Near Future Design: the perception of a “new possible” and a new role for Design

What is the future?

The future does not exist. It is a performance to which we all take part in, establishing a global conversation, making decisions and embracing directions. Each time we do this, we push our perception of “what is possible” a little further beyond.

At ISIA Design Florence we have made a huge experiment in Near Future Design, and we presented it at Frontiers of Interactions 2013. Here’s what we did and how it went.

In this fairly long article we will introduce our own definition of Near Future Design, the process and methodology which we use, and the first results of this experience, showing the case studies produced by our students at ISIA Design in Florence.

Note: We’re setting up a publication that will be available if you want to know more about the project and about our idea of what is (and can be) Near Future Design. Please check back for updates if you want to know more.

Incipit

The Future does not exist.

Future is a performance that sees us all engaged through the dimensions of desire and of the imaginary.

In the interconnected contemporary era innovation is established through dialogues and conversations, observing their tensions and orientations, and by using the results of these observations to project (to design) a vision of the possible future, and to implement it.

In this scenario, the vision on the future – together with all its ethical, environmental, social, political and ecosystemic implications – is possibly the most precious product that can be offered by any organisation.

This requires a new solicitation for Design, which becomes the activator of the imaginable. And, thus, of the designable, intended as the act of “conceiving that which is still not there”.

This process includes all of society and all of its communities, which become able to establish active and shared dialogues for the creation of their own futures: they become desiring performers of their own futures.

+MIND, a nanotech pill

+MIND, a nanotech pill

Near Future Design

Future is an undefined lapse of time, after the present.

Future does not exist, some might say, except as a possibilistic projection of the tension of the present. Infinite futures exist, and we actuate them according to the decisions we make and the directions we embrace.

Futurology, the study of the future, is a science, art and practice which postulates possible futures. It highlights, in the process, the importance of their characterisation as multiples and plural: many possible and alternative futures, not a single, monolithic one. Thus exposing the limits of clairvoyance, of prediction and of combinatorial, probabilistic and statistical calculus, in respect of the possibility to conceive (and actuate) possible and preferable futures.

One of the main assumptions of future studies is that the future is plural, not singular. It consists of alternative futures with varying likelihood. The primary objective of future studies is to identify, map and describe alternative futures, by gathering quantitative and qualitative data and information dealing with the possibility, probability and desirability of change, according to a holistic perspective. Here, the cultural analysis of what are the “preferred” futures among the different possible ones is a fundamental part of the process.

The future of Health?

The future of Health?

Future is the result of a conversation.

In the era of information, of digital networks, of hyper connection and of knowledge, the comprehension of the future changes direction.

It is the era of continuous disruption, in which a constant state of radical innovation bears impacts of incredible energy on all our societies. In which game-changers across business, city governance, energy and politics, are the main actors and beneficiaries of innovation processes.

It is here, in this transitory and nomadic space of change and mutation, that we can imagine to start our conversations about the ways in which to co-create our future, in performative ways.

To do that, we must start from a level comprehension which goes well beyond the understanding of the state of the arts and technologies. We must start from the understanding of the imaginaries, of the rituals and tensions of the contemporary era, including the conflicts and the things which provoke wonder and sense of surreality.

We must understand the “sense of the possible” just as much as the “sense of the desirable”.

unboxing NatNet, a nanotech 3D printer

unboxing NatNet, a nanotech 3D printer

We can merge the comprehension of that which we can imagine as being implemented to the comprehension of that which we desire to be implemented: beyond utopia, past the dualistic dimension of true/false, in the state of floating suspension of the performance through which we will push a bit further both sensibilities (to technology and desire), to enact our own Future.

In this sense (conversational, communicational, polyphonic, emergent, co-authorial) the definition of the Future changes: it becomes design, projection, performance. A performance of knowledge, of ethical and civic auto-determination, actuated through auto-observation and auto-representation, in a whole that is ecosystemic and liquid, and in which dissonance and noise become forms of life, essences through which it is possible to learn thanks to the simultaneous presence of the multiple points of view which are expressed. Here, in this space whose boundaries are fractal and oscillatory, difference rises to become a value of primary importance: it is the source of life itself. (Bio)diversity as a space for opportunity and possibility.

In the creation of this space for possibility, the role of the “impossible” is obviously redefined, and becomes a tool for the polyphonic conversation just as the “possible”, with the same dignity.

