robertogreco + nicolasnova   41

Speculative Ethnography | Ethnography Matters
"This month’s theme is about the relationships between ethnography and fiction. It is not necessarily something that we explored a lot here at Ethnography Matters, which is why it seemed an interesting topic for this September edition. Another reason to address this now is because of recent experimental ways of “doing ethnography” (e.g. the work by Ellis & Bochner or Denzin), as well as curious interdisciplinary work at the cross-roads of design, science-fiction and ethnography (e.g. design fiction)."

[Includes:
September 2013: Ethnography, Speculative Fiction and Design"
http://ethnographymatters.net/blog/2013/09/17/september-2013-ethnography-speculative-fiction-and-design/
"This month’s theme is about the relationships between ethnography and fiction. It is not necessarily something that we explored a lot here at Ethnography Matters, which is why it seemed an interesting topic for this September edition. Another reason to address this now is because of recent experimental ways of “doing ethnography” (e.g. the work by Ellis & Bochner or Denzin), as well as curious interdisciplinary work at the cross-roads of design, science-fiction and ethnography (e.g. design fiction).

Of course, in Anthropology, the border between ethnography and fiction has always been very thin. Consider how ethnographers have written fictional novels or made speculative films, more or less based on field research. Also think about “docufictions” by Jean Rouch, a blend of documentary and fictional film in the area of visual anthropology. There are lots of reasons for using fictional methods, but there’s a general interest in going beyond scientific format/language by making ethnographic accounts more “engaging, palatable, and effective“."

"What Would Wallace Write? (if he were an ethnographer)"
http://ethnographymatters.net/blog/2013/09/29/what-would-wallace-write-if-he-were-an-ethnographer/

"Ethnography and Speculative Fiction"
http://ethnographymatters.net/blog/2013/09/27/ethnography-and-speculative-fiction/

"Ethnographies from the Future: What can ethnographers learn from science fiction and speculative design?"
http://ethnographymatters.net/blog/2013/09/26/ethnographies-from-the-future-what-can-ethnographers-learn-from-science-fiction-and-speculative-design/

"Towards Fantastic Ethnography and Speculative Design"
http://ethnographymatters.net/blog/2013/09/17/towards-fantastic-ethnography-and-speculative-design/ ]
ethnography  speculativeethnography  2013  annegalloway  lauraforlano  clareanzoleaga  jan-hendrikpassoth  nicholasrowland  nicolasnova  speculativedesign  speculativefiction  fiction  ethnographicfiction  anthropology  visualanthropology  documentary  fantasy  docufictions 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Livraison vingt-quatre : PK, pagers, iPod Touch et feature phones + Lee Scratch Perry
"2. Pagers, iPod Touch et feature phones

Dans son ouvrage "Quoi de neuf ?" publié en 2006, l’historien anglais David Edgerton observait la persistance, la "résistance" ou la ré-introduction de "vieilles techniques". Il citait notamment la résurgence de la télévision par cable dans les années 1980s (après avoir été en vogue dans les années 1950s) ou l’acupuncture (à son paroxysme au XIXème puis de retour depuis trente ans).

Un autre exemple historique marquant dans son livre est celui l'importance du cheval durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale:
"L’armée allemande, si souvent décrite comme reposant sur des formations blindées, eut bien plus de chevaux durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale que n’en eut l’armée britannique durant la Grande Guerre. Le réarmement de l’Allemagne, dans les années 1930, passa par un achat massif de chevaux, au point qu’en 1939 cette armée en possédait 590 000, et en avait 3 millions d’autres en réserve dans l’ensemble du pays. […] Début 1945, la Wehrmacht disposait de 1.2 millions de chevaux ; on estime à 1.5 millions les pertes en chevaux accumulés durant la guerre."

Avec ces exemples, Edgerton nous rend attentif au fait que "le temps technologique ne va pas uniquement vers l’avant"; et qu’il n’y a donc pas un bel ordonnancement chronologique. En adoptant le point de vue des usages des objets techniques, on peut regarder différents “mondes technologiques” et s’apercevoir de la diversité des pratiques. C’est un sujet qui intéresse votre correspondant dans le cadre d’un projet d’enquête sur les téléphones mobiles. En cherchant dans mes notes de terrain je suis tombés sur quelques cas de ce genre (( dans l’app Notes sur mon téléphone, j’ai une Note nommée "Livefieldnotes" dans laquelle je consigne mes observations concernant les usages des téléphones mobiles. C’est écrit à la volée sur le terrain donc avec des fautes d’orthographes et un certain laconisme ))

