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Week 8: Future imperfect – looking at changing trends

Introduction> what next?

The pace of change for both technology and how we use it is now familiar to us — even if it drives us a little bit crazy. What is new today may be radically different in six months. So change is as much as part of the four “i’s” as anything else. This week we put on our prognosticator hats and look towards the future. Are there some basic design and process principles that can serve us going forward? Are there some particular trends we should be keeping an eye out for as we move forward? Our reading this week from Digital Habitats (chapter 12) provides one lens on the future. What is YOUR lens?

Discussion #8:

After reading Chapter 12 of Digital Habitats, what do you think is the biggest opportunity goin forward for open and innovative design in terms of what online communities and networks can offer? What is the biggest challenge? State your reasons for each answer and then lets look across our answers and see if there are any patterns in our collective thinking.

Teamwork Activity #8:

Thinking of your NGO “client,” what trends would you advise them to pay attention to as they look into their own futures? What is your final recommendation to them based on your research? This is to be part of your final presentation.

Personal Blog Reflection Prompt #8:

What are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks based on your experience in this course and your project? Please describe them and a little bit about how you have developed them.

2 comments on “Week 8: Future imperfect – looking at changing trends
  1. I think (hope) that wifi sytems will work better and faster.
    That programs will get even smarter than they are already, but without jumping to conclusions (so you can choose to jump back if necessary).
    I think that sustainably savings will be made more visable and more attractive to everyone (either because it will save them money out of their own pocket, or most people will be generally into saving the environment.
    90% of the project will reduce CO2 or recycle somehow.
    Not just NGO’s but 90% of CEO (CFO’s) will lead the way and only work with designers who do this too.

    The biggest opportunity may be the way we share information (more people will be sharing and less will be headed for the patent office).

    The biggest challenge is to find out what works best for you and to be able to choose this platform (hopefully there will be fewer).

    I’ll keep my NGO advice to myself until after the presentation so I won’t influence the students more than I have already… I want i=new and creative idea’s!

  2. Nancy White says:

    One of the things I’m noticing as I scan the blog entries is that we have discovered a lot in our 8 weeks. People seem to have a growing perspective of the possibilities and some sense of the challenges and dangers in using online communities and networks in design, but there is still some important critical thinking we might all keep on our personal learning agendas going forward.

    For example, some students have touched on the issue of privacy and digital identity. These are really important things and we can’t just assume that everything will be and work as we wish it to. Increased participation online increases the availability of our personal data. Few have mentioned that Facebook is essentially a big data mining operation. What are the pros and cons of this? (And I think there are both!)

    Second, I think we still make very broad assumptions and it would be work really thinking more clearly what we mean by “community” in terms of people, not just platforms. Facebook, for example, is not a single community of people, but a platform that holds many communities and many more individuals who have a particular set of relationships with others. The group of people in Rockport, in New York City, working to help their geographic community recover from Sandy are a community and they are using many platforms to support their work. I don’t think we can compare them and “Facebook” in one breath. The complexity is both beautiful and challenging.

    Finally, I too am holding back my thoughts on NGOs, but there is something I really need to say now. And it goes to how we talk about “the poor” or “the third world” as some giant set of uniformity and we have to do something FOR them. The one thing I really hope and hope and hope and hope emerges in the projects is that online tools are not about us in the more developed context doing things FOR those in less developed context, but that we do a better job doing it WITH them. Seeing them as full partners in all phases of the design cycle, and not being arrogant to assume we know what is best FOR them. I don’t think I have made this case well at all, and I’m worried about it.

    All in all, I am VERY excited to see what everyone produces next week!! WOO HOO!

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