title studio

What if, sitting in your closet, your old pair of shoes could talk to your new pair? What would they communicate?

Suppose your sleeve could tell you about the ten different DVD players for sale at the store. What would that look like and how would you interact with it?

If you were at a party, how would the space tell you about the cool person across the room, or where the conversation