Voici les notes en questions:
23.08.2015 - train Genève - Lausanne Un homme regarde son pager Motorola, une technologie que je pensais disparue... Mais qui semble encore exister à ce que je lis sur le site de sigmacom.ch et qui sert des "besoins professionnels" avec des èchanges de messages alphanumeriques. Il dit mystérieusement l'utiliser du fait de sa fiabilité : "ça marche partout meme dans les zones a faible reseau de telephone, le fabricant me dit que ca joue a 99% partout dans le pays"

11.08.2015 - Genève, square Chantepoulet Rencontre avec J. un chercheur suisse-allemand, qui sort ses deux telephones (un iPod Touch et un vieux Nokia), il n'a pas de data plan et dit aussi utiliser cette combinaison d’appareils "pour se proteger des distractions". Il me dit utilise le Nokia (un feature phone noir) pour les appels, et le iPod Touch pour l’accès aux apps. Et s’il a besoin d’être connecté au Web mobile pour browser ou certaines apps, il le fait dans les lieux où il y a du Wifi

8.08.2015 - Geneve, marché aux puces Discussion avec un vendeur de telephone mobile genre nokia 3210 d'occasion (30chf), se vend bien, pour les gens qui n'arrivent pas bien a utiliser les smartphone "c trop complique", par exemple me dit le vendeur dans son francais approx: "par exemple une dame qui vient et dit que son fils lui a offert un iphone et elle comprend rien... Elle m'achete ce nokia [3310] et elle sait faire, elle recoit l'appel elle appuie sur le bouton et c bon; donc j'en vends toujours un peu"

Ces exemples, pris parmi d’autres, sont intéressants à plusieurs niveaux. D’abord parce qu’il montre la persistance et la diversité des usages d’objets techniques généralement considérés comme moins à la page (sans jeu de mot aucun sur le premier). Ensuite car ils renvoient à un autre aspect discuté par Edgerton : celle de la prétendue “résistance aux techniques nouvelles”, problèmes parfois abordés par psychologues ou historiens. Or, comme il l’explique, “il est absurde de parler de résistance à la technique ou à l’innovation dans un monde dont les individus ou les sociétés n’acceptent pas nécessairement toute innovation – ou, en fait – tout produit qui leur est proposée. De toute façon, il y a résistance. En adoptant une technique, la société résiste nécessairement à de nombreuses techniques substitutives ‘anciennes’ et ’nouvelles’.” Les pagers très fiables, les features phones en sont de bons exemples. Et l’usage des iPod Touch, à la manière de J., était d’ailleurs précisément proposé dans un article récent de la revue Wired comme l’un des système de communication les plus sécurisé à l'heure actuelle. Même si ces usages ne sont pas majoritaires – tout dépend où ! – ils existent et nous rappellent que différents critères influent sur les choix d'utilisation.

Cette combinaison d'objets techniques est d'ailleurs ce qui pêche souvent dans les vidéos prospectifs des grandes sociétés technologiques. On ne voit que des appareils rutilants, les dernières interfaces, alors que la réalité des pratiques correspond davantage à une grande diversité. C'est certes moins glorieux (un téléphone non-tactile ferait-il tâche à côté d'Hololense ?) mais bien plus plausible. Mon collègue du Near Future Laboratory Nic Foster utilisait dans cet article de Core77 une métaphore géologique pour ce phénomène : celui de l'accrétion qui lui permettait d'en discuter les enjeux deson point de vue de designer:
"In order to communicate our vision, it may be helpful to incorporate the existing designed space in parallel with the new. On a very practical level, we should embrace legacy technologies when conceiving new ones. Ethnographic studies constantly highlight technology accretion: the drawer full of cables, the old interaction behaviors, the dusty hard drives, the mouse mats and inherited hardware. Rather than avoid this complexity, good science fiction embraces accretive spaces, where contemporary design and technology sits side by side with older artifacts. In some cases, this technique can be used to show potential disconnects between the new and established, places where technology sticks out like a sore thumb. This is a useful tool for all designers and using it well can help us depict a more tangible future."

Comme il l'exprime ici, cette prise en compte de la diversité des pratiques peut stimuler la rechercher de voies originales. Dans le cas des mobiles, c'est la raison pour laquelle on voit toujours des produits pertinents basés sur des pagers aujourd'hui (c'est d'ailleurs le cas par exemple avec de la géolocalisation indoor) ou des téléphones servant uniquement à téléphoner... avec des propositions loin d'être inesthétiques, absurdes ou curieuses."
nicolasnova  davidedgerton  technology  time  chronology  nicfoster  designfiction  future  futures  mobilephones  cv  fieldnotes  diversity  tools  mobile  phones  smartphones  complexity  design  novelty  earlyadopters  lateadopters  difference  ipodtouch  innovation 
october 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
Supercargo: an interview with Peter Moosgaard — pasta and vinegar
"Nicolas Nova: Can you tell us more about your supercargo tumblr? What's the logic behind it and how did you become interested in this?

