. This is a presentation about the relationship between design, science fiction and the material elements that help tell visual stories about the future — mostly props and special effects.

The questions here are this: How does design participate in shaping possible near future worlds? How does the integration of story telling, technology, art and design provide opportunities to re-imagine how the world may be in the future?"
julianbleecker  etech  2009  design  storytelling  socialobjects  imagination  future  visual 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Workshop on Pervasive Advertising
"This stuff kinda bugs me, if you can’t tell. It’s pretty clear that the angle is to create something that has commercial viability, rather than thinking things through for an alternative near future of connecting people, interests, ideas and so forth. On the one hand, it’s exciting and futuristic stuff. On the other hand, it’s not a future that I think has particularly exciting prospects in the category of “habitable”, fun, non-invasive, non-bothersome, non-pop-up-in-your-face futures. And, the advertising thing. I’m serious. If someone can’t paint a picture of a world without advertising..I’m listening. And I got your $100 here."
julianbleecker  future  advertising  planning  ubicomp  connectivity  digitalpollution 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Drift Deck (Analog Edition)
"The Drift Deck (Analog Edition) is an algorithmic puzzle game used to navigate city streets. A deck of cards is used as instructions that guide you as you drift about the city. Each card contains an object or situation, followed by a simple action. For example, a situation might be — you see a fire hydrant, or you come across a pigeon lady. The action is meant to be performed when the object is seen, or when you come across the described situation. For example — take a photograph, or make the next right turn. The cards also contain writerly extras, quotes and inspired words meant to supplement your wandering about the city."
psychogeography  situationist  urbanism  travel  urban  arg  architecture  art  design  dérive  games  gaming  tcsnmy  classideas  julianbleecker  brucesterling  ianbogost  janemcgonigal  dawnlozzi  bencerveny  katiesalen  robbellm  driftdeck  derive 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Design Engaged 2008: inflated deflated futures
"I gave a presentation called “inflated deflated futures” about a phenomenon that fascinates me: failed futures and the underlying causes for mistaken predictions and visions for the future. You can find the slides and notes of my talk in slideshare. Julian addressed similar issues in his Design Fiction presentation. The talk was, sort of, a structured rant against failed futures. I tried to collect some examples of “failed futures” (which correspond to failed products) as well the causes of these issues. What I mean by failure is generally the lack of adoption for a great idea, more or less feasible technically speaking."
nicolasnova  futures  future  futurism  predictions  technology  design  failure  julianbleecker  alvintoffler 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Near Future Laboratory Top 15 Criteria That Define Interactive or New Media Art
"15. It doesn't work ... 11. Your audience "interacts" by clapping/hooting/making bird calls/flapping their arms like a duck or waving their arms wildly while standing in front of a wall onto which is projected squiggly lines 10. Your audience asks amongst themselves, "how does it work?" 9. The exhibition curators insist that you spend hours standing by your own wall text so that you can explain to attendees "how it works""
technology  art  newmedia  newmediaart  julianbleecker  arselectronica  humor  trends  glvo 
september 2008 by robertogreco
robertogreco {tumblr} - Unschooling and Messiness
"Jessica Shepherd reviews the recently published How Children Learn at Home in the Guardian. The review seems to focus more on the unschooling subset of home education and the part that I find most interesting is the comparison to the messiness that often results in creative leaps. It reminds me of a variety of articles that have been emphasizing the importance of random events and cross-pollination or hybridization of traditional fields of study."
unschooling  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  transdisciplinary  postdisciplinary  nassimtaleb  glvo  crosspollination  messiness  davidsmith  julianbleecker  nicolasnova  robertepstein  design  learning  deschooling  education  creativity  comments  lcproject  schools  technology  consilience  creative  children  homeschool  research  books  blackswans  tinkering  serendipity  specialization  academia  grantmccracken  lelaboratoire  ted  poptech  etech  lift  picnic  lacma  art  science  medicine  us  terminology  vocabulary  specialists 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Sketching From Ideas to Material
"You can be the future you want, rather than waiting around for someone else's vision of a closed, stymied future."
make  making  diy  hardware  physical  tangible  julianbleecker  opensource  arduino  microcontrollers  tcsnmy  studioclassroom 
august 2008 by robertogreco
What does design mean to you? - Core77
"Matt Balara interviewed eleven "smart people" at Reboot10 in Copenhagen, Denmark, asking the same question: what does design mean to you?"
design  definitions  julianbleecker  howardrheingold  stoweboyd 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Aspirations
"what matters in the age where, for example, South Korean popular television shows hours of Starcraft competitions, all moderated by a trio doing color, stats and play-by-play? Who are our cultural heros? What are our the aspirations of digital kids as defined by their peers? By their parents?"
