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Dude. Who Stole My Community? MWUX-13


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In the last two decades, screens have made our world hyper-connected. But do these virtual connections replace "authentic" physical interactions? Have our neighborhood communities become silent places that merely house people on screens? Explore the next wave in maker culture hacking our sense of community with emerging experiments that challenge our notion of "place". Find inspiration from interaction examples that can help prioritize fundamental human needs in your work.

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Dude. Who Stole My Community? MWUX-13

  1. 1. MWUX-13 | 10.18.13 Please take out your phones, turn on the ringer, and begin checking your twitter feed or research where you'd like to eat tonight. During this talk, you have permission to multi-task.
  2. 2. Dude. Who stole my community?
  3. 3. Dude. The story of dude. Duuuuude (chuckle) Dude! Dude. Dude. duDE? Design lesson number 1: Use as few words as possible.
  4. 4. ere . re h W ea 1 Worry 2 Relate Yes, font nerds, I did just use Giddyup in a presentation. 3 Trust 4 Magic 5 Kiss It
  5. 5. I’m Captain Obvious. Name: Charles Erdman Rank: Experience Design Director Unit: CP+B @charleserdman I'm a designer of digital experiences. I'm an early adopter. I'm a curious sampler. I still get a tingle from finding new digital executions. Even bad executions don't get me bored as I'm forced to articulate what "bad" is… But I'm one of many and I'm concerned where this focus is leading us.
  6. 6. Well, the operation seems to be a success. But the doctor died. Here is my worry- that our passion for technology causes us to lose our own humanity. It’s a worry stemming from my desire for our children to experience life directly, not through a medium. I want them to have authentic relationships. I want their communications to have substance.
  7. 7. Worry: When a adult or a child has an authentic experience and utters, "this just like a movie," I'm concerned.
  8. 8. Here are two recent text conversations between 12 and 13-yr olds. Seeking connection, no matter how unfulfilling (that’s parent speak, btw).
  9. 9. Worry: As we communicate more, we are connecting less. And our technology is partly to blame for alienating us from one another. Ignoring the people in front of you in favor of paying attention to your phone. It's so prevalent that the Melbourne office of McCann invented a new word to help sell an Australian dictionary. As of last night, the term had about 711,000 results on Google.
  10. 10. I forgot my phone. Over 26M views as of this morning. Worry: We feel an addictive need to be connected. Especially connected to experiences that are PARTICIPATORY. The marketers challenge is how to INFLUENCE in this environment. “I Forgot My Phone.” Viral video that has over 26M views as of this morning (10.18).
  11. 11. I forgot my phone.
  12. 12. “We’re designing technologies that give us the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.” Sherry Turkle MIT Initiative on Technology and Self Sherry Turkle: Alone Together Tagline: “We expect more from technology and less from each other.” Connected but alone. Sherry is concerned with "community." Worry: We confuse postings and online sharing with authentic communication. We are drawn to sacrifice conversation for mere connection.
  13. 13. Family defines community. In the traditional sense, communities are made up by families. Families are more invested as they tend to care more about the schools, the stores, safety, public services, etc.
  14. 14. Rise of the Singleton. What happens when the profile of COMMUNITY is rapidly moving to a larger population of singles? CNN reported in June, that Americans are now within mere percentage points of being a majority single nation: Only 51% of adults today are married, according to census data. Today more than 40% of households have just one occupant in cities such as Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Denver, St. Louis, and Seattle. In Manhattan, nearly 50% of households consist of a single occupant, a number that seems impossibly high until you discover that the rate is similar in London and Paris, and even higher -- a staggering 60% -- in Stockholm. Until recently, no culture in human history had sustained large numbers of people in places of their own.
  15. 15. Worrisome! Dude. Who stole my community?
  16. 16. ere . re h W ea 1 Worry 2 Relate But the “worry” side... that's just half of me. I’m a man with two brains. The other half is still excited and passionate by what I'm seeing and experiencing. I have huge heart and huge hope for what is happening now. Here's why: 3 Trust 4 Magic 5 Kiss It
  17. 17. The Flood. Recently, we were flooded. I'm here today staying in a hotel. I'm living in a hotel back home. Hotel's are good to me. The flood, while catastrophic on one level, it had its silver linings if you were interested in learning about human nature. It was a great leveler and stripped away pretensions and barriers. Tragedy unifies.