Peter Moosgaard: I think it was about 2005 in south-tirol when i read about cargo cults on a trivial persuit card. i was studying digital arts at that time and got extremely bored with technology. Media arts and digital culture seemed too much about technological progress at that time. everybody was just celebrating technology itself, but technology is never just a cool tool. its pure ideology. the artistic approaches on the other hand were extremely lame. do you know ars electronica festival? it became more and more of a toy expo. i was intrigued by the cargo cults because they celebrated and mocked technology, culture, imperialsim at the same time. i thought, well maybe theres a strategy! when i was crippled by a major depression and panic attacs in 2013 i started the Supercargo Blog. i found myself completely unable to work, but could still surf tumblr, repost stuff etc .. posting became a daily ritual for me and it still is. i just try to put together sets of images with found material, maybe some day i will be able to work again.

NN: There seems to be a growing interest in this kind of projects, this sort of logic. I'm thinking about this Futur Archaïque exhibit in Belgium I mentioned, but also other art/design projects related to it. Why do you feel this is happening now?

PM: I think something like this is in the air, and its getting bigger. why, i dont know .. maybe its an archaic revival in connection with digital media. Terence McKenna described that conclusively decades ago, and i think he is still right. as advanced these technologies are, they set us back into a mystic perception, a general attraction to archaic forms. we just have to adapt to immense data income every day, logic has to be set aside simply to cope with a hypernervous global culture. it all becomes archaic and mythological. it is just a necessary strategy. another more mundane explanation would be, that people are just getting fed up with the slick, sterile utopia apple is trying to sell us.

NN: Do you see this relate to this "post-digital" art scene that we see popping up these days? A need to go beyond the digital?

PM: Yes the postdigital aspect was always very important in my work. i started making postinternet stuff before it even had a name. i tried to see art and technology from the viewpoint of the simple consumer. basically because i myself had no skills at all, no programming skills, no crafting skills etc .. and i find everybody can relate to that everything else is not subversive/emancipatory in my eyes. in my view we´re more and more trying to work like machines, like computers. but how would a simple human do that, not trying to imitate a machine? the postdigital has many forms, and with "supercargo" i took my simplistic position. use only poor materials, embrace capitalist mythology, make a second hand utopia. its a free party from now on!

NN: Lots of these projects are fascinating because they interrogate us about the nature/culture debate. From your perspective, as an astute observer of such projects, what do they tell us about our relationship to technology?

PM: Culture, art and technology are basically utopia factories. you can relate and research (maybe subvert) that in form of simple products. messianic devices, artwork masterpieces, they are part of a larger system. they all have their histories, rules, all these invisible forces manifest in products. the way i see it, we are living in a time governed by cybernetics alone. it was allways in the interest of cybernetics to describe organisms and technology alike. to make a supersystem for processes be it biological or cultural. that is frightening in the end. anyway, maybe through cybernetic thinking we can realise that technology isn't artificial at all. we are just a material processing species, like bees producing honeycombs. i find it interesting to look at the material world again, as we are absorbed in informational worlds. Mcluhan said that every new medium absorbs the old media as its content, therefore making it visible AGAIN. Look at todays TV Shows, they became an artform after the internet absorbed TV. Now the World itelf is upon total simulation. The physical world is becoming visible for the first time i think, and material world will be a cult- a fetish.

NN: It's interesting to see Cargo Cults as the new sort of belief, beyond the Western/non-Western distinction, a sort of general perspective on things with a strange relationship to consumerism and material culture, what's your take on this?

