Resonate 2015 Day 2

Notes from Resonate 2015 Day 2  in Belgrade, Serbia.

Nicolas Nova

Near Future Laboratory

  • Not as interested in “classic” design – post-its etc.
  • Thinking about the future through films and props.
    • 2001: A Space Odyssey. Picture Phone
    • Minority Report. Gestural stuff, but also mundanity of cereal box with annoying “live” characters on them. Stephen Spielberg.
    • They Live. John Carpenter.


  • Films acting as cultural baggage for technology, helping its diffusion in society.
  • Film as a critique of society.
  • Film fans who create artefacts.
  • Speculative Design approaches.
    • Audio Tooth. Auger-Loizeau.
      • Cover of Time. Seen as “real”. Encourages dialog and debate.
  • Design Fiction – speculating about the future through prototypes and artefacts.
  • Scenario planning through the mundane – leaflets, catalogues, newspapers.
  • Interested in the symptom of “the thing” (self-driving cars, robots etc), thinking about the unexpected consequences.
  • Thinking about Topic, Practices, Technology or Idiom (architype), which play off one another.
  • Frederik Pohl – “A good science fiction story should predict the traffic jam, not the automobile”.
  • “Downstream user research”. E.g. future newspaper about sport released with Manchester Evening News.


Corner Convenience

  • Studying the convenience store.
  • Looking at things that are mundane, but were amazing when they were produced – batteries, condoms, aspirin.
  • Workshop imagining convenience objects colliding with new technologies – Replicate while you wait device. Scratch cards for winning a million followers on Facebook.


Curious Rituals

  • Strange gestures that come about through technology use.
    • Blowing in the USB connector of your phone.
    • Holding your smartphone while you walk.
    • Waving your phone to get better compass response.


  • What will be the gestures of the future? Made a short film.
    • Waving objects around to charge them up.
    • Removing VR glasses while the commercials run.
    • Slapping your face to focus while using brain scanning tech.

TBD (To Be Designed) Catalog

  • Started with a workshop at the Henry Ford museum. Collection of lots of objects, including MacDonald’s Happy Meal gifts.
  • Thinking of making a fake catalogue like “Sky Mall” mag.
  • Focus on getting out of the “futurist” abstraction of upcoming technology to something more close to home.


Helios: Pilot Quickstart Guide for self-driving car

  • Designing an object that enables you to ask questions about how a service might be.



Matt Johnson

Bare Conductive


  • “Interactivity Everywhere”. Creating interactivity on things that you wouldn’t think of as digital.
  • Platforms no Products. Two platforms:
    • Electrically conductive paint
      • Conductive.
      • Non-toxic.
      • Dries at room temp.
      • Can be applied in many ways. Paint, screen print, airbrush.
      • People experimenting in lots of ways:
        • Posters.
        • Material: Suspending ink in water to close a circuit in a lamp when prongs intersected.


  • Interface: Michael Shorter’s work on postcards. Problems transporting it because capacitive sensing is sensitive. Just running off an arduino is not enough.


  • Touchboard.


  • Turns touch into sound out of the box.
  • Capacitive touch and proximity.
  • Arduino compatible.
  • Can act as HID device.
  • MP3 player.
  • Onboard MIDI/MIDI USB
  • LiPo Charger.
  • Can use pretty much anything as input because of capacitive touch. Metal strips on the floor. Paper clip.
  • Capacitive sensing can be sensing not touch.
  • Very sensitive to touch.
    • Sparkfun ElectriCute Wall. Can have BIG sensor sizes.





Alain Bellet




Bachelors & Masters courses in a range of design.

Projects from Media & Interaction Design bachelors course. 45 students over 3 years.

Lots of visiting lecturers.

  • Mixing physical, simple interface, web, app design. Installations.
  • “Some more beginnings” taken from exhibition in the 60s.
  • Quest for the new.
  • “We crave for new sensations but soon become indifferent to them. The wonders of yesterday are today common occurrences” – Tesla, My Inventions.
  • Have to have some feelings in response to a design, not just analysis.
  • Play matters. Fun and foolishness impact imagination.

Delirious Home (see: Koolhaus)

  • Milan Furniture Fair. April 2014.
  • Media & Interaction Design + Industrial Design students.
  • Topic 1: The Everyday Lunapark.
    • Tweak a machine to create a surprising experience for people.
    • Coney Island turned the output of industry into objects of play.
    • See: Play Time. Jacques Tati. Critiques of modern times. But also imagining play from everyday surroundings.