Both become tools to push a bit further our perception of the “possible”along axes which are cartesian, diagonal, non-euclidean, chaotic and indeterministic at the same time – to trigger the performance of the Future.

Efesto, the near future of pleasure

Efesto, the near future of pleasure

This is what we have defined as Near Future Design.

A performative dimension in which the observation of the state of the arts and technologies meets anthropological and ethnographical observation.

In which the diasporic and ubiquitous dimensions of our hyper connected reality transform into exceptional instruments for the comprehension of the multiple points of view which are present in the human ecosystem of relations and interactions (and, thus, of communication).

In which multiple sources of knowledge combine traversing disciplines and modalities, disseminated across cities and the spaces of communication and information.

In which we can observe the perception of the “possible” and of the “desirable” to understand: tensions, conflicts, harmonies, dissonances; rituals as they form; tendencies when they are only suggestions; identities when they are only atoms in search of their chemical bond; dis-identities, before they come apart, to then reassemble multiple times into Otherness.

In this scenario, design plays a fundamental role. One of which organisations across business, industry, politics and society are rapidly learning to understand the value.

It is a transformed design, and a design of transformation. In-between product design, communication design, strategic design and design anthropology. Interweaved with Ethnography and Human Geography.

It is Near Future Design, and it is enacted through the practices of Design Fiction.

ATUM is coming: the near future of wearable emotions

ATUM is coming: the near future of wearable emotions

Process

We have formalised a process to perform Near Future Design.

Here are its steps:

  • Define topic areas of interest
    • during each cycle/project we define the topics of areas of interest which form our research domain;
    • these can be contiguous, complementary or contextual, providing continuity, but also the possibility to expand the observation to the indirect aspects of transformation to human societies brought on by our object of research;
    • the output of this stage is a visual representation of the research domain, along with its extended documentation;
  • The Future World Map
    • the map aims to collect information about what is perceived as “possible”, “impossible”, “desired”, “feasible”, “preferred” and “envisioned”;
    • it has two main areas, regarding the state of the arts and technologies, and the anthropological, ethnographic, psychological and emotional analysis of relevant cultures, communities, groups, organisations and individuals;
    • the part of the map that takes into account the state of the arts and technologies mainly deals with technical issues concerning the advancement of technologies, the data and information about the relevant contexts, the description of trends and tendencies;
    • the part of the map that takes into account the anthropological, ethnographic, psychological and emotional analysis deals with the collection of evidence about the ways that human societies shape themselves in the referenced contexts, describing approaches, strategies, tactics, rituals, relationships, networks, emotional expressions, gestures, economies, dynamics, ecosystems and their balances, both in their current state and in their transformation;
    • in all sections, information is provided for the background information, the socio-technical settings, the possible actors and stakeholders, and providing an expanded context for the stories that are about to be told;
    • the output of this stage is a visual map, a report and an extensive knowledge base, which can assume different forms, depending on the context and circumstances;
  • The Story Setup
    • it is the incipit of the story;
    • it describes in general terms the future scenarios which we aim to describe, at the same time limiting the scope to explicitly exclude certain areas which will not be examined, and opening up to the domains which will be part of the research;
    • its output is under the form of a narrative, expressed in visual and textual terms;
  • The Concept(s)
    • each possible future examined is described with conceptual (often abstract or diagrammatic sketches) as well as with a draft narrative which highlights its main modalities and which sets up the development of the actual storytelling;
  • The Story Functions
    • each story is designed according to a formalised schema (usually the three-acts of Setup, Conflict and Resolution), to provide consistent, solid narratives;
    • for each story, the basic story functions are created, highlighting the kernel of each narrative, which describe in growing detail the “stories of the chosen future”;
    • multiple stories can be created for each concept, even following different paths among the identified possibilities;
    • the output of this stage consists of the list of kernel events for each story, as well as a diagrammatic representation of their relations and of the relations running among the different (and alternative) storylines that are being developed;
  • The Event Maps
    • each story is expanded into an Event Map;
    • each Event Map is a diagram in which the main parts of the stories are grouped into circles, starting from the kernel functions (the main phases of each story) as well as some additional events which might be added to balance the story logic;
    • satellite events, alternative paths and time-based items are added to the Map to create context, and to enhance the world-building characteristics of this stage;
    • each story described in this way constitutes a world, giving a full sense of context and of credibility;
    • the output of this stage is constituted by the Event Maps diagrams and by their documentation sets;
  • The Story Maps
    • the Event Maps are transformed into sketches;
    • the representation in sketch form increases granularity and makes them more concrete;
    • this phase allows for some iteration with the previous ones, as its concreteness gives immediate evidence about the balance of the stories and about the necessity to re-factor them at one of the previous stages;
    • the output of this stage is constituted by the sketches and by their documentation;
  • The Design Fictions
    • Simulacra
      • the objective of this phase is to create a simulacrum, a credible, possibly functional, “prototype from the near future” (a pre-totype), through product design and communication design, working across different media;
      • the objective is “world building”, creating not only “the object” (or service, or idea, or …) but also to create the world around it, for its credibility;
      • we answer the questions “What would be the world like, if there was object X? What would be in it? How would people behave?”, and we try to implement as much as we can about the answer using different media;
      • the final result should create a state of “suspended (dis)belief” in which it is impossible (or at least somewhat difficult) to decide if the “object” is real or fake, as there are multiple clues and evidences that point to its existence;
      • the simulacrum (and its state of suspended dis-belief) is the tool which we use to “shift the perception of the possible”, and to start the global dialogue around the possibility of the transformation of human societies, thus triggering the performative dimension of Near Future Design;
    • Transmedia Narratives
      • the output of the Design Fiction phase, thus, is constituted by a set of Transmedia Narratives implementing the simulacrum for the story;
      • the Transmedia Narrative is a multi-modal storytelling technique which is able to move and combine the effects of multiple media, from physical objects, to websites, urban interventions and more.

