At the end of the year the Summ()n team went to Hasselt, to visit a very interesting exhibition there, called Future Fictions. The exhibition, or rather a series of events, had been held in the local art center Z33, and was aimed at stimulating the debates about our future – our as professionals, as citizens, or perhaps simply as humans.
However, the idea was not to engage into highly intellectual discussion (although I have nothing against those), but rather to co-explore these possible futures using a mix of art, design, new media and a lot of imagination. Back in Philips Design we called such explorations ‘design probes’ (and later in Summ()n we have even developed a special set of tools, to help people to prepare and run such future probes – see the earlier postings in this blog, about the future probing workshops we’ve done in Moscow, in Almaty and then with our new partners in the US.)
Some of the probes presented at the Future Fictions were excellent, and some where ‘excellent’ in provoking the remarks of disagreement and disputations – but hey, isn’t the main purpose of the future probes, to trigger debates and discussions?
I would love to place them all here, these future fictions (or probes, in our terminology) – but them I also realised that such stories wouldn’t fit this blog. From the very beginning it was kept as a company blog, mostly reflecting our own projects or prospects, and not so much our own ideas or reflections about certain events. In some way this ‘future fiction’ show has triggered us at Summ()n to also seek for new formats of expression. We will keep running this blog, of course, but will also start another ‘communication platform(s)’ where we would be more flexible, both in terms of format and themes – more on that later!
To show at least something from event, I would like to present just one project called “Future Language”. The idea is deceptively simple, to show the samples of writings made by the ‘future kids’. Below are just a a couple of examples, there were many more of these ‘future scribbles’ – both funny and insightful.
My own ‘pledge’, if to use the terms of the coming New Year, would be to find a way to tell more about such concepts, and express Summ()n’s ideas about possible (and impossible!) futures more explicitly – and more often!
at the Future Fictions were excellent, and some where ‘excellent’ in provoking the remarks of disagreement and disputations