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  • 1. Hello Anab Jain | www.superflux.in | Twitter: @Superflux 1 (this talk was originally presented as a ‘narrative’, with supporting sounds) I landed in Amsterdam few months ago, and at the airport, this was the first service message I received, the rude roaming charge that slapped on... (*Audio playing airport announcements and other ambient sounds)
  • 2. ‘Explore Amsterdam’: Mobile City Guide Service 2 As I walked up towards the service desk, the ‘Explore Amsterdam’ app jumped up at me: seemed so much better then trying to initiate a red-eyed conversation with a bored service desk person. Off I went... (*Audio playing airport announcements and other ambient sounds)
  • 3. ‘On-the-go’ Service: Tickets for Canal Riding 3 What was Explore Amsterdam? “Compiled with the on-the-go traveler in mind, the Amsterdam Mobile Guide highlights the very best Amsterdam has to offer. This service provides users with striking images and accurate descriptions of Amsterdam’s most popular attractions...“ here I was, looking for canal riding tickets, but as you can tell - not perfect timing. (*Audio playing ambient city sounds, voices of tourists, music, wind, rain*)
  • 4. ‘Always-on’: Social Networking Service 4 Atleast I was not going to feel lonely in the city, being anonymous yet connected, trying to be doing all the multiple things that the city was offering me. (*Audio playing traffic sounds)
  • 5. Rent a Bike Service: Mental Note 5 looking over my screen occasionally, I passed a few of these along the way, made a mental note: yes yes yes I will rent a bike. (*Audio playing sounds of bike bells)
  • 6. Prince of Persia: Answer Tasmina and win 50 movie minutes! foursquare 6 Hanging out by the bustop, maybe bit too close to the Prince of Persia poster: Cause - lo and behold! Before I knew it, Tasmina was on my screen, luring me into a game... The incentive being 50 free movie minutes. Awesome. (this is part of Walt Disney’s augmented reality outdoor campaign for the ‘Prince of Persia’ movie.)
  • 7. Game of Concentration: You are about to win! 7 Look there I am! CONCENTRATING! I spent a significant amount of time trying to win that one... think I came really close...
  • 8. Foursquare Everywhere: Unlocking ‘Douchebag’! Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/simona_ 8 While I didnt win that game, I did became a mayor and even unlocked the ‘douchebag’ badge on foursquare! Brilliant.
  • 9. ‘Always-on’: Social Networking Service 9 Had a great afternoon with my friend, although facebook did sneak up on me ever so often.
  • 10. Personalised Goodies Service: 10 My friend didnt seem to mind that, and later he helped me put up a load of floaticons ... ! (actually, they have been pulled back. R.I.P. Floaticons) (*Audio playing ambient restaurant sounds, music, chattering, laughing etc)
  • 11. Keep ‘em Happy Service: Feeding cookies to my Floaticons 11 And while the conversations and the laughter began to get blurry - I did not forget to feed cookies to my floaticons. I think a whole new level of engagement had just begun.
  • 12. Catch-up-on-the-city App? 12 Back at the airport, catching up on the city I missed from a brand new App. It pulls out the best events and services that i could bookmark for next time. did i really miss that awesome sunset? (*Audio playing airport announcements and other ambient sounds)
  • 13. 13 Just to note that what I have presented is one view of the city - a tourist-like view - someone familiar with the city, but perhaps not living there.. Could an immersive screen experience make one feel rather disconnected from the physical serendipitious encounters is something I wonder, maybe / maybe not. But while constructing this narrative I have been hugely inspired by Jesse Schell’s recent Long Now talk titled ‘Visions of the Gamepocalypse’.
  • 14. APP‐O‐CALYPSE Disclaimer: I am a designer and totally  love technology and all the jazz;) 14 Are we experiencing App-o-calypse? Do the parallel conversations about networked cities, smart cities, and data in cities on one cities, and people, our everyday lives and experiences And here I consider many of these apps to be services, indeed they are.
  • 15. Welcome to India 15 In comparison to this experience, few months ago I was visiting Ahmedabad, city in Gujarat, western India. As you can see on this map of the city, there are not many street names, here’s one example of how places are addressed. (Bharat General store). If that bus stop came down or the road got widened, they’d have to re-appropriate the address. The streets are the defining character of Indian cities and to explore them better, lets just make a trip... Now if you arrive in the city by train, you can jump into an autorickshaw...
  • 16. Rickshaw wallah: Latest Bollywood Hits and Misses Photo Credit: Jon Ardern 16 While holding on to edge of the rickshaw seat for dear life, you will get an insiders guide to the latest bollywood hits and misses.. (*Audio playing the remix of the latest film ‘Housefull’.*) Wallah or Wallih is suffix we attach to people / vendors/ agents/ makers/ who form a huge part of Indian urban life. They are the spirit of entrepreneurship in India, and also as I will show, work as important ‘network nodes’ too.