  • See: Mon Oncle. Jacques Tati.
  • Paleofuturs. Prediction/vision of the future from the past. E.g. G.E. future kitchen. Now all happening again through the Smart Home.
  • E.g. Chatting with your fridge – LG.
  • Drawing inspiration from the comedic properties of utopian visions.
  • Smart vs. predictable.
  • A home where the objects are uncanny.
    • Mr. Time. Clock that mimics your movements.


  • Windblower. Blow a small fan to drive a big fan.
  • Chiaroscuro. Touch the shadow of the lamp to turn it on and off.
  • Bonnie & Clyde. Spoon follows cup around.
  • Broken Mirror. Becomes a mirror only when you approach it.
  • Cactunes. Cacti make sounds if you caress them properly.
  • Il Portinaio. Hand pushes aside a bead curtain.


  • Delicious Bells. Lift off bell cover from fruit, which plays sound.
  • Voodoo. Two armchairs. One a controller. Generate some movement on one, feel it on the other.
  • Ostinati (obstinate). A series of vessels that keep strange positions using gyroscopes.



Paul Skinner

Creative Director, Tellart
Tellart Experience Design & Engineering

  • Early projects. Media Lab Arts course. Using a spraycan to “tag” your space in audio.
  • Hard to push digital into advertising.
  • Tellart founders are ex-RISD. All about materials and material properties. Sketchmodelling.
  • New York, SF, Amsterdam, Providence R.I.
  • Tellart were part of Chrome Web Lab. With Universaldesignstudio, Karsten Schmidt + others.
  • Early demo real shown to Google uses stop motion.
  • Heavy prototyping.
  • All available online. Sand drawing robot is now producable in Lego through open source, and is in the Cooper Hewitt in their Tools section.
  • Asked to do something for Dubai government. Workshop with Dan Hill, IFTF. Part of a government summit. Trying to inspire organization to be more imaginative.
  • 5 these, around Border Crossings, Healthcare, Education and others.
  • Lots of objects, some of which feel critical in nature. Lots of stories about cultural differences (not being able to show inside the body with healthcare objects).
  • This year invited back to do exhibition again, around City of the Future. Looking at automated cars, smart architectural surfaces.



Moritz Stefaner 


  • 1/3 time working with large orgs.
  • Data art.
  • Studied cognitive science. Interested in the mind.
  • Interested in collective intelligence. Group/swarm behaviours.
  • Data Stories podcast with Enrico Bertini.
  • Pencil as a tool for thinking, externalizing knowledge.
  • Ramon y Cajal – using imaging to understand neurons, while also doing illustrations.
  • Technology is a sensory organ for science – seeing the world through machines, including visualizations. New views of the world give us new world views. They are political in nature.
  • Data visualization as a “macroscope” to look at human nature.


  • Cultural analytics – characterizing complex cultural phenomena.

On Broadway


  • 10 miles, cutting through the heart of Manhattan.
  • See Ed Ruscha: Every building on sunset strip.
  • Google street view.
  • Trying approaches that summarized the street.
  • Also looking at Instagram images taken along the street. Looking for patterns in colour distributions.
  • Looking at layers of data – household incomes, checkins, tweets, photos taken, taxi pick-ups.
  • Social media distribution is way more spikey than the distribution of household income.
  • Exhibited in New York Public Library.




  • Data visualization like portrait photography. Looks objective, but actually highly subjective and editorialized.


  • Data Portraits. Donath, Judith et al.
  • Selfiecity at Resonate 2014.
  • giCentre. See; Moving beyond sequencial data (?)


  • Seasonal wind forecasts. Used by wind farmers and energy traders.
  • Visualization that shows data reliability, predicted strength and predicted change.
  • Also visualizing wind power produced.
  • Local view of prediction is complex since it shows the range of historical wind speeds and a sense of the trend.



  • Delete history on Wikipedia.


Doing more science communication. Working with Max Plank on showing the contents of a paper. E.g. Suprising Variety in Ageing.

Mixed mode

Tool design

Artistic Reinterpretation

Science Communication


One does not simply communicate science. Needs justification. Gloss is never enough. Fear of misrepresentation in the media. Complex papers represented through simple one liners.

Too much trust in the default tools (e.g. matlab)

Fear that a novel, unfamiliar visualizations will result in a paper being rejected.

Resonate 2015 Day 1
Philip Seymour Hoffman