  18. 18. Boulder’s Annual precipitation over 101 days = 20 inches annual. During the flood, over 7 days = 18 inches. Experts would ultimately call this flood the 1,000-year rain with a 100-year flood.
  19. 19. The community came out of their houses and left their screens to help one another. Some became protectionist and went back to a kind of fear-based survivalist mode of operating. Other’s focused on overcoming differences and coming closer together.
  20. 20. “I have a colleague who is looking for a residential rental in our neighborhood.” “Our dear friend... was literally ‘washed’ out of the basement apartment.” Our digital tools helped us connect over real issues. Once it was discovered that we could all manage under these new rules, we got back on our screens- to communicate what was happening. To reach out. To relate our experiences and also help one another with resources. Our digital tools helped us connect over real issues.
  21. 21. RELATIONSHIP The flood brought us out of our homes and to one another's aid. We developed a profoundly new relationship with other people in our neighborhood. We related to one another because we suddenly all had COMMON GROUND. One lesson of the flood for me is how ADAPTIVE we are to new situations. We learn the new environment and we use our technology to recontextualize it. We integrate it into our lives to ultimately create RELATIONSHIP. To put it another way, we rediscover our RELATIONSHIP with the world through each new tool.
  22. 22. More than functional. Tools do help us recontextualize our world. Tools can be more than functionalist or perceived just as utilitarian.
  23. 23. Saroo Brierley: Homeward Bound Here’s an example of a digital tool that we all use every day (except for Karl Fast who gladly admitted that he doesn’t have a smart phone). Google Maps. Have you all seen the recent campaign they created based on a Vanity Fair story? Google Maps has made a a film based released yesterday on the true story of an Indian boy who found his family using Google Earth, a quarter of a century after he was lost.
  24. 24. Tools can have powerful emotional meaning. Maps are more than just a tool to get us from point A to B. They have powerful emotional meaning. I'm a big fan of maps.
  25. 25. Relationship with landscape.
  26. 26. Relationship with scale and speed. 5 6& :;67&=6& >?>@ bB 7689 < ! 6& C;7D & EB F7G>< H& :9C@6>F8?8< & & 79 < & 6m < F:6< & F;6& 9 9 @ & =6B C8& =F@8<>C@?D @ C:9 b9 ;:&F& E& J6& 6J6B ;:& K9 < =6@ 8F@ 8Fm 6& & =6& B FL< 6;J9F;m 6;< D C@& =6C@=& < C;7& >F;:68<F;&88G68& 9 9 M 6&C>6&F7C?4 L < µ OWœ OPEÊ AÊIµ Gœ œ CIÊIESñ Iµ 1Aœ DENVER / BOULDER / OMAHA MADISON / KANSAS CITY / KAILUA HOUSTON / SAN ANTONIO DES MOINES / SPARTANBURG CHARLOTTE / BROWARD COUNTY NASHVILLE / FORT WORTH GREENVILLE / SALT LAKE CITY BATTLE CREEK / MILWAUKEE RELATIONSHIP: CP+B designed and developed the first bike sharing system in the US. It’s the only bike-sharing program that measures the distance traveled on each ride while keeping track of the calories burned and the carbon emissions you’ve prevented. From the website, to the app, kiosks and cards, B-cycle was designed to make getting around your city easier.
  27. 27. Relationship as a business model. Product defined by the RELATIONSHIP between the service provider and the consumer. To get around the strict limousine/taxi regulations, Lyft use social to “help” the driver and rider be friends. Lyft and Uber are businesses that demonstrate the importance of physical location to today’s digital realm. Geography still matters in this kind of service- connecting a passenger in one place with a driver in another so that both can travel to a third.
  28. 28. Relationship through proximity. Street Charge by Pensa: Bringing ppl together around the mundane activity of charging our devices and sparking serendipitous conversations within a physical environment. Just like being in an elevator, you have to stay there. Demands that your RELATE to your surroundings.
  29. 29. Relationship through needs. Hyperlocal Online Food Marketplace: The system connects urban growers with fair and professional trade through an interactive website, which works together with a: (1) specially designed printer; and (2) smartphone application. The program initiates when one becomes a member of the ‘hyperlocal’ community, where users can upload, price and label their products with the app and sell them to a network of registered users.
