The Future Of Now | Designing Social

dowa session

“Let’s just forget about the future, And get on with the past” Sting

Imagine designing a classroom. A place for learning and the cultivation of curiosity.

Four walls. Ceiling and a floor. Some windows and a door. Other elements like power sockets, furniture, projector, whiteboards, light switches. Focus on that light switch. It could be a dimmer or maybe a couple of configurations laid out as buttons in a vertical line. It’s usually just on or off.

Replace it with a camera. Now with existing gestural technology and software the users of the room have the potential to wave their hand or hold up a certain amount of fingers to make it work.

What if the camera was ‘broken’. Left open for the students to decide how it will function and better still to learn how to programme to make it work. Maybe they replace it with a microphone as they want voice commands (and it changes to recognise different languages for what is being taught that day in class). Or the camera recognises colour which in turn light the room the same way.

Now, not only is the classroom designed as a place to learn but also a space to learn how to use.


‘The Future Of Now’ was the title of a talk / workshop developed and delivered to the wonderful souls at DOWA-IBI Group Architects, Portland, Oregon (during my stateside trip in July).

The above was a response I gave when one of the architects asked for a very specific application to some of the social media / technologies in their future designs.

The official line:

DK was engaging, informative and thoughtful. He challenged us to think differently. The take away was: what is has already become what was and we should consider what will be with the opportunities available today.

For a firm like us we welcome that challenge.
John Weekes, Co-Founder, DOWA-IBI Group Architects

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