  • 17. Temporary TV Wallah: Whats the Score? Photocredit: flickr.com/photos/anewnadir 17 On the way, you can stop by at the corner shop to get the latest cricket score. (*Audio playing cricket score*) Someone has borrowed the neighbour’s cables, and setup a temporary cricket commentary service.
  • 18. Local Barber: Live Stock Market Updates 18 If you are a bloke and feeling lazy, you could walk down to the corner of your street and get a quick shave and... (*Audio playing live stock market update*) The Barber updates you with a filtered version of the live stock market update, which may not be as efficient as your bloomberg app, but perhaps more relevant to you...
  • 19. Shaadi Walli: Local Marriage Bureau 19 And if you walk past the streets or a side temple, you’d find elderly women hanging out, often discussing detailed marriage propositions, often without the knowledge of those concerned... umm.. well. (*Audio playing street+temple sounds*)
  • 20. Underground wallah/walli: Deviant Services 20 In the old town you’ll pass by rows of shops that offer free food to the needy. Amongst these groups of people are agents wandering around, whispering code numbers, looking for people who may want to sell a bottle of blood, an organ or want to be a surrogate mother. There is this other ‘deviant economy’ (ref: Nils Gilman) flourishing entirely through a loose informal network of information. (*Audio playing busy street sounds*)
  • 21. Paanwallah: Real Estate Updates Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/rohitrath 21 In case you’ve had a busy day you can go treat yourself to the indian staple high - the paan. And while chewing the “zero tension paan” you could join in the conversation going on about real estate. (*Audio playing Bollywood tune ‘Mahiya re’ *) The paan wallah has done well in selling plots of land in the neighbourhood, and is perhaps the best person to ask about flats for rent in the neighbourhood.
  • 22. Robot wallah: Your horoscope for the week 22 And finally end the day with a dose of your auspicious future... This robot will tell you your horoscope for the week (*Audio playing robot horoscope*) Also to note: You wont go up to the robot on your own, there will always be the person playing the role of the ‘social interface’, who will take the money, give you headphones, and watch you while you hear your fate.
  • 23. 23 This is how the barber’s network grows. He is like a data set, a node stretching to covers nooks and corners of the area around him. Now if we starting populating this map with all the other people we just met...
  • 24. 24 You get this map! You see how these various people emerge as points of influence, rather then specific service providers. This could be a local map of soft services and networks, which I think is not only more compelling, but also meaningful for the people who live there. Planners, businesses, entrepreneurs and service providers need to recognise the value of these ‘in-formal’ networks and services. Although not the most efficient, these networks are also the lifeline of human stories, and equally valuable. Its relational as opposed to transactional.
  • 25. The Street as Facebook (except that this one is Open Source) flickr.com/photos/oneeighteen 25 You can see how the citizen *is* an active participant in shaping his/her environment everywhere he/she goes. In a sense, you could consider these Indian streets to be like Facebook. Ofcourse they have the same issues around privacy, but atleast they are Open Source!
  • 26. ? What are the alternative transmodernities and constructions of the relationships between the city, citizen and service 26 So the question is - looking ahead - speculating about a future Amsterdam - what are the alternative constructions of the relationships between the city, citizen and service?
  • 27. What if: The screen in your hand or in your pocket was not your service portal? 27 Borrowing from the Indian model, could we try and speculate just one future possibility? Could we imagine a services model where the screen in your hand, or in your pocket was not your service portal?
  • 28. What if: People in the city, people around you were your service portal? Photo
Credit:
flickr.com/photos/Suze1974 28 Instead was an intermediary between you and people in the city, people around you? So that it connects you to people rather then replacing people ? (quite an important difference.)
  • 29. I am a Broker I am a I am a Thrill Seeker Marketeer I am a Recordist I am a I am a Superhero Foodie I am a Historian 29 Could people, who feel like, for limited time periods, take on stealth entrepreneurial roles and become data nodes - nodes with high powered beams of bits running through our skins? Leaving clues, striking up encounters, selling services, through networks?
  • 30. I am a Broker I am a I am a Thrill Seeker Marketeer I am a Recordist I am a I am a Superhero Foodie I am a Historian 30 When I went to this future Amsterdam, I happened to encounter a ‘marketeer’ who pushes unregulated joy rides around Amsterdam through a series of embedded touch points. And soon I found myself...
  • 31. Unregulated
Joy
 Ride
service 31 In this beast. Riding along the city - probably not how its recommended... but hey, you might discover places that are previously unexplored (and undoubtedly get a lot of attention.) (*Audio playing ambient city sounds + music from ʻcarʼ *)
  • 32. I am a I am a Thrill Seeker Marketeer I am a Recordist I am a I am a Superhero Foodie I am a Historian 32 But hey, instead of the marketeer, if I had encountered the ‘foodie’ , then I...