julianbleecker  society  expectations  change  aspirations  peers  parenting  success  competition  digitalnatives  children  youth  teens  education  play  games  culture 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » iPhone for Hertzian Space
"curious to see how platforms that are aware of location & support direct participation in creation of “apps”...away from desktop...can create new kinds of mechanisms for maintaining & knitting together networks of social relations & creation of new k
julianbleecker  iphone  applications  maps  mapping  space  architecture  social  locative  location-based  culture  knowledge  networks  networking  socialnetworks  urbanism  hertzianspace  geoweb  urbancomputing  twitter  platial  plazes  dodgeball  csiap  ios 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » How Hard Hardware
"Why is hardware harder and less powerful than writing some software that can be experienced through, for example, a web browser, or an operating system? Or..is it something about the materiality of hardware that changes things into hard problems to solve
julianbleecker  hardware  software  make  diy  prototyping  microcontrollers  arduino 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Disclose or Discover?
"And this is what makes Bartholl’s project so incisive and funny at the same time. How ridiculous to “broadcast” who we are in this fashion? It’s simply not consistent with the people-practices that are the norms in 1st life."
bluetooth  location  mobile  phones  proximity  socialsoftware  privacy  julianbleecker  arambartholl 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Theory, Practice — Art Design — Technology
"Art is a practice that materializes dreams & engages social practice at that level ‚ fears, ambitions, aspirations, represented as “art” of some fashion...Design seems to have a deep comfort & history with talking with & about people & their practi
julianbleecker  design  art  engineering  technology  practice  making 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Nokia Homegrown
"Clarifying & translating business objectives through design...amazing foundation...emphasis on design is quite significant within Nokia...more than styling & appearances...about informing & shaping strategic direction of Nokia."
julianbleecker  design  nokia  remade  homegrown  business  sustainability  organizations  experience  world  communication  society  gamechanging 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Video Game Makers Favor Diversion over Depth
"Artists have a long tradition of pushing the status quo, but not game designers, despite being important culture makers of the 21st century...I'm not sure the game industry wants to see games as an art form. I think they want to see games as a primary fo
games  videogames  julianbleecker  design  art  gamedesign  gaming  entertainment  business 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Putting people first » Videos online of Share Festival 2008 conferences
"All videos of conferences at Bruce Sterling curated Share Festival in Turin, Italy, are now online. Aside from Bruce Sterling, exhilarating discussants were Massimo Banzi, Julian Bleecker, Donald Norman and Marcos Novak, to name just a few."
towatch  video  design  manufacturing  donaldnorman  julianbleecker  brucesterling  technology  art  future  robots  intelligence  neuroscience  fabbing  culture 
april 2008 by robertogreco
A Manifesto for Networked Objects [Julian Bleecker at the Share Festival]
"Now objects are on-line too - blogjects , blogging objects. Once “things” are connected to the Internet, they immediately become part of the relational system, thus improving and boosting the connections in the social network, and they finally define
blogjects  julianbleecker  towatch  video  internet  web 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Where To Next? Design..
"academia...way too conservative...challenges...if it wants to participate in idea/knowlege/insight/culture circulation networks...insularity of publishing practices...shortage of emphasis on critical thinking, analytic writing...[need for] “practice-th
academia  creativity  design  innovation  nokia  julianbleecker  engineering  interdisciplinary  gamechanging  deschooling  janchipchase  mobile  phones  technology  theory  practice 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Counter Intuitive - "What is exploration in an optimized, instrumented world?"
"...we (a bit older people) think of surveillance in one way that digital kids (next “us”) will see as opportunity for new form of living...interested in Personal Positioning System that points out absences in my experiences in world...where I have no
julianbleecker  place  information  surveillance  maps  mapping  memory  lifeasgame  personalpositioningsystem  gps  experience  exploration  generations 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Design As Consumption and Cannibalism
"What we off-handedly refer to as “technology” is always about social institutions & cultural practices & never any less"..."François’ talk=Mobile technology appropriation in a distant mirror: 3 appropriation modes: baroquization, creolization, can
julianbleecker  appropriation  technology  society  social  institutions  culture  practice  françoisbar 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Technologies of Kindness and Cruelty
"made from often complex social-political-ideological-financial assemblages of the human kind...Don’t ever fool yourself into thinking that technology is not synonymous and deeply, inextricably imbricated with the social practice."
technology  society  julianbleecker  art  design  ethics  social  rfid 
march 2008 by robertogreco
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