PM: As written in the Supercargo Manifesto: Surprisingly the local performers of the Cargo Cults succeeded: By remaking western technology with bamboo, they attracted actual planes full of tourists and anthropologists. People got interested in the exotic parades using western imagery. The John Frum Movement (“John from Merica”) suddenly had an audience, soon bringing actual stuff (cargo) to the island. The cargo shaman once said: You build your plane too and wait in faith. the waiting is the hardest part. According to some shamans the planes awaited will also bring weapons to throw off colonialist oppressors. The cargo cults are strange mockups of imperialism, at the same time keeping old traditions. But is the cult for real or just performance? It does not matter, no difference, it is about the act. The Tale of the Cargo ringing true on so many levels. The cult of the cargo is our world exactly: We perform meaningless routines we call work,in hope for future cargo. With a technology that could navigate us to the moon, we write LMAO. The western world itself is a giant cult of imitating things that somehow work: dressing in suits, using buzzword-vocabulary, mimicking old forms of art. who knows why.. The longing for godlike goodies on the horizon, the usage of things we don´t understand: a big parable of desire. The waiting, the waiting is the hardest part!"
petermoosgaard  nicolasnova  cargocult  performance  2015  consumerism  materialism  cybernetics  culture  art  technology  marshallmcluhan  television  digital  physical  anthropology  imperialism  mediaarts  digitalculture  post-digital  supercargo 
february 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
Failed States: A Tactical Design Workshop | superflux
"In early May, Jon and I were invited by the HEAD MEDIA DESIGN faculty in Geneva to lead a week long design futurescaping workshop for the first-year students on their postgraduate Media Design programme. Having not previously encountered speculative design, futurescaping, or design fiction, we were tasked with finding a way to drag this bundle of themes and techniques into the participants’ familiar everyday lives. We could easily have spent a week exploring different processes and methods, but, instead, we chose to develop a challenging context-specific brief, through which the HEAD students could start to grapple with some of the questions we ourselves have been exploring through our lab and studio activities.

Drawing on our recent work, talks, and ongoing personal encounters with immigration and the contemporary nation-state, we were drawn to a central theme of political complexity – challenging students to probe notions of borders, territories, and the fragile, increasingly precarious relationship between people and their governments. Developing the brief in collaboration with Justin Pickard, our spooky, mostly virtual studio associate, we wanted to leave workshop participants fully primed and poised, ready to develop their own original work on these and similar issues."



"We kicked off the workshop with a presentation expanding on the initial brief, describing how the workshop would use the notion of ‘failed states’ to ‘explore how political visions of the future fail to account for the complexity of the world, and in doing so, struggle to consider unforeseen events and uncertainty.’ We showed real-world examples of the ways in which unanticipated events – the collapse of the USSR, the Great Depression, etc. – have triggered paradigm shifts in national and international politics, the consequences of which we continue to experience in our everyday lives today, in 2014.

With this as background and context, we confronted the workshop participants with a future Switzerland of the mid-2020s; a small, federal state in a world where an increasingly powerful Chinese state holds controlling shares in a number of critical Swiss infrastructure projects, a network of surveillance UAVs have been deployed to monitor and pre-empt civil unrest, widespread food shortages have been met by the nationalisation of many Swiss food companies, and the persistent overuse of antibiotics has led the world into an era in which even minor infections can prove terminal.

Sharing our timeline of events from 2013-2025 based on current trends and weak signals, we tasked participants with digesting the interplay of a range of future developments, considering their implications for the everyday experience of future Swiss citizens and inhabitants, and designing a response to the challenges and consequences of this future world. We asked them to engage, critique and infiltrate the dominant political and economic order through a proposed service, product, experience, movement, campaign, or anything else that felt appropriate.

After the initial splash presentation, participants ran through a series of discussions and initial brainstorms, touching on the recent immigration referendum, the incipient anxieties of French students, and the visual language of Swiss political propaganda. The students were asked to consider the elements of this future world that resonated with their own passions and personal politics; what their own lives – and those of their friends and family – might look like in this proximate future; and alternative roles for their own design practice in an unexpected or divergent environment. Over the first few days, participants made extensive use of mapping and fiction and they sought to orient themselves in relation to a series of much larger, interlocking social and technical systems.

After a round of early brainstorms we suggested the students write short stories, that situate them or their loved ones, within this world. This became a great mechanism to create deeper connections with the things that they otherwise did not consider.



Participants’ work explored the various ways in which they might be able to either infiltrate the system, or design for it from within it. As workshop convenors, we found it emotionally and personally challenging to see how far they were willing to push themselves beyond their comfort zones, in order to explore new thematic and design territories.



