‘The Life’ by Marina Abramovic

Marina Abramovic’s show ‘The Life’, allegedly the world’s first large-scale performance exhibited with the use of mixed reality, was presented at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Read/see more here.

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New Summ( )n /website

We have just launched the new version of the Summ()n website, www.summon-futures.com (notice also the domain name). Still in a category of the ‘first viable prototypes’ but at least it’s in the open air now and ready to be polished further.

It’s much more simple that the previous one, for instance, it doesn’t have its own blog anymore. The idea that we will use multiple social media channels instead, including this very blog (I therefore expect to have more posting here soon).

  

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Good’19 is coming!

Predictions! 2019 will be the year of yet another reunion of the Reach Network! This time it will be in London, on June 27 (read more here).

As usual, we will try to organize the GOOD’19 as an interesting conference (or perhaps un-conference?) where the participants will be able to learn from the latest projects run by the Reach members, but also share their own achievements and ‘lessonslearns’.

The program is current is currently in the making, but it’s worth to reserve a day already now. Or may be a few – this time our Great Outdoors of Design will be happening in affiliation with the User Research London conference.

We hope to see you all in London!

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MK on Future Probing: Designing ‘everyday futures’ with TU/e students

{Long time not see, as they say; Summ( )n’s team is busy with a couple of large global – exciting! – projects that take all time and energy. Which is great but doesn’t leave much time for the blog, alas. Plus, we are currently doing re-designing our website which is a also demotivating a bit to update the ‘old’ version.}

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Sensing ‘signals of the future’ during Innovation Safari in Shenzhen


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Overijssel Province Goes Extreme

I wrote about a very interesting project we have developed together with the Trendbureau Overijssel, a future think-tank of the Dutch province called Overijssel. By now we have prepared and conducted the first phase, a pilot session together with the team from the Trendbureau and a group of representatives from different cities of the province and other organisations and creative teams.

The Future Probing session was kindly hosted by the Design Lab of the University of Twente, and the heads of the Lab also joined the session, adding additional expertise to already very diverse group of participants.

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The Future of (Futuring About) Wearable Tech

I was planning to write this text much earlier, soon after I finished my short ‘field report’ about the WoW gathering in Eindhoven. Alas, things started to move a bit slower on this side. Anyway, it is ready now, even if in a very condense form, so read (and look at it) below.

As I wrote earlier, I was offered an opportunity to talk about the ‘future of everything’: of women, fashion, and yes, {smart} wearables, too. The only real constrain was that 1. it should be very short and 2. it shouldn’t be a ‘slideshow’ but a real conversation (itself a gross challenge these days!)

Following our approach at Summ()n, I didn’t plan, of course, to present yet another set of ‘trends’ accompanied with a few freakish pictures (a common currency of future gurus these days). Instead I thought to suggest a conversation about the very way we do our futuring, i.e., thinking about, imagining and eventually making the futures that we want. Following the constrains, I decided to bring with me not the ‘digital slides’, but some real (analogue!) artefacts to talk about.

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MK on Future Probing session with the Design Lab of U Twente

Future Probing session at the Design Lab of the University of Twente was one of the examples of Summ()n’s ‘teaching activities’, when we present our tools and methods to students of various universities and schools. In this case it was a ‘very good one’. Unfortunately, we (and the students, too) are often given too little time for these exercises, while the goals are set too high (yet too abstract, too), and the results tend to be so-so.

In this case it was quite opposite: the students were all from a very particular course (Scenario Based Design), and had a number of specific business cases to work with. Knowing these boundaries, we had a chance to prepare a small, but meaningful set of ‘future signals’. Plus, the students had a good deal of time to go through theses signals (ok, it was still pressure-cooker kind of format, but most teams managed to handle the signals from all four domains that we have prepared: Professional Tools, Collaborative Practices, Smart Spaces and Business Models).

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WoW Eindhoven follow-up (now with Tzarina)

I’ve already written here about the Women of Wearables movement, and a very interesting inaugural event of their local chapter that I managed to attend last November (Women of Wearables Eindhoven). The program of this first gathering was excellent and rich (though I have to admit that my presence had a bit weird slant, too, as I was the only man in the 30+ audience of WoW ladies back then).

Never mind. In fact, quite opposite, the event lead to many other interesting developments, including our conversation with Marija Butkovic, the WoW’s founder, and with many other interesting people from this network. All these contacts keep enriching Summ()n’s own Future of Fabric program, and we also hope that Summ()n can inspire the WoW-ers, too.

Guess what? The next development turned to be ‘curiouser & curiouser’, as I was invited to the next WoW gathering in Eindhoven, but already as a key speaker! I was invited by Yelena van Kharitonova to talk about the future of… well, basically, of everything: women, fashion, wearables, and what not.

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A really interesting project ahead!

We just made a presentation to a very good client, and there is a possibility of a very interesting project! Cool!

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