Note: the process is derived from the work of Storienteering, from which we have captured and modified the approach to story building, and onto which we have integrated our own version of Design Fictions, Transmedia Narratives, the idea and important role of the Simulacra, and, in the setup phases, the anthropological/ethnographical approach in the definition of the Future World Map, which becomes a Near Future World Map.

+MIND at Frontiers of Interacion

+MIND at Frontiers of Interacion

The Near Future Design concepts produced at ISIA Florence, and presented at Frontiers of Interactions 2013

HERE IS THE PRESS RELEASE (ITALIAN)

Flickr of the Near Future Lab at ISIA Design Florence

 

+Mind

by Francesca Cangioli, Tommaso Cappelletti, Clohé Chat

What happens when you can take a pill that transforms you and your body into the next-generation smartphone?

http://www.insidethexperience.net
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRY2C_8pqoJuWTOD5yWOgGQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNdSYd3o4n4
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Plus-Mind/300274656781280?ref=hl
https://www.twitter.com/mindexperience

 

Hippokrates

by Francesca D’Angelo, Elisa Ledda, Veronica Mencacci, Elena Rota

What happens when Finland’s government introduces a nanotech device which you use to monitor your health and a nano-printer which you can use to print out the molecules of your medicines, thus lowering national health’s expenditures by 70%?

http://www.hippokrates-fi.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hippokrates/141324819402624

https://twitter.com/Hippokrates2

https://plus.google.com/111326982236216588810/posts

https://vimeo.com/73951904

http://vimeo.com/75013788

http://vimeo.com/75100872

http://vimeo.com/75110347

 

Nat.Net

by Alessio Belli, Shanshan Liu, Francesco Peri, Stefano Ravelli, Tommaso Tregnaghi

What happens when you can print out a pear, your food, or just about anything using a nanotech 3D printer? What happens when this possibility gives rise to a global, shared, peer-to-peer movement?

www.natnet.it

https://vimeo.com/71213455

http://vimeo.com/75043106

http://gplus.to/natnet

https://www.facebook.com/wearenat

https://twitter.com/wearenat

 

Efesto-VibeGel

by Thomas Aito, Stefano Grazioli, Sebastiano Lucenti, Michele Talozzi

What happens when a nanotech vibrating gel is introduced in the market, revolutionizing the world of pleasure? What happens when this is the product of an OpenScience approach?

http://curavibe.altervista.org/

http://www.tety.hostei.com/

https://www.facebook.com/tety.taty.3?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/TetyCorporate

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMEWZ0BqP1m1ysVhljjaGVA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqNPnm_TgSA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isO5cVOQuDk

Tety artistic director and designer Ernest Guevchenko

Occupy Pleasure on Facebook

Ximeng Xingiu (OP)

