Hello! Thanks Melinda for invi3ng us here. We run a small design studio in London (mostly!) called Superﬂux.
We design forEmerging technologies,Societies in ﬂux,The imminently probable.
Place the drawing at the back of a piece of paper.Here’s a liDle pub drawing of our vision for Superﬂux -‐ of how we work. Through our Consultancy we work hands on with clients to design interac3ons: products, experiences or services. And through the Lab we like to push the boundaries and do more experimental work -‐ we explore the poten3al and also implica3ons of new and emerging technologies on our everyday lives -‐ we do this research because it furthers the discipline, our interests and helps us con3nue to grow and push boundaries.. And that bright spot where they overlap is what we call the ‘sweet spot’ where -‐ the merger of the now and the possible future can lead to what you might call: “innova3on”.
Innovation Workshops Experience Prototypes Design Futurscaping Concept Scenarios Ideas Strategy Stories Consultancy Superflux Lab Films NOW FUTURE SWEET SPOT Superflux Ltd | London, UK | 2011Here’s a neater version of the same :)
Clients and CommissionersA glimpse of our clients and commissioners
.And some examples of our work. We explore the poten3als and implica3ons of emerging technologies on society and the environment. Our work takes the form of applica3ons and products, but also stories, ﬁlms, images and props.
THE BENTWOOD CHAIR by Michael ThonetSo whats the workshop about. Let us start with some context. Tradi3onally the role of the designer in industrial society is to drive economic growth by adding value to, and or, aiding in the produc3on of goods and services. When Michael Thonet ﬁrst introduced his bentwood chair (the 14 now known today as the 214 chair) in Vienna in 1859, liDle did he know that he had created what would become the ﬁrst mass-‐produced chair in the world.
“The interesting thing is the product, not the person." James DysonAnd the design industry that followed has tradi3onally seen the role of designer help in the design and delivery of consumer products that are deﬁned by brands and markets in the ‘free economy’.
BUT... THINGS ARE CHANGING! AS DESIGNERS, HOW DO WE SHIFT PARAMETERS AND STILL MONETISE? IS IT POSSIBLE?We are experiencing some changes in that system: current stormy economic environment, and with the forecast for more trouble on the horizon in the form of over popula3on, peak oil and global warming to name but a few, Europe: credit crunch, crisis, rescue plans where are we heading, as designers what is our role in this change landscape: We are taught to mone3se -‐ but in these changes 3mes, how do we shi[ the parameters and s3ll mone3se?
Trade Union Demonstration, Budapest, April 9, 2011Even here, in Hungary things are no diﬀerent. Just few days ago you had a big trade union protest. While EU ﬁnance ministers on Saturday met in Godollo, Hungary to defend harsh austerity measures as a necessary means to defeat the current debt crisis, thousands of trade union members marched in the main city to protest against austerity those same measures.)
1st Peak Oil GraphDemand is staying the same or rising, while supply is staying the same, so that pushes the price. Since the economy is changing so rapidly -‐ and in turn our everyday lives, we’d like this workshop to address this issue by raising a set of ques3ons.
What alternative roles might designers take? What new strategies and ideas might the ‘design community‘ employ in response to these challenges?This raises some key ques3ons.
DOTT DESIGN PROJECT | LED BY JOHN THACKARA, UK h"p://www.do"07.com/
Mobile Shelter for the Homeless | Paul Elkins h"p://www.fastcompany.com/1594990/a-‐mobile-‐homeless-‐shelter-‐you-‐wouldnt-‐mind-‐living-‐inSure, the 225-‐pound shelter is Eny and has no room to stand, but thats not the point. It provides everything you need, including a kichen, rest/sleeping area, and makeshiI washroom, and it can be easily carted around from street to street. The roof also acts as a raincatcher, and a tank collects water for later use. An overﬂow feature lets excess water drain to the ground. At the very least, the mobile homeless shelter beats grocery-‐cart living-‐-‐or even, say, renEng a studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And we can imagine that the cart could be useful at fesEvals-‐-‐i.e. Burning Man-‐-‐where protecEon from the elements is criEcal.
Ark.Inc | Jon Ardernh"p://www.jonardern.com/projects/ark-‐inc/index.html
RECYCLED RIGS: Abandoned Oil Platforms as Ocean Mini-Cities?What happens when we move from severing corporateinterests to the interests of the community? Or where they both meet?
Bank on a Boat | Luzia Moraes h"p://on.wsj.com/qTdIOLMost bank managers fret about bad loans or a run on deposits. Luzia Moraes has to worry about a leak in the hull,bandits and rainstorms that keep clients away for weeks. Ms. Moraes, a 43-year-old former housewife, is at the helm ofa swashbuckling new venture in Brazil—as manager of the first floating bank branch on the Amazon river system. Froma riverboat, she peddles banking services in a frontier where people don’t have much money—let alone experience withATMs, savings accounts or personal loans. besides supporting a bank branch and carrying passengers, the 125-foot,triple-decker Voyager III stocks 500 tons of beans, chicken, bleach and other goods that it sells over a 1,000-milecourse and a dozen ports of call.
Protei, a robotic solution to oil spills | Cesar Harada & Team h"ps://sites.google.com/a/opensailing.net/protei/home
RECYCLED RIGS: Abandoned Oil Platforms as Ocean Mini-Cities?How can new tools of rapid prototyping, bio-hacking, andDIY culture as a whole be used to create new economies?
