London – LS:N Global members gathered at The Future Laboratory HQ last night to discover how innovators in the field are experimenting with ways to make technology more emotive.
The Network Evening, which coincided with the London Design Festival, explored the themes surrounding our forthcoming macrotrend, Awakening Tech. To that end, LS:N Global visual trends analyst Aleksandra Szymanska presented a preview of the macrotrend in which she examined how the technology is not only becoming more human, but also how humanity is being enhanced by technology.
Guests were also treated to talks by Lauren Bowker, founder of luxury design house and consultancy The Unseen, Jason Holley, director of Universal Design Studio, Yifei Chai, interactive designer at Unit9, and designer Guillaume Couche.
Couche spoke about his latest project Fables, which explores the potential of interactive storytelling. By combining video with eye-tracking technology, he is exploring the possibility of a curated film-viewing experience. The technology means that a viewer looking at a particular part of the screen will have a personalised experience, in which sound and images change in response to their eye movements.
LS:N Global first discovered Yifei Chai at the Royal College of Art graduate show earlier this year. Now graduated and working as an interactive designer at Unit9, Chai discussed his graduate work, The Pretender Project. He showed a prototype of the device that enables one person to control another’s movement through muscle control. Chai spoke about how conversations about Artificial Intelligence are often one-sided and only focus on IQ, when they should focus on EQ, the emotional quotient, as well.
Next, Jason Holley from Universal Design Studio spoke about the work of the Barber & Osgerby-founded studio for the newest permanent gallery at the Science Museum: Information Age: Six Networks That Changed Our World. Holley said it is the largest new gallery in the museum for 20 years and demonstrates the importance of information technology in today’s world. He talked about the way in which the design studio elevated technological objects such as a Sky box through clever, interactive design.
Lastly, Lauren Bowker of The Unseen spoke about several projects that the design consultancy has worked on using its heat-reactive ink. The Unseen is a multi-disciplinary collective that creates work that is dark, beautiful and has potential in an unexpected sector: healthcare. Bowker talked about her hope to use the technology in the medical field to one day develop a non-invasive method of healthcare monitoring. ‘We don’t want to be a gimmick,’ she said.