Lenina Somav on Facebook

Lenina Somav

Lenina Somav on a public Forum

Some fake Scientific Publications

 

Atum

by Bianca De Magistris, Martina De Natale, Linda Gimignani, Stefano Macaione

What happens when you can wear a nanotech dress which reacts to your emotions? What if the info is published on a social network and shared online?

http://nunatum.zipx.it/

http://atumiscoming.zipx.it/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Atum/1379895218892930?fref=ts

https://vimeo.com/74405870

https://vimeo.com/6890070

 

The list of articles appeared on CheFuturo! about the near future designs:

+Mind

Hippokrates

NatNet

Efesto-Vibegel

Atum

 

More Info:

The presentation of all the simulacra at Frontiers of Interactions 2013

The workshop on Near Future Design at Frontiers of Interactions 2013

David Gray meets Near Future Design

Leandro Agro receives some nanotech gifts

 

Special Thanks

Riccardo Luna and everyone at Che Futuro!, with special care for Alessia Anniballo

Leandro Agrò, Matteo Penzo, Piero Tagliapietra, Marcello Merlo, Serena Montanari and everyone at Frontiers of Interaction for hosting us and taking care of us in such an incredible event

Stefano Maria Bettega, Andrea Spatari, Silvia Masetti, Riccardo Basile, and all of ISIA Design Florence, for being an open, advanced and living place for experimentation and critique, bringing new life to Design

Bruce Sterling, Simone Cicero, Annaluisa Franco, Thingiverse, Matteo Farinella, FactoryBay.ru, 3D Printing Industry, 3DPrinfBoard.com, and all of the other knowing and unknowing accomplices of this operation

 

Note: We’re setting up a publication that will be available if you want to know more about the project and about our idea of what is (and can be) Near Future Design. Please check back for updates if you want to know more.

A Course on Fabbing and Nanotechnologies at ISIA Design Florence

Art is Open Source will be holding this year’s course in Multi Platform Digital Design (Progettazione Digitale Multi-Piattaforma, in Italian) at ISIA Design in Florence.
This year’s course will be focused on the themes of Digital Fabrication, Nanotechnologies and on the shifts in paradigms for production, about which we will imagine, design and enact different scenarios for the near future.
ISIA course 2013

ISIA course 2013

Sites such as http://www.thingiverse.com/ and http://www.shapeways.com/ have become rather common. This fact suggests a radical shift in the ways the paradigms of productions are (and can be) perceived, and brings up a whole series of fundamental issues which will become the commonplace for the (near) future of design.
What is certain is that precursors of these processes, such as the guys from http://www.fluid-forms.com/, have changed the ways in which, now, we are able to perceive objects and the ways in which we design and produce them.
Fluid Forms is a good example for this. When starting out, back in 2005, the concept of a widely accessible role of the Creative Coder operating in a virtual Design Space to design objects which could be physically produced/sold was not something many people had a chance to deal with.
For example, Fluid Forms’ Design Spaces allowed coders/designers to create software-generated objects using a number of information sources, APIs and data.
For example you, given a latitude/longitude pair of geographical coordinates, you could Google Maps to find the streets and landscape in that location and use this geometrical information to produce the design of a jewel, or a clock, or of something else. The object was, then, put on sale and users could specify their own set of coordinates (e.g.: of a place that was particularly meaningful for them) and produce their own, generative object.
This has been a steady trend ever since, and, progressively, we are starting to find it rather easy to identify objects with software.
Objects can be produced directly starting from the 3D files that describe them, and this changes the whole scenarios and the supply chains that were traditionally found in design and production:
  • 3D files (and programs to generate them) are exchanged and used to produce the objects (through 3D printing, for example)
  • files can be freely modified, reproduced, copied, redistributed etc

This obviously determines a radical change in the ways in which we traditionally perceive intellectual property when we deal with physical objects.