The set of final presentations was inspiring and rewarding, and the students who took the opportunity to engage with this complex and chaotic bundle of issues did remarkably well in such a short period of time. "We learnt how to ask questions" was possibly one of the best feedback we could have asked for. Many thanks to Daniel Schiboz, Nicolas Nova and Marion Schmidt for the hospitality, we hope to be back at HEAD soon. "
superflux  anabjain  failedstates  speculativefiction  speculativedesign  designfiction  speculativecriticaldesign  criticaldesign  justinpickard  immigration  migration  future  government  switzerland  design  complexity  uncertainty  prediction  2014  surveillance  networks  danielschiboz  nicolasnova  marionschmidt 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Design fiction: a bibliography — pasta and vinegar
"Some resources about design fiction I'm use to share with students. Note that the term itself is polysemic and covers different perceptions about its meaning."
designfiction  speculativefiction  2014  booklists  bibligraphies  nicolasnova 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » The update problem with “smart artifacts”
[new link: http://www.nicolasnova.net/pasta-and-vinegar/2014/01/11/the-update-problem-with-smart-artifacts ]

Ars Technica [http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/01/smart-tvs-smart-fridges-smart-washing-machines-disaster-waiting-to-happen/ ] has a good piece about the problems that one may encounter with smart devices. The list they make is strikingly interesting IMO:
“the “Internet of things” stands a really good chance of turning into the “Internet of unmaintained, insecure, and dangerously hackable things.”

These devices will inevitably be abandoned by their manufacturers, and the result will be lots of “smart” functionality—fridges that know what we buy and when, TVs that know what shows we watch—all connected to the Internet 24/7, all completely insecure.

[...]

Flaws and insecurities will be uncovered, and the software components of these smart devices will need to be updated to address those problems. They’ll need these updates for the lifetime of the device, too. [...] In addition to security, there’s also a question of utility. Netflix and Hulu may be hot today, but that may not be the case in five years’ time. New services will arrive; old ones will die out. Even if the service lineup remains the same, its underlying technology is unlikely to be static.“

This necessity to have “updates” is problematic given the tendency tech companies have to badly handle them:
“That costs money, it requires a commitment to providing support, and it does little or nothing to promote sales of the latest and greatest devices. In the software world, there are companies that provide this level of support—the Microsofts and IBMs of the world—but it tends to be restricted to companies that have at least one eye on the enterprise market. In the consumer space, you’re doing well if you’re getting updates and support five years down the line.“
smartdevices  internetofthings  maintenance  nicolasnova  2014  updates  insecurity  security  technology  iot 
january 2014 by robertogreco
beta knowledge
"Scientific theory and empirical testing are useful for guiding interaction design, but they are neither necessary nor sufficient.

Determining what is worth doing with digital technologies involves human motivations and morals difficult to approach from a scientific standpoint. Empathy becomes a way of sensitising oneself to these issues through resonance between ones own motivations and ethics and those of others.

In addition, it is the creative leap of invention that actually produces new designs. Scientific theory and data can help guide technological development, but they are only two of a number of possible conceptual influences on inspiration; what is important is to create the setting in which inspiration might occur."

— Gaver, Boucher, Pennington & Walker - Subjective Design for Everyday Life - CHI 2003 CHI2003
empiricism  design  whatmatters  ethics  motivation  empathy  scientifictheory  data  subjectivity  subjective  subjectivedesign  nicolasnova  2003  2012  interactiondesign 
october 2012 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
Pasta&Vinegar; » Blog Archive » Creolization
"The terms ‘Creole’ and ‘creolization’ are used in many different contexts and generally in an inconsistent way. It is instructive to start with the origins of the root word. It was probably derived from the Latin creara (‘created originally’)… The French transformed the word to ‘créole’… ‘Creole’ referred to something or someone that had foreign (normally metropolitan) origins and that had now become somewhat localised… To be a Creole is no longer a mimetic, derivative stance. Rather it describes a position interposed between two or more cultures, selectively appropriating some elements, rejecting others, and creating new possibilities that transgress and supersede parent cultures, which themselves are increasingly recognised as fluid."

— Robin Cohen, Creolization and Cultural Globalization: The Soft Sounds of Fugitive Power, Globalizations Vol. 4 (2) 2007
parentcultures  culture  fluidity  combinatorialcreativity  combinations  interposition  derivation  creolization  creole  nicolasnova  2007  robincohen  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
Pasta&Vinegar; » Video games with less video
"Discussion with colleagues here at the design school about “screenless interaction design” led me to present some projects that I find interesting in the field. It seems that there’s starting to be a cluster of projects that aim at creating playful and digital interactions with less emphasis on the visual senses. Some examples I find interesting:

[1] SAP (for Situated Audio Platform) a “Barely Game prototype” by Russell Davies…

