Right here, right now — when technology, interaction design and fashion converge


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Slides from the talk I gave at +Studio Digital Fashion -event in Helsinki 12.4.2013.

Published in: Design, Technology, Business

Right here, right now — when technology, interaction design and fashion converge

  1. 1. Visit us at Köydenpunojankatu 2 aD,00180 Helsinki,FinlandSee our work at www.nordkapp.fi.We’re onTwitter,too @NordkappRIGHTHERE,RIGHTNOWHello, my name is Sami and I’m here to talk about how interaction design and fashion are converging.
  2. 2. WebsitesConceptDesignAdvancedProductDesignDigital drivenproducts & services,business design, etc1997 NowBrandingMobileUrbanInformaticsetcFirst, briefly about myself —My background is in all things web since 1990s. I got introduced to this thing called theinternet while doing the Finnish military service. I’ve been building things professionally for the browser since 1997.I’ve worked on digital music since 1999, in 2000 I worked on one of the first mobile portals in the world. I’ve beenpracticing interaction design since 2004, working on my own, for small studios and also Nokia Design’s advanceddesign group Insight & Innovation from 2005 to 2007. We started Nordkapp in 2007 and here I am.
  3. 3. HELSINKIhttp://ixda.org http://grafia.fiI also founded the local Interaction design association IXDA chapter in 2008, and am the board member of Grafia, theFinnish visual communication designers’ association.
  4. 4. At Nordkapp we design strategy, business, products and services for web, mobile, tablets and internet of things. Wework for both multinational corporations and startups alike.
  5. 5. In our work we try to discover the right questions and related insights, and then design accordingly. Things we’veworked on include how to make Finnish legislative process more visual and transparent, how airline passengersrelate to tablets on air, data visualisation and dashboards for 3G/LTE network administration, responsive digitalservice design for a hospital and optimal in-browser reading experience.
  6. 6. IxD?So, on to todays’ topic. What is this thing called interaction designthen? It is about a lot of things- it is a tool to create, change and better businesses. However, todayI’m talking about the more personal, wearable side of things. Let’s startwith a video which explains this a bit further.
  7. 7. http://vimeo.com/50626032(Acronym FW 2013 -video)
  8. 8. IxD = “Design for somebody using something”Put roughly, interaction design —IxD for short— is about design forsomebody using something. It’s all a bit fluffy and there is no onedefinition what IxD is.It is about the creation of a dialogue between a person and a product,service or system, about designing “things” and “stuff” that have aneffect how people behave.
  9. 9. artek.fi,nest.comIxD challenges the old perception of design as a process of tangibleform giving. Instead the end result can be a whole new kind ofbusiness, business model, built around a new product venture such asthe smart thermostat Nest here.
  10. 10. People + Design + Technology = MagicVery often IxD involves a technological component of some sort. Then thedesigner’s goal is to design things that work so well the technology fadescognitively to the background and people can focus on the essential. Forexample, think of a physical door handle or a calculator app on your iPhone.When you use them you don’t really have to think about how they work.
  11. 11. There is a reason for why IxD is needed so badly right now. As ourworld is becoming increasingly complex, so good design is more andmore important on making sense and clarifying the world. We don’treally need any more swiss pocket knives which do a bit of everythingand nothing properly.
  12. 12. IxD Fashion ?+So, what does this all have to do with fashion then? Quite a lot, actually.
  13. 13. NorwegianRain,MissionWorkshop,OutlierThere’s this macro level shift happening at the fringes at the momentwhich involves a lot of young designers w/ digital background makingclothing. Outlier, Mission Workshop, Norwegian Rain… And what thesepeople do is they naturally bring technical garments and to the citystreets mainstream. A waterproof garment doesn’t have to look itbelongs to backcountry anymore.
  14. 14. And even things like nano technology are starting to pop up in fairlycasual places. You can now buy a made-to-measure, nano coated suitonline.