Imagine a scenario:

  • Ikea enters the 3D Printing market
  • You go to the Ikea store, you buy your 3D Printer, your supply of base materials (usually resins of some sort) and you go back home
  • you connect to the Ikea website, browse the 3D printable products, choose one and download it
  • it is a 3D file
  • you feed it to the 3D Printer and there you have it: your fresh-printed brand new Ikea Ashtray
  • then you send the file to one of your friends, as she has a 3D Printer, as well
  • your friend takes the 3D file, opens it in an editor, makes some changes to it (“here, with this added curve it looks just wonderful!”) and prints it out
  • then she puts the file up on Thingiverse, where everyone may download it, print it, etc

Whose copyright (if any) is it? Ikea’s? The original purchaser’s? His friend’s? The downloaders’? And so on…

Nothing we’re used (yet) to thinking about when we speak about physical objects.

Tendentially: the factory comes home!  Meaning that production will progressively disperse, become disseminated across a number of different scenarios in which digital files will be distributed in peer-to-peer ways across a number of small production facilities (even single households) in which they will be use to produce objects, and where they will also be modified and redistributed.

And companies such as http://www.makerbot.com/http://objet.com/ , http://cubify.com/cube/ , and http://futurecnc.code.arc.cmu.edu/ (and a lot more, lately) are making wide efforts to making sure that this will happen.

The outcomes of this tendency are practically infinite. Here are some examples:
A 3D vending machine:
A 3D printed skull prosthesis:
A smart phone application that works as a 3D scanner:
A doodler, a 3D Pen:
A 3D printed home:
Obviously, these practices raise quite a few interesting issues for discussion, as well:
  • at ecological and environmental level:
    • where do the raw materials come from?
    • are they sustainable?
    • how do you dispose of them?
    • could the possibility to 3D print anything bring on phenomenons of over-production?
    • etc…
  • at social level:
    • will be become new forms of stay-home consuming (producing) machines?
    • will we ever get out of our house? :)
    • will we be the target of the strategies of global strategies that will see us really busy with bringing up printing/modifying/commenting businesses for operators, and progressively loose contact with traditional markets and the world outside?
  • at ethical level:
    • what if i 3D print a rifle? or a bomb?

Obviously, some of these issues are exaggerated, for the sake of clarity, and some of them have already (partial) answers. But we’ll learn about them along the way, during the course.

The advent of nano-technologies allows these processes to radicalize even more.
For example, the nanotech factory-in-a-box scenarios allow for the disappearance of the limitations found in current 3D printers about the materials which can be used to produce the objects (mostly resins of some sort) and their achievable quality: the possibility to assemble more complex molecules starting from simpler ones theoretically allows to produce objects in any material, and the nano-scale of the production would allow for unmatched precision and quality.
Or as with the possibility to produce objects that are “alive”, or that relate with the human body at some level (e.g.: organs, eyes, prosthesis…): as with anything that could be in such tight relationship with our bodies and identities, these scenarios provide both great hopes and fears for the future. (e.g.: imagine if i nano-printed a replacement for my diseased liver using a service which is able to remotely stop it from working if I’m not able to pay their monthly fee…).
Or at the level of being able to produce objects which can chemically, mechanically and organically activate themselves, even in “intelligent” ways, to take actions of some sort. (from t-shirts which spontaneously change color, up to hordes of nano-robots which are able to use the materials around them to build skyscrapers)
Or HIV-curing nano-robots, nano-energy mechanisms which produce energy using waste etcetera.

What will happen during the course:

We will learn about the scenarios of fabbing and nanotechnologies, and will prepare and use tools which will enable us to observe their processes, evolutions, events: we will establish a sort of observatory unto the state-of-the-arts and to catch the signals which will use to infer the future scenarios.
Then we will discuss and design scenarios for the near/far future. Be them far of near, scary or hopeful, positive or negative, we will make works of design fiction that will explore these scenarios.
And then we will create transmedia narratives for these projects.
Have we designed a service which people use for replacement organs for a monthly fee? A peer-to-peer market of 3D printed molecular cuisine? A peer-to-peer production system to produce nano-energy from waste? A 3D printing service to replicate our pets?
We will make them as true as possible by producing websites, apps, prototypes, fakes, installations, performances, street advertisements, guerrilla marketing campaigns and more.

Master UX | From the User Journey to a working prototype Part 1

This is my first lesson at the Master UX held at La Sapienza University of Rome.

In this lesson we analyze how to use the service concept formalized in the User Journey to create a working prototype.

In the process we use all the information emerged from the User Investigation, Analysis and Information Architecture phase.

This is Part 1. Part 2 will follow in the next days.

