Conference Paper
Futurecraft

Cities are, by definition, plural, public, and productive. They are created by society itself (barring exceptional cases like master-planned Brasilia or Chandigarh) and they function as culture's petri dish for progress. Living in space and creating space can go hand in hand. We propose to employ design in a systematic exploration and germination of possible futures, exploring how ubiquitous computing -- i.e. the increasing deployment of sensors and hand-held electronics in recent years, what we call Senseable City -- is opening up a new approach to the study of the built environment. Design can investigate and intervene at the interface between people, technologies and the city -- developing research and applications that empower citizens to make choices that result in a more livable urban condition.

The aim is not to portray what is to come. We call it futurecraft: we pose future scenarios (typically phrased as What if? questions), entertain their consequences and exigencies, and we share the resulting ideas widely, to enable public conversation and debate. It is important to extrapolate from the present condition and to place ourselves, as designers, in a fictive but possible future context with the intent of realizing or precluding that future through public discourse. Designer's work is meaningless unless it ignites imaginations and provokes debate: design by mutation is intrinsically collective. Designers produce mutations, some of which will grow, evolve, and develop into tangible artifacts that cause global change -- driven to realization by the energy of the crowd.

Title
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsRatti C
Conference NameProceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems
Date Published06/2016
PublisherACM
Conference LocationBrisbane, QLD, Australia
Abstract

Cities are, by definition, plural, public, and productive. They are created by society itself (barring exceptional cases like master-planned Brasilia or Chandigarh) and they function as culture's petri dish for progress. Living in space and creating space can go hand in hand. We propose to employ design in a systematic exploration and germination of possible futures, exploring how ubiquitous computing -- i.e. the increasing deployment of sensors and hand-held electronics in recent years, what we call Senseable City -- is opening up a new approach to the study of the built environment. Design can investigate and intervene at the interface between people, technologies and the city -- developing research and applications that empower citizens to make choices that result in a more livable urban condition.

The aim is not to portray what is to come. We call it futurecraft: we pose future scenarios (typically phrased as What if? questions), entertain their consequences and exigencies, and we share the resulting ideas widely, to enable public conversation and debate. It is important to extrapolate from the present condition and to place ourselves, as designers, in a fictive but possible future context with the intent of realizing or precluding that future through public discourse. Designer's work is meaningless unless it ignites imaginations and provokes debate: design by mutation is intrinsically collective. Designers produce mutations, some of which will grow, evolve, and develop into tangible artifacts that cause global change -- driven to realization by the energy of the crowd.

URLhttp://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2915253