  • 33. Following
them
 to
FucoVico! Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/rpb1001 33 find myself knowing a bit more about the local terms and hidden food places... Infact she rides with me to Fucovico - which has the best pizza in town, so they say (*Audio playing sounds of bicycle bells, ambient city traffic*)
  • 34. Fucovico:
 “The
best
Pizza
 in
Amsterdam” 34 There we are, at Fucovico...(*Audio playing ʻambient music from restaurant*)
  • 35. 35 And that pizza was absolutely amazing. you got better service for having mentioned her name, she knows the owners well. (*Audio playing ambient restaurant sounds*)
  • 36. I am a I am a Thrill Seeker Marketeer I am a Recordist I am a I am a Superhero Foodie I am a Historian 36 But instead, if I met this dude who (I would have never guessed!) was a ‘thrill seeker’
  • 37. The
(hidden)
 City
Thrill
Service Photo Credit: Bruce Sterling 37 He would have pointed me to some of the ‘unique thrills’ of the city - yet another ingenious service that would be welcome...(*Audio playing ambient sounds of people on rides, screaming, talking*)
  • 38. I am a I am a Thrill Seeker Marketeer I am a Recordist I am a I am a Superhero Foodie I am a Historian 38 And if I were to have encountered the historian
  • 39. A
new
insight
into
 the
city’s
history Photo
credit:
flickr.com/photos/sashdc 39 He would have spent time with me, unveiling some of the city’s difficult past. (*Audio playing ambient park sounds*)
  • 40. I am a I am a Thrill Seeker Marketeer I am a Recordist I am a I am a Superhero Foodie I am a Historian 40 and if I had bumped into the recordist, our encounter would have taken me through the different music bars and gigs of the city that I would not have found out otherwise.
  • 41. Open Invites Service:  Party
at
Code
21
 41 In any case in the end I was happy, cause I ended up in this nice party! (*Audio playing ʻparty musicʼ *)
  • 42. I am a I am a Thrill Seeker Marketeer I am a Recordist I am a I am a Superhero Foodie I am a Historian 42 And these are time based services, sometimes the city might look like this...
  • 43. I am a Pop!up Superhero Lunch box I am a I am Recordist Brok I am a Historian 43 And at some other point in the day it might look like this... and so on.
  • 44. The [ OPEN GENERATIVE ] City 44 I think it might be the emergence of a creative, open generative city of services, perhaps borrowed from the ideas around the open generative web.
  • 45. EXPLORING NEW SERVICES IN THE CITY THAT ENCOURAGE: Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/petergutierrez 45 Maybe there is a hint of a slightly utopian optimism in what I propose. But I think some new vantage points for designing creative cities could potentially emerge. I feel that perhaps we could design services that encourage...
  • 46. EXPLORING NEW Post-efficiency SERVICES IN THE CITY THAT ENCOURAGE: Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/petergutierrez 46 The idea of ‘post-efficiency’. If we are living in a ‘knowledge worker’ world, where leisure has blurred into work, maybe designing for services that are also exploring the ‘post-efficient’ society could be considered.
  • 47. EXPLORING NEW Post-efficiency SERVICES IN THE CITY Serendipity THAT ENCOURAGE: Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/petergutierrez 47 The idea of serendipity in cities is not new and I wont dwell on this too much, but yes, the need for services that encourage those sorts of interactions would be welcome.
  • 48. EXPLORING NEW Post-efficiency SERVICES IN THE CITY Serendipity THAT ENCOURAGE: Creative Citizens Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/petergutierrez 48 A system, an infrastructure, that encourages the citizens of the city to be creative...
  • 49. EXPLORING NEW Post-efficiency SERVICES IN THE CITY Serendipity THAT ENCOURAGE: Creative Citizens Freedom for Exploration Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/petergutierrez 49 Allows and encourages the role of discovery, a freedom for exploration
  • 50. EXPLORING NEW Post-efficiency SERVICES IN THE CITY Serendipity THAT ENCOURAGE: Creative Citizens Freedom for Exploration Diversity of Experiences New Social Tapestries Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/petergutierrez 50 And these in turn lead to a whole set of diverse experiences that will enrich us and our habitats.
  • 51. EXPLORING NEW Post-efficiency SERVICES IN THE CITY Serendipity THAT ENCOURAGE: Creative Citizens Freedom for Exploration Diversity of Experiences New Social Tapestries Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/petergutierrez 51 Create new social tapestries...
  • 52. EXPLORING NEW Post-efficiency SERVICES IN THE CITY Serendipity THAT ENCOURAGE: Creative Citizens Freedom for Exploration Diversity of Experiences New Social Tapestries Entrepreneurship Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/petergutierrez 52 And build new opportunities for entrepreneurship.
  • 53. Thank You www.superflux.in | Twitter: @Superflux Special thanks to: Jon Ardern, Mark Selby, Zahra Shahabi, Michelle Kazprazak 53 Thank you.