Emergenza at Internet Festival 2012

Emergenza was presented at the Internet Festival 2012 in Pisa, as an installation and a performance dealing with the future scenarios of our cities, as enabled by the wide and ubiquitous accessibility of digital technologies and networks.

 Human polyphonies for digital-analog cities.

Our planet is a continuous conversation between people, information systems, sensors, digital ecosystems, social networks, objects, natural ecosystems, processes and organizations who use ubiquitous technologies to read and write their points of view on the world, under the form of content, data, information, and to freely recombine them, associate, aggregate and use them, to produce knowledge, wisdom and economies.

This scenario completely and radically transforms our perception of public and private spaces, of citizenship, of intellectual property and copyright, of sustainability, privacy, anonymity, transparency.

The ways in which we work, learn, produce, establish relationships, feel emotions, have fun, and in which we coordinate ourselves and collaborate with each other have already radically changed.

EMERGENZA is an interactive narrative, creating suggestion and emotion, engaging people in this scenario, as applied to the city of Pisa by imagining it into a near future, but using the data, information and tools which are ready and available today, now.

A human-centered smart city which becomes a sustainable place, active, polyphonic, free, resilient, recombinant, emergent.

The title of the project refers to both the “emergent” characteristics of the phenomena which take place in this kind of scenario, and to the “emergency” brought on by the possible dangers and uncertainties of these technological approaches.

Both aspects are analyzed in positive, constructive ways.

The installation

The installation uses three real time visualizations to show the scenario proposed by Emergenza.

Emergenza at Internet Festival, the map

Emergenza at Internet Festival, the map

The first visualization is a map showing, in real time, all the public social network activity (facebook, twitter, instagram harvested) classified using natural language analysis (as seen in the VersuS project), to highlight the ways in which people use social networks to discuss city governance, the environment, emotions, relations and desires. (two specific categories are also shown, describing in realtime the ways in which people use social networks to take part in the festival and also how they participate to the Pixity action, taking place during the festival).

This is the kind of system we use to analyze the digital public discussions which take place in cities, to realize the systems which can be used to create new tools for city governance, urban planning and human relation which operate on peer-to-peer strategies.

This below is the second visualization of the installation:

Emergenze at Internet Festival, the world

Emergenze at Internet Festival, the world

The second visualization is very simple and minimal, and it shows the places which, in real time, are publicly using social network in some ways to interact with the city (of Pisa).

It shows something which we might imagine as being the instantaneous public relations (or influence) established by the city of Pisa with the rest of the world.

Lines connect places which are interacting with the city of Pisa (by talking about the city, by interacting with some of its users…) and colors show the topic domains of these connections (green is environment, blue is commerce, orange is information or updates, etc.).

This is the kind of visualization we use to analyze the influence of a city in respect to other planetary locations, being able to identify opportunities for relationships, collaborations, and the themes which they relate to.

This below is the third visualization composing the installation:

Emergenze at Internet Festival, the circle of relations

Emergenze at Internet Festival, the circle of relations

The last visualization shows the relationships among city dwellers established in real time using social networks.

Each slice on the circle is a social network user. If a line connects two users, it means that they interacted in some way (e.g.: they publicly messaged each other, or one retweeted a message, or a comment was made, etc).

We use this kind of visualization to observe the emergence of communities and spontaneous collaborations among citizens/dwellers, and to identify emergent trends, and to recognize opportunities for collaborations and participatory project design.

The performance

The Emergenza performance was created as a pragmatical experience of this kind of near-future scenario.

To do this, we decided to use an oxymoron: in the future we describe typical television formats such as the “news show” will radically change, if not completely disappear (at least in the way we know them).

We decided to produce a format of a News Show from the future called “Pisa real-time: the news from now“. The format is completely polyphonic, meaning that it is not a standard news show as we’re used to: all news come by interpreting the digital information which is constantly produced by citizens using social networks.

(the images shown below are screenshots of the graphics used during the performance, organized as an on-stage TV show)

So, instead of the weather forecast, there is the emotional forecast of the city.

Emotional forecast in Emergenze Performance

Emotional forecast in Emergenze Performance

Here the emotional expressions are used to create emotional maps of the city much in the same way in which weather forecasts in TV show the presence of clouds, wind and rain, and are used to show the emotional trends which might be appearing in the city, trying to expose important information about the city’s lifestyle.

 

Then there are the real time user-generated news about the city governance.