[2] Oterp by Antonin Fourneau (development by Kevin Lesur)…

[3] Papa Sangre…

It seems that there’s a continuum based on the degree to which the user need to look at his or her own device: from no need to do this to a quick glance once in a while. Interestingly, this connects to another interest of mine: asynchronous interactions between the user and digital realms… which led me to this kind of design space (teku teku angel is a Nintendo DS game in which you have to walk with a pedometer to raise so tamagotchi-like creature)…"
pedometer  tamagotchi  barelygames  kevinlesur  antoninfourneau  mobile  digitalinteractions  audio  senses  videogames  ds  nintendods  tekutekuangel  gaming  games  asynchronousinteractions  asynchronous  papasangre  oterp  nicolasnova  situatedaudioplatform  blind 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar; » Blog Archive » “degamification” as a design tactic
"The idea of “degamification” as a design tactic is interesting and the author presents it in a compelling way. What I find important here is that the removal of certain external rewards can be relevant for participants over time, “handing over more responsibility and autonomy” as said in this blogpost."
gamification  degamification  rules  freeform  gaming  play  storytelling  creativity  2011  nicolasnova  motivation  intrinsicmotivation  extrinsicmotivation  autonomy  freedom  responsibility  design  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » The graphing calculator plateau
"This piece in The Atlantic by Alexis Madrigal deals with an interesting case in technological evolution: the stabilization of a technical objects, which in this case in the so-called graphing calculator."
technology  calculators  math  education  science  nicolasnova  tools  plateaus  2011  alexismadrigal  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » “Animal-Computer: a manifesto”
"The article is about sophisticated computerized environments affording complex interactivity to pets and animals. Agricultural engineering, primate cognition studies, pet-tracking systems and telemetric sensor devices worn by leopards, birds or elephants are standard examples of such animal-computer interactions. The author highlight that although these examples are fairly common, this line of research has never really entered mainstream HCI/Computer science, leaving the “animal perspective” left aside in such body of work: “For some reason, animal-computer interaction (ACI) is, quite literally, the elephant in the room of user- computer interaction research“."

[See also: http://www.designculturelab.org/2011/07/28/a-new-era-of-animal-centred-computer-interaction-research-and-design/ ]
animals  computing  animal-computer  nicolasnova  annegalloway  ubicomp  interaction  2011  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » An interview with Saskia Sassen about "Smart cities"
"Urbanity is a mutant. And this means it is made and remade along many different concepts/ideas/imaginations across the world. It can happen in sites where we, we of our westernized culture, might not see it… urbanity is made; it is not only beautifully designed urban settings.

In sharp contrast, I think that the model of “intelligent cities” as propounded by technologists, with the telepresence efforts of Cisco Systems a key ingredient, misses this opportunity to urbanize the technologies they mobilize. Secondly, the intelligent city concept if too rigid, becomes a futile effort to eliminate the incompleteness of the city, to get full closure/control. This is a recipe for built-in obsoleteness. Imagine if Rome could not have mutated across the millennia: it would be a dead city now. Third, the planners of intelligent cities, notably Songdo in South Korea actually make these technologies invisible, and hence put them in command rather than in dialogue with users."
nicolasnova  saskiasassen  cities  networkedurbanism  urbancomputing  opensource  unfinished  evolution  rome  songdocity  cisco  china  control  flexibility  design  urbanism  urban  2011  telepresence  organic  urbanity  responsive  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » About The City and the City by China Miéville
"What struck me…was the role played by the cityscape in the whole narrative. The action takes place in the distinct cities of Besźel & Ul Qoma. However, both of them actually occupy the same physical space.…Because the citizens chose this separation, B & UQ are perceived by people as 2 different cities…inhabitants are taught to “unsee” or “unhear” the persons from the other city:

“They knew I was in Ul Quoma: I could find them & could walk alongside them in the street & we would be inches apart but unable to acknowledge each other. Like the old story. Not that I would ever do such a thing. Having to unsee acquaintances or friends is a rare & notoriously uncomfortable circumstance.“

Unseeing, as described above, is supposed to be unconscious. This ability is important because it doesn’t mean that people would’nt notice anything…This of course means that this ability is taught very early to children & that each cities has its own peculiar design/color/shape/architecture…"
books  toread  scifi  sciencefiction  noticing  seeing  unseeing  unhearing  chinamieville  novels  fiction  cities  perception  urban  urbanism  borders  2009  nicolasnova  division  cityscapes  place  from delicious
june 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
Pasta&Vinegar » Tom Sachs' DIY Lunar Module
Quote from Buzz Aldrin: “Our space program is expensive, slow, and crappy… but that’s why it’s magic. In my studio, by building functional elements, by making systems really work, we create new problems that require even more work to solve. This compounded work process, with things built according to our strict code of love and haste, defines the look of what we do. So for us, going to the Moon is a physical armature for continuing to practice what we do.