  15. 15. }When we look at the bigger picture, as consumers, we’re now here.Moore’s Law states the exponential growth of processing power overtime. This means also things are getting smaller, and increasinglydigital eats away the physical. Simple things like the calculator, notepadand the camera are now apps on your smartphone.
  16. 16. 1)SydMead’sconceptartforBladeRunner,19802)TeslaAutomotive,20121980 2012A lot of the things science fiction predicted have come to us, they are almost everydayobjects all around us. The world is becoming more and more connected. Sensors andprogrammed behaviours are popping up everywhere. The question here is — what happenswhen this goes on and on, and the computers disappear? Syd Mead’s car of the future fromBlade Runner is nearly here, but then what does it really mean?
  17. 17. Fixed computing Mobile computing Diffused computingAt the same time, the physical computers are getting smaller andsmaller. Desktops become laptops, laptops become tablets, mobilephones and so on. Computing becomes diffused. There are really nomore mainframes but networked mesh computing. Instead of software,there’s everyware.
  18. 18. “Internet of Things”There’s this big emerging thing called IOT, Internet of things.Computers disappear into the fabric of everyday life and mostlyeverything becomes connected.
  19. 19. We’re seeing this all around us already. Wearable things like NikeFuelband are tiny computers in our wrists, creeping slowly intomainstream. Wearable technology is probably the hottest emergingtech market right now.
  20. 20. artek.fi,nest.comThis happens inside your home, too. Everything is getting connected.The internet is creeping up on you everywhere. In your home, in thecity… and on you.
  21. 21. When everything becomes connected, it can be measured. There’s thisemerging trend called Quantified self: everything becomes measurable.Sports equipment manufacturer Under Armour makes sensor-equippedcompression shirts that measure an athlete’s performance, includingheart rate, metabolism, body position, and lung capacity. Nokia andBurton ventured into this thing called Push Snowboarding two years agoalready— what they found was by measuring things like galvanic skinresponse, heartrate, rotation, speed/gps, etc you can reveal a lot ofthings the athlete feels like.
  22. 22. http://vimeo.com/60342038Where this gets really interesting for fashion designers is that this newtechnology enables new interactions.Here’s a short video about Myo, a wearable controller shipping soon.
  23. 23. http://xslabs.net/karma-chameleon/site/prototypes.phpAlso worth noting that everything will become a display. This is a real,interactive electronic garment prototype display by Karma Chameleonof Montreal, Canada. What they are looking is to harness humangenerated energy for the “displays”. And this is only the beginning.http://xslabs.net/karma-chameleon/site/introduction.php
  24. 24. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1uyQZNg2vEAnd it gets even more personal: here’s a short clip about Google’s newwearable display Glass. Obviously, these guys seem to lead fairlyinteresting lives. Reality is a lot duller. But what it does it enablessharing very personal and intimate experiences on the fly, from a verydifferent perspective.
  25. 25. http://www.google.com/glass/Only problem is it kind of makes you look like a douchebag. I would saythis is kind of Hello World of wearable tech. Not quite there yet, notquite that sexy yet. We’re right now at the version 0.1 of this. it will getbetter and smaller over time.
  26. 26. Another example, from Sweden.Hövding is a CE-approved inflatable bicycle helmet. This is a real thing,in stores since last year. It is based on motion sensing the suddenmovement of impact.
  27. 27. http://vimeo.com/21699682Here’s a thing called Adidas Megalizer. It’s basicallly an ad for shoebrand, but the product is “real” and fairly interesting, especially theplayful behaviour it enables.
  28. 28. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/machina/midi-controller-jacket-v01This can be taken even further, here are a few guys from Mexico Cityactually building a playable jacket, a MIDI controller funded throughKickstarter of course.
  29. 29. utopia dystopiaThese examples are all nice, and sort of techno-optimistic. But it isreally important to understand every utopia always has an explicitdystopia.
  30. 30. http://www.lorenzpotthast.de/deceleratorhelmet/description/This is obviously visible in various art experiments.In case you feel stressed, feel no fear, The Decelerator Helmet allowsthe user a perception of the world in slow motion with its cameras onthe outside and displays on the inside.