Emergenza performance, real time user generated city governance news

Emergenza performance, real time user generated city governance news

In this case, social network activity is interpreted to understand how people discuss city governance relevant themes, such as opinions about public budgets, choice of representatives, city maintenance issues, trash, etc.

All information is shown also as coming outside of the city boundaries, as in this vision the city does not end where the administrative borders are. In the case of Pisa, many comments about the conditions of the public spaces of the city came from tourist reports who had just been in the city.

Emergenza Performance, the multicultural city

Emergenza Performance, the multicultural city

Also important were the news from the multicultural city, showing the various languages and cultures present in the city, and the ways in which they represented themselves and their urban life using social networks, including the timelines of their online discussions and the relative percentages of their sentiment.

An one other part of the format which raised much interest was the part exposing the perception of security and safety, as expressed by people’s expression on social networks.

Emergenza Performance, real-time perceived security

Emergenza Performance, real-time perceived security

Here maps show the locations in which people expressed sense of insecurity and uncertainty.

An interesting surprise was that this kind of analysis proved to be much more intimate than expected, as people were not really discussing about the safety of walking in city streets, but about the safety of their future, jobs and relationships.

To further remark the polyphonic approach, we decided to speak the least possible amount of time during the performance, and we auto-replaced ourselves with messages coming from a series of interesting points of view.

First was the contribution of prof. Alberto Abruzzese:

(extract from “Intervista ad Alberto Abruzzese” by IULM)

 

Next was prof. Antonio Caronia:

(extract from “Interview with antonio Caronia”, by Alessandro Guerriero for NABANEXT)

 

Then it was the turn of prof. Massimo Canevacci Ribeiro:

(extract from “F for Fake” created for the book  “REFF. La reinvendione del reale attraverso pratiche di remix, mash up, ricontestualizzazione, reenactment”.”)

 

And then it was the intervention by Alex Giordano:

(extract from “Alex Giordano” by Internetbenecomune)

 

And here is a video showing a short speech we gave at the end of the performance (in italian for now) :

 

We then decided to end the performance asking for a special contribution (in italian):

(realized in collaboration with https://www.eigenlab.org, acting by Alessandro Belsandro Moirano. Directing and editing: Gianmarco Bonavolontà)

 

Special Thanks

EigenLab, Ilario Gelmetti, Teatro LUX, Adriana De Cesare, Mariangela Della Monica, Edoardo Fleishner and all the Internet Festival staff, all the citizens of the city of Pisa

VersuS at BIO23, Ljubljana Design Biennial

VersuS, by Art is Open Source, at BIO23, Ljubljana Design Biennial.

VersuS at BIO23 Design Biennial

VersuS at BIO23 Design Biennial

BIO23, Design Relations
http://www.bio.si/

VersuS is a series of works about the possibility to listen in real-time to the emotions, expressions and information generated by users on social network and using ubiquitous technologies, and to publish them onto the cities which they are related to.

A scenario emerges according to which it becomes possible to realize information landscapes which are ubiquitously accessible and which change our experience or urban spaces.

These projects also suggest the possibility to use these methodologies and technologies to promote novel forms of participatory practices in urban spaces, for decision-making, policy-making and urban planning and design.

 

the video “Berlin_WantsToBeHere.mov” shows a full day of the city of Berlin as captured through social media sites (Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, Google+). Message captured show when people used social networks to express that they wanted to be in the place they were in.

 

the video “RomaRiot.mov” shows a full day of the city of Rome as captured through social media sites (Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, Google+). The video shows the city’s digital life during the violent riot of October 15th 2011.

 

the video “Rome_aDayInTheLife.mov” shows a full day of the city of Rome as captured through social media sites (Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, Google+). The video shows a full day of the digital life of the city, in its completeness, with its cycles, patterns and routines.

 

the video “Turin_Love.mov” shows a full day of the city of Turin as captured through social media sites (Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, Google+). The video shows 2012′s Valentine’s day as seen through social networks, with people talking about love, making fun about love and arguing because maybe their partner forgot that it was Valentine’s Day.

 

the video “Turin_Traffic.mov” shows a full day of the city of Turin as captured through social media sites (Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, Google+). The video shows the full digital life of the city as people use social networks to speak about traffic: being stuck in traffic jams, suggesting traffic information or alternative routes, describing accidents and, in general, providing an idea on how much people use social networks in real-time to talk about mobility.