I could argue that our is just as real, although it’s maybe more theatrical and more representational (…) my sculptures are not just studies of “real things”; they are real things. Building a spaceship out of plywood creates some special problems that force unique solutions. It’s in those solutions that the work has value to me.“
art  design  history  technology  space  slow  buzzaldrin  nicolasnova  problemsolving  howwework  process  learning  spaceexploration  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » My (quick) notes from Playful10, London
"what's wrong w/ gameification: 1: games are not fun because they are games, they are fun because they are well designed! Sturgeon’s Law “90% of everything is crap” 2: rewards are not achievements, this is just bad psychology. Vendors who sell this have a Pavlovian model in mind. “it’s so 1940″ as Deterding said…exemplified by showing game on which there’s big button called “earn 1,000,000,000,000 $” you can click & win. Based on the reward model, this would be the best game. As described by Raph Koster, “fun in games arises from mastery”. 3: competition is not for everyone!

…problem is also that gameification has side-effects: creates unintended behavior, people game the system & it messes w/ implicit social norms.

When people take gameification too directly, they generally miss that games are about: fictions, make believe, talk, & freedom to play (”whoever plays plays freely, whoever must play cannot play!“). Playing = “as if” & playing is fun because of the autonomy."
games  gaming  motivation  sebastiandeterding  tommuller  paulbennun  naomialderman  tobybarnes  nicolasnova  hgwells  raphkoster  playful10  pavlov  bertrandduplat  competition  badges  psychology  autonomy  play  mastery  social  gamedesign  experience  gamification  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Matt Jones on mujicomp and mujicompfrastructures at Technoark
"Matt Jones gave a talk called “people are walking architecture“...he introduced the notion of “Mujicomp”, a portmanteau word made of “Muji” (the japanese retail company which sells a wide variety of household and consumer goods) and “Computing”. What does it mean?

According to Jones, the idea of “mujicomp” revolved around the notion that ubiquitous computing needs to “become sexy and desirable… able to be appreciated as cultural design objects rather than technology… they should be tasteful, simple, clear, clean, contemporary, affordable in order to be invited into the home“. If designers and engineers want to “make smart cities bottom up with products and not academic ubiquitous computing which are always postponed“, he argued that ubicomp will need some “muji”. And of course, as shown by Jone’s use of the quote from Eliel Saarinen, “always design a thing by considering it in its larger context… a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment“."

[See also: http://berglondon.com/blog/2010/05/18/people-are-walking-architecture-or-making-nearlynets-with-mujicomp/ ]
mattjones  nicolasnova  mujicomp  cities  architecture  ubicomp  design  muji  janejacobs  infrastructure  clayshirky  data  accessibility  approachability  culture  objects  simplicity  elielsaarinen  urban  urbanism  perma-net  nearly-net  systems 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Those Magnificent Men in Their Failing Machines
“It made me think about the beginning of that wonderful film, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, in which you see a litany of failed aircraft. You laugh, but you also see how seriously involved everybody was in trying to fly. All the failure, all the things that didn’t work, make you realize that the Wright brothers were really something. All the paths taken, all the good intentions, the logistics, the absurdities, all the hopes of people trying to fly testifying to the power we have when we refuse to quit.

There should be a museum dedicated to human invention failure. The only problem it would face would be its overnight success. In almost any scientific field, it would add enormously to the understanding of what does work by showing what doesn’t work. In developing the polio vaccine, Jonas Salk spent 98 percent of his time documenting the things that didn’t work until he found the thing that did.“

