24-10-2016  Week Note V – Speculations

A clear idea towards the final outcome can help to estimate early on which tools are needed for the project. In my case, it seemed important to assess quickly what technology can be used and if I was capable of learning and producing enough to communicate my vision. With regard to the tight deadline in December, I found it thus important to juggle different aspects of the design process at the same time.

Nevertheless, to expand my view on the design challenge that I chose I conducted a brainstorm session with some of my colleagues in class. I explained my intend and started the first round with a provocative question in order to set the scene for open speculations:

How to infiltrate places of power in order to positioning popular opinion where it is supposed to be?

This approach helped the group to come up with rather fanciful ideas playing on new tax policies, neighbourhood parliaments or virtual reality and destruction for instantly desired futures. The second round was used to elaborate on my previously mentioned design challenge:

How might we use civic media and technology in order to incentivise civic engagement and entrepreneurial activity?

The group came up with multiple ideas envisioning new ways for city signage, putting a mandate on social media to discuss and inform urban developments, and ideas on how to manage pop-up everything.

Discussing my project with CIID visiting faculty Chris Downs inspired me to maintain the status quo of my progress by zooming out again in order to speculate a bit further upon the various channels of communication between citizens and government, and different forms, in which we can interact with the public realm. The following collection of posters were designed to visually spark a conversation about twisted realities.

The City as an Interface

We think about the outside public space as a platform of expression. It is a free common space of encounter contained by many human and non-human actors that build a network of relationships and meanings. We use signage and abstract symbols to understand underlying rule systems, the content follow quiet, the mal content spread their word through graffiti. We have 'deromanticised' our world with satellite imagery, and 'mobile' is providing a digital layer on top of the brick and mortar. How can we augment our interaction with parks, streets, lakes? How can we actively communicate with our environment, leave a message on the side walk, and get informed through public exterior?

Visionary billboards

Big ass advertisement all around our cities, paid messages about our desires, established fake world run by corporations and kept stable by politicians. WTF? So why not changing the game, using these above-the-line channels for real value, real visions, bottom-up opinions. Where creativity is not wasted for the next Burger King campaign at your local ad agency, but actively injected into the public realm. Your city vision needs to be heard, not just online, but down on the streets.


No Government

Negotiating space, permission, and interest seen from a administrative point of view, includes particularly the government and its executive. How about a world without any public authority? How would cohabitation be negotiated? Can we imagine ethical assemblies or will society suffer from the egoistic nature of individuals. Technology gives us the tools for global sharing economies, it allows for secure self-regulating systems such as the blockchain database used for alternative currencies, and we see so called open source communities based on the principle of free knowledge production and exchange. Powerful structures too fast for rigid state regulation.

Any map

In a world abundant of information, networks, and relationships – technology shapes landscapes, creates and breaks boarders, forms and hides identities. Data makes us traceable, traces can be manipulated, hacked, encrypted and thus play an active role in changing the perception of its imaging territory. The discussion can start with asking how we define maps today, what data is necessary for what purpose? What is traditional in what context? How do I think about cutomized datasets applied to cutomized maps? Online, analog, AR, or VR?

Industry Reverse

Can we imagine big fashion brands finally dedicating their time to something worthwhile? What if their campaigns need to be proofed and validated by the relevance authority? Why is moronic manipulation careless accepted? #YourCity is the first long-awaited fashion collabo between Copenhagen and H&M – finally using these beautiful Scandinavian motifs as call to engagement. Push for action with guaranteed positive side effects for all parties involved.

Dear City

City Flow Data, Asset Tracking, Sensor Platform, Data Connections – Let's build the infrastructure for the future.

Today, we find unfamiliar creatures almost camouflaged between streets and side walks. Sensing systems with multiple applications. Real-time trash can measuring aka IoT, or parking analysis, or maybe we just film chaotic flows of people on plazas for the sake of finding patterns. 'Smart' is a expansible term that cities together with private vendors test out. Citizens are usually informed slightly after things eventually turned out helpful, yet expansive. If they sense us, what about we sense them or get a sense of them sensing? The transparent citizen in front of the dark curtain of its government – please fill out this form to get in contact, thanks.