Matt Jones: the demon-haunted world

Matt Jones is a designer who was formerly creative director for the BBC news online. He was with Nokia as the director of UX design and he’s now with Dopplr.

Informed by two overwhelming mega-trends in the world – rising urbanisation of the planet and the rapid digitalisation of those cities. It is projected that 60% of the world population will be urban by 2030. Three things to look at in the talk;

  • Optimistic visions of the future from the past
  • How do hackers and designers reconfigure this future past
  • Proclamations for the future

Post WWII there were visions of space colonies and apocalyptic visions. Our cities are increasingly linked and learning – radical theories that came out of Archigram in the 60s and 70s. A time when cybernetics would start (or stop) a war, when tech was big… and required a room to house it. Archigram thought of behaviour as the raw material they were building with – and personal technologies would enable life.

Archigram considered the car the ultimate tool of technical freedom – whereas now the ultimate piece of technical freedom is a mobile phone. Botanicalls allowing plant moisture levels to be tweeted, @towerbridge to tell the world what the Tower Bridge in London is doing. Nuage vert in Helsinki which graphically represents the cities energy consumption;

Always design a thing by considering it’s next largest context – chair to room to house to city…

The demon haunted world we’ve been anxious about throughout humanity is finally being built… through technology. xbee, the open source version of ZigBee which will create the mesh, cascading structure of information in our environments.

Jones is optimistc for the future – play with the city, and play with the stuff of which magic is formed… software

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