  31. 31. For one, the military is obviously very keen on wearable technology andthings it enables.
  32. 32. “Bits on places”Your mom on Facebook is just the beginning. This Internet of thingsbreaks the world and makes things behave weirdly. We needcollaboration between all kinds of designers to make the world a bitmore sensible.
  33. 33. Connected thingsWhen everything goes digital we create new digital maps of the world.So what we are beginning to see is this physical manifestation of thedigital in the city, on us and all around.Coldplay gave away 100 000 radio controlled wristbands on their tourlast year. Chris Martin has a stake in the technology. Heinekenintroduced a blinking, “interactive beer bottle” that reacts to drinkersbehaviour such as toasting of dancing in Milan yesterday.
  34. 34. When everything is connected, it creates new contexts.Things know where they are and can tell you how long does ittake to get somewhere?
  35. 35. Paimiio chair (left) , designed for the Paimio Sanatorium(right) by Alvar Aalto.Images by Artek and WikipediaWhen working with complex design problems, I always come back to architect Eliel Saarinens principle of designingthings to the next largest context — chair in a room, room in the building, etc—which connects to this quite nicely.Were essentially talking about micro- and macroscale here. When adding digital bits together with physical things,we have to go both ways — the next smaller, human context is quite important too.What comes to designing new things, I think this is quite important:
  36. 36. HowardSIlverman,Opele&Places2009:http://www.peopleandplace.net/media_library/image/2008/12/19/pace_layeringThere’s a theory in architecture called pace layering which suggests that buildings can bedivided into different “layers,” each defined by the speed by which it changes: while thestructure, for instance, changes very slowly, the skin, or exterior surface, changes morerapidly, and the interior layout and the position of furniture change more rapidly.
  37. 37. http://www.gizmag.com/bracelet-uses-social-network-to-protect-civil-rights-activists/26954/Now here’s the thing: Design is inherently political: Here’s a prototype of a GPS and SMS enabled protective wristband forprotesters. How could you do something that makes a splash?
  38. 38. AntiPatternshttp://www.primitivelondon.co.uk/exhibition-adam-harvey-stealth-wear-new-designs-for-counter-surveillance-presented-by-primitive-london-and-tank-magazine/This is an opportunity as well. This is a piece of work called “new counter surveillance fashions from New York-based artistAdam Harvey.”When every camera has the capability to ID your facial features, is there such thing as hiding anymore?When we go beyond designing blueprints means we’re dealing with a whole new level of unknown unknowns, dark matter inbetween the interactions. There will always be seams and things will break down.
  39. 39. “ as a service”When everything becomes connected, everything will become a service. This poses hugeopportunities to rethink existing business models.Zara can design a new product and have finished goods in its stores in four to five weeks; itcan modify existing items in as little as two weeks. Could you beat this with internet andsoftware?So what this means is a whole new world for design and designers.
  40. 40. “The strongest impacts of an emergenttechnology are always unanticipated. You can’tknow what people are going to do until they gettheir hands on it and start using it on a dailybasis, using it to make a buck and using it forcriminal purpose and all the di≠erent thingsthat people do.” william gibson on the art of fiction at the Paris Reviewhttp://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/6089/the-art-of-fiction-no-211-william-gibson—Internet has the power to bring down governments, it changes the world. I would like to endwith this quote from science fiction author William Gibson. He articulates very well theproblematic with new things and technology — you can’t really know what people do withyour thing until you put it out there for people to use and misuse. I believe right time to dothis is right here, right now. I would love to talk about this with you guys.
  41. 41. Visit us at Köydenpunojankatu 2 aD,00180 Helsinki,FinlandSee our work at www.nordkapp.fi.We’re onTwitter,too @Nordkapp@samin + sami@nordkapp.fiLet’s talk.Thanks for listening. I am on twitter @samin, and you can email me as well.