Maker Bot and London Hackspace Meetup h"p://www.makerbot.com/
DIYBio | New York Group h"p://diybionyc.blogspot.com/DIYBio, NYC: The day started out auspiciously, with the Tompkins Square Greenmarket giving us a primo spot on Avenue A to set up our DNA ExtracEon Party table. We laid out all our supplies-‐ dish detergent, plasEc champagne glasses, salt, meat tenderizer, etc.-‐ on our bright green table with a cool poster of our logo in front. The day was sunny and perfect for DNA-‐making. -‐ What are you doing?" and when we replied "extracEng DNA" the second quesEon was always "Why, what can you DO with it?" The answer they seemed to like best was "test it to see if the fruit was geneEcally engineered". The second most popular answer was "if all the strawberries on earth were wiped out, you could recreate them with whats in your li"le test tube-‐ just like Jurassic Park but without the bloodshed".
Environmental Health Clinic | Natalie Jeremijenko
RECYCLED RIGS: Abandoned Oil Platforms as Ocean Mini-Cities?What services might we design if our constraintsmove from concerns about legal implications topersonal ethical considerations?
Slave City | Atelier Van Lieshout h"p://www.archdaily.com/30114/slave-‐city-‐atelier-‐van-‐lieshout/A concept for a self-‐sustaining, zero-‐carbon prison city, SlaveCity can be described as a sinister distopian project, which is verra3onal, eﬃcient and proﬁtable (7 billion euro net proﬁt per year). It is a green town where everything is recycled and a city that does not squander the world’s resources. Values, ethics, aesthe3cs, moral, food, energy, economics, organiza3on, management and market are turned upside-‐down, mixed and reformulated and designed into a town of 200.000 inhabitantsThe ‘inhabitants’ work for seven hours each day in oﬃce jobs and seven hours in the ﬁelds of inside the workshop, before being allowed three hours of relaxa3on before they sleep for seven hours.
Recycled Rigs: Abandoned Oil Platforms as Ocean Mini-Cities | Ku Yee Kee and Hor Sue-Wern h"p://dornob.com/recycled-‐rigs-‐abandoned-‐oil-‐plaaorms-‐as-‐ocean-‐mini-‐ciEes/It is hard to believe that there are companies capable of crea3ng (rela3vely) robust structures far out at sea, (usually) capable of withstanding extreme weather and las3ng for decades or longer. But their use in harves3ng ‘black gold’ from the ocean ﬂoor is limited, as alterna3ves are (hopefully) developed and spill risks increasingly recognized. Here is one vision for how one turn such relics into semi-‐submerged habitats and give them a new architectural lease on life.
RECYCLED RIGS: Abandoned Oil Platforms as Ocean Mini-Cities?If instead of designing for the free market,what if we designed for the street, or black market?
Pan-City Feral Cider Business | Power of 8 h"p://powerof8.org.uk/?p=587
“Wherever there is a fundamentaldisagreement about what is rightas well as a connection to theglobal market, deviantentrepreneurs are there to meetthe unfulﬁlled demand.In meeting our collective desires,they see the diﬀerences in notionsof public good, morality, and healthas bankable market opportunities”
PIRATES OF THE DANUBEIn the context of these ques3ons, we’d like to propose the workshop for the next three days, as ‘Pirates of the Danube’.
Apple Shell Human Traﬃcking Mainstream Deviant Economy Pirates of the Danube EconomyIn this workshop you, the designers and makers and technologists, all par3cipants will explore this rather interes3ng space between the ‘main stream’ and ‘deviant’ economies.
Mainstream Deviant Informal Illegal EconomyEconomy Pirates of the DanubePlojng an exploratory course though the ocean of ethical, moral and legal ambiguity: From organ farming to home restaurants and copyright infringement to river piracy.
foraging dumpster diving open source soIware street hawking smuggling home restaurants drug selling allotments organ selling freecycle Hawala pirate radio Informal Illegal Economy Pirates of the Danube Economy copyright infringement river piracy secret cinema corrupEon street art couch surﬁng malware squat parEesguerilla gardening human traﬃckingHere are some examples of what might be considered ‘informal’ and what might be ‘illegal’ and things which fall on the edges of the too. We con3nue to think of those grey areas in between these diﬀerent economies.
Legal and ethically neutral Illegal but ethically neutralInformal Illegal Pirates of the Danube EconomyEconomy Legal but ethically problematic Illegal and ethically problematicNow here’s the challenge. We want you to create your projects while thinking deeply about the ethical implica3ons of that idea. Some3mes an economic idea might be ethically neutral but illegal, while at other 3mes it might be ethically problema3c and s3ll neutral. Could we as designers consider such consequences of our work too? (and as a note, some,mes four quadrants can be quite good.)
Your Location: The Danube[Par,cipants will select a speciﬁc area of interest within this larger theme and create design proposals and prototypes during the workshop. A trip to the Danube with appropriate pirate-‐gear might be necessary.]
“Forget trying to pass for normal. Get weird. Get wayweird. Get dangerously weird. Put every ounce ofhorsepower you have behind it. Dont become a well-rounded person. Well-rounded people are smooth anddull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikesfrom every angle. Stick in their throats like a puﬀerﬁsh."Bruce Sterling