The studio blog is a place to show our thinking in public, sharing the inspirations and processes that get us to the end of a project.
Yes, it was Buzzin'
I was in Manchester last week for FuturEverything, clearly a transformative cultural event for the city of Manchester, buzzing with a series of interesting conference talks, art exhibits, live music, the UnConference and more.
Here are just few of the talks I enjoyed at the conference :Glonet:Drew Hemment and Adam Greenfield kicked off this unique event happening simultaneously in five cities: Sendai, Vancouver, Istanbul, Sao Paulo and Manchester through a series of presentations, and informal exchanges. John Worthington from DEGW presented a series of thoughtful ideas around 'The Experiential City', focusing on semi-public spaces as the 'City X-rays'. Very relevant in the context of my upcoming talk around 'India's Immaterial Urbanism' for WCIT 2010.
Over from Sendai, Prof. Hitoshi Abe provoked the audience with his thought experiment of the 'Megahouse' where the residents adapt the 'The City as a Home'. (made in 2007, but as relevant today). And ofcourse, images of the popular cat-cafes in Japan.
The 'Open Everything' Panel was great, with Dr. Amir Hannan presented his efforts to allow patients access to their electronic health records. Building a culture of openness within the system has not been an easy task, as expected, but his efforts in this context are commendable. Jordan Hatcher focused on open content, copyright and all the legal implications of these. Case studies presented: farmsubsidy.org, fishsubsidy.org, aidinfo.org, ending with a wry note: "on the internet no one knows if you are a dog". Chris Taggart's fantastic work can be found here, his talk was about 'failure', emphasizing on the need for 'small, quick, innovative projects' that often organisations dont take the risk to do.
Also enjoyed Chris Osbourne's data viz of the Ash cloud impact on our carbon footprint, Adrian Hon's take on the 'purpose of play', and great work from co-panelist Martyn Amos around ants, synthetic biology and collective creativity. (which deserves a separate blog post!)
Convergent themes around 'collaborative futures', 'openness', 'participation' and 'storytelling' that emerged from the conference fed well into my own presentation. I focused on our Power of 8 project, showing a 'real' example of how collaborative futures and multidisciplinary projects can be initiated and built.
I presented the methods we, as a team, developed, the nature of the actual collaboration, what conflicts came up and how we attempted to use those conflicts towards creative ends. As much as the design process was important, so were the narrative outcomes that it generated, and the projects that we are now carrying forward. The fact that most of our public engagement workshops ended with 'climate change and the decline in natural resources' as the top concern, was a surprise for the audience. (Presentation will be uploaded soon.)
Thanks to the organisers of FuturEverything, and also to Michelle Kasprzak, Gill Wildman, Nick Durrant, Andy and Mike (City ID), Alison Powell and Shawn Micallef, for making it so much fun!