1 March 2009

Adam Greenfield towards a newer urbanism

Be the first to share

Adam Greenfield
Adam Greenfield, Nokia’s head of design direction for service and user-interface design, is frequently featured on Putting People First as his thinking is close to our own interests.

According to his Twitter feed, he is not entirely happy in Finland, but having lived up north myself, I have to share with Adam that the long dark winters have a way of getting at you. Patience, Adam. The bright, light summer is coming soon.

In a lengthy interview (12,500 words) by Tish Shute, Greenfield talks about augmented reality, virtual worlds, Usman Haque’s Pachube project, the networked book, the networked city, and what to do at the end of the world.

“You know what I’d really like to see interaction design wrestle with? I would love to see a rigorous, no-holds-barred examination of the complexities of the self and its performance in everyday life, and how these condition our use of public space (and personal media in public space). I would love to see the development of ostensibly “social” platforms informed by some kind of reckoning with issues like vulnerability, dishonesty, the fact of power dynamics. In other words, before we deign to go about “helping” people, wouldn’t it be lovely if we understood what they perceived themselves as needing help with, and why?

I’d also pay good money to see talented interaction designers turn their efforts toward tools for the support of deliberative democracy, for the navigation of complex multivariate decision spaces, and for conflict resolution.”

Another quote I enjoyed, is Adam’s thinking on the role of everyware in reducing carbon footprint/energy management etc:

“I’m not skeptical about the potential of ubiquitous systems to meter energy use, and maybe even incentivize some reduction in that use – not at all. I’m simply not convinced that anything we do will make any difference.

Look, I think we really, seriously screwed the pooch on this. We have fouled the nest so thoroughly and in so many ways that I would be absolutely shocked if humanity comes out the other end of this century with any level of organization above that of clans and villages. It’s not just carbon emissions and global warming, it’s depleted soil fertility, it’s synthetic estrogens bioaccumulating in the aquatic food chain, it’s our inability to stop using antibiotics in a way that gives rise to multi-drug-resistance in microbes.

Any one of these threats in isolation would pose a challenge to our ability to collectively identify and respond to it, as it’s clear anthropogenic global warming already does. Put all of these things together, assess the total threat they pose in the light of our societies’ willingness and/or capacity to reckon with them, and I think any moderately knowledgeable and intellectually honest person has to conclude that it’s more or less “game over, man” – that sometime in the next sixty years or so a convergence of Extremely Bad Circumstances is going to put an effective end to our ability to conduct highly ordered and highly energy-intensive civilization on this planet, for something on the order of thousands of years to come.”

Read interview

Be the first to share
3 October 2015
Building a design-driven culture
It’s not enough to just sell a product or service—companies must truly engage with their customers. McKinsey & Company outlines four elements of a design-driven culture, necessary to embed experience design in an organization. Really understanding …
29 September 2015
[Experientia book] Ethnography on elderly health and wellness
As we age, we increasingly depend on public services and the community for support. Well-designed public services can greatly affect the lives of the elderly and their experiences of healthcare. Experientia collaborated with DesignSingapore Council …
27 September 2015
Privacy is UX
UX strategist and researcher Alex Schmidt argues that in a world full of security breaches, snooping, and third-party data aggregators, you should know where your users’ data goes. In this article, she explains why it’s …
24 September 2015
[Free eBook] Understanding the Connected Home
Understanding the Connected Home: Thoughts on living in tomorrow's connected home By Peter Bihr and Michelle Thorne Berlin, September 2015 Available on GitBook We know that connectivity increasingly makes its way into our living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms. Into …
5 September 2015
Gallup: quantitative customer experience metrics aren’t enough
Over the past decade, Gallup has observed a growing arms race among brands to implement bigger and better customer experience platforms. These systems -- also called customer experience platforms, customer experience management or CEX management …
5 September 2015
Ezio Manzini talk at the RSA (London)
Excerpt (above) - full replay Abstract H​ow do we nurture conditions in which a diffuse creativity can flourish and evolve through collaborative organisations and, in so doing, realise meaningful steps towards a more resilient and sustainable …
5 September 2015
Prototypes capturing new user experiences for bicycles
Back in May 2015, the Urban Futures team of the Future Cities Catapult (based in London, UK) completed a design research project around cycling. This short project uses film to sketch out some possibilities of …
2 September 2015
What do people really do at airports?
A few days ago researcher Ben Kraal gave a talk at UX Australia 2015 describing four years of research done by him and his colleagues on what people do in airports and what airport …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

29 September 2015
[Experientia book] Ethnography on elderly health and wellness

As we age, we increasingly depend on public services and the community for support. Well-designed public services can greatly affect the lives of the elderly and their experiences of healthcare. Experientia collaborated with DesignSingapore Council on understanding how the elderly interact with public services and how we can look towards improving their lives with design. […]

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

See all articles