[Related: http://liftlab.com/think/nova/2010/02/06/slides-from-interaction2010-talk/]
failure  nicolasnova  flight  jonassalk  iteration  tinkering  museums  success  persistence  tcsnmy 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » When your walkman asks you to do something...
"What I find important here is that the system explicitly asks you - the user - to go to a certain place to create a certain experience. And it’s not just a place, it’s a context that you’re required to find....The “find some place” recommendation here is highly interesting. It extends the range of verbs proposed in specific applications (a music player generally only ask you to play/rewind/pause/fast forward or change tune/shuffle). In this case, there is a new possibility that reminds us of Chris Crawford’s approach to interaction design: “Interactivity requires verb thinking” proposed in his book entitled “The Art of Interactive Design“. “Finding a place” is, above all, a new verb choice for music play."
nicolasnova  rjdj  interface  experience  verbs  language  play  interaction  interactive  iphone  applications  place  user  ios 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Playful09 write-up
"Russell Davies was perhaps the highlight of the day as his talk revolved around the contrast between “world-building” versus “bubble-building”. Based on the model railways metaphor, he described these two approaches: “world-building” corresponds to mimicking reality while “bubble-building” consists in putting the railway in your garden where you cannot try to replicate anything (it allows building a “bubble of suspense”). To him, world building is more difficult and he is more interested in “barely games”: collecting, negotiating, pretending and inattention."
playful09  nicolasnova  russelldavies  collections  collecting  play  noticing  tcsnmy  negotiating  negotiation  pretending  inattention  iphone  gaming  games  gamechanging  glvo  barelygames  attention 
november 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
Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » 6th Design Bienniale in Saint Etienne
"Another general impression was also bound to the french system of museums and exhibits: I went there on a week day and it was crowded… with kids. It’s indeed very common in France for schools to organize visit for their pupils and most of the museums rely on this audience. Of course kids are so-so with long exhibit but I found interesting that they can approach the field like this, with teachers and design students giving them some information about the context and what the artefacts mean. Don’t know whether it may shape their design culture but still."
children  design  museums  nicolasnova  ubicomp  exhibitions  ubiquitous 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Digital Currency and more
"We are envisioning a new world where today’s aging, less useful and even dangerous financial systems are replaced by disruptive innovations with new user experiences. Imagine yourself deprived of all of today’s financial resources. Maybe you’re a refugee or stateless. Yet you still have your handset and laptop and Internet and a broadband cellphone connection…."
nicolasnova  brucesterling  joshuaklein  money  digital  future  nearfuture  innovation  nomads  neo-nomads  réginedebatty 
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
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
Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » Taleb's "fooled by randomness"
Nassim Taleb: "I prefer to read poetry. If an event is important enough, it will find its way to my ear...explains why it is better to read the New yorker on Mondays than the Wall Street Journal every morning..." + Nicolas Nova: "reason why I walk around in cities or take so much trains: to have time to ruminate from different “information-filled” places: the internet, my apartment and newsstands+book-shops."
nassimtaleb  randomness  flow  information  predictions  news  attention  trading  bias  patterns  analysis  nicolasnova  blackswans 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » Orange "identity studio"
"The sort of place where you can get a picture of you and translate it into a digital identity with the consentment of the french government (as attested by the little sticker on the upper left-hand corner)."
nicolasnova  identity  retail  images  photography  mobile  phones  branding  selfbranding 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Frontiers of Interaction IV [videos here: http://frontiers.dolmedia.tv/]
"la mobilità, l’internet delle cose, gli spime ne rappresentano una esplosiva evoluzione capace di influenzare radicalmente i nostri comportamenti sociali e la conoscenza che abbiamo del mondo che ci circonda."
interaction  design  italy  events  torino  brucesterling  nicolasnova  howardrheingold  adamgreenfield 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » Bystander in ubiquitous computing
"presence of bystanders in some pervasive games or ARG...shows how notion of “user” in ubicomp is flawed. Unlike face-to-face interactions with desktop computer...can lead to non-intentional [or wanted] participation in services/events"
pervasive  arg  games  gaming  ubicomp  nicolasnova  presence  overlap 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » long+slow+blurry innovation
I like how Jan Chipchase frames the results form his work: not facts but “informed opinions”...knowledge construction about the evolution of technology is rarely absolute. There are contingencies and idiosyncrasies that plays an important role."
technology  knowledge  research  facts  learning  design  janchipchase  nicolasnova  mobile  phones  innovation  books  nokia  flexibility  fuzziness  future  teaching 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » Micro-mobility devices to handle "micro-distance"
"seems to be a bit dismissed in the discourse about future of mobility in urban environment, although scooters, lifts, elevators, electric sidewalks, etc are prominent in our everyday life. And high-rise architects surely have to deal with that"
scooters  transportation  bikes  mobility  urban  urbanism  nicolasnova 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » Towards the next step
"What I am interested in, oftentimes, it the cross-pollination between different worlds, making analogies between different domains and drawing issues/solutions/problems/insights form them to enrich the problem at stake."
nicolasnova  interdisciplinary  research  academia  thinktanks  crosspollination  generalists  psychology  ubicomp 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Sliding Friction: The Harmonious Jungle of Contemporary Cities
"Through 15 topics & 4 themes...focus lenses on sparkles generated by many frictions between ideas, practices & infrastructures that populate cities...hope to provide raw food for thoughts to consider city of future. Do we want to mitigate, or eliminate t
cities  future  julianbleecker  nicolasnova  brucesterling  space  insfrastructure  gamechanging  urban  urbanism  photography  semiotics  interface  interaction  fabiengirardin  pareidolia  signs  street  devices  computing  cloud  technology 
february 2008 by robertogreco

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