  30. 30. ere . re h W ea 1 Worry Architecture in the Hood. 2 Relate 3 Trust 4 Magic 5 Kiss It
  31. 31. The lessons of physical architecture on digital landscapes. I'm an information architect. I'm the son of an architect. Architecture influences our expectations of a place. What is communicated to you by the architecture of 7-11?
  32. 32. Prospect Colorado Mixed design styles. A mix of public and private. Honesty to the materials and references. American residential architecture. Encourages an exchange with the commons. Common interests. Find shared goals. When urban planners do it right, NEIGHBORHOOD, becomes synonymous with participation, exchange and TRUST.
  33. 33. Seaside Florida 1981. Pastel houses. Picket fences. Porch on the front. Garage in the back. Opposite of the mullet. The street environment has an intimacy with the homes.
  34. 34. "The internet has been about building virtual communities. It's now about strengthening physical communities." - Nextdoor founder, Nirav Tolia How does this relate to digital? Nextdoor founder, Nirav Tolia, stated in an Economist article from Oct. 2012 that, "the internet has been about building virtual communities. It's now about strengthening physical communities."
  35. 35. TRUST To assure that our communities, on and off line, are inviting, active and energized- build trust.
  36. 36. Trust is geographical.
  37. 37. Trust needs predictability. Nomadic communities recreating Main St and person-to-person familiarity using digital tools. Broadcasting whereabouts. Social provides validation. Similar to the farmer's market stall listing their FB profile.
  38. 38. Trust is recognizable. Who needs digits when you have a face. On the other side- square is liberating people from physical retail locations.
  39. 39. Trust in ambient objects. We know our houses and our habits better as a result of data devices that act as more than a utility and become subjective- ie, we see our world through their eyes. The Atlantic: If This Toaster Could Talk, by Alexis Lloyd Narratives in the age of the smart object.
  40. 40. Trusting others like you. ... They may not know you, but they know your route. They are part of your sense of place that occurs most often between home and work. TRUST through sharing of verified information.
  41. 41. ere . re h W ea 1 Worry 2 Relate Where does the magic happen? Keep your eyes open to what is happening on the edges of industries. Seek out the fringe. 3 Trust 4 Magic 5 Kiss It
  42. 42. At the edge lives serendipity, joy and magic. Our technology tends to create blind spots where we don’t see opportunities as we get habitualized.
  43. 43. The magic of place and time. Dear Photograph
  44. 44. PAPA'S TWEETWRITER Magic of old and new.
  46. 46. Tableau by John Kestner Magic of surprise and delight. Designed by MIT Media Lab John Kestner, Tableau acts as a bridge between users of physical and digital media, taking the best parts of both. It's a nightstand that quietly drops photos it sees on its Twitter feed into its drawer, for the owner to discover. Images of things placed in the drawer are posted to its account as well. Tableau is an anti-computer experience. A softly glowing knob that almost imperceptibly shifts color invites interaction without demanding it. The trappings of electronics are removed except for a vestigial cable knob for the paper tray. The nightstand drawer becomes a natural interface to a complex computing task, which now fits into the flow of life.
  47. 47. Light Reeds by Pensa The magic of seeing the invisible made visible. Poetry. Pensa light reeds.
  48. 48. Pulse of the City The magic of the music our bodies create.
  49. 49. Pulse of the City Imagine if this was designed to do more than stand on a street corner, but also provide data that goes beyond that isolated moment? What if you networked several of them in different neighborhoods with different profiles. Then, if it had an accompanying web app that delivered the experiences meta data in interesting ways? Similar heart beats. Emotion mapping by time and place.
  50. 50. W e 1 Worry Keep it simple stupid 2 Half Full 3 ‘Hood 4 Edge 5 Kiss It
  51. 51. Our brains are hard-wired to find things that don’t align. When you see something out of balance, you want to solve it. Our tech creates blind-spots. Look for the blind spots- yes, in the world, but more importantly, in yourself.
  52. 52. “Colonize our technology.” - Wojtek Szumowski, CP+B Keep it simple. Keep it human. As designers, create the space for the human touch to be felt. We are now leading our technology, not the other way around. We have finally colonized our technology.
  53. 53. Encourage relationship. Build trust. Strive for magic. To help combat our communities and our human-ness from being subsumed, try these design principles in your work.
  54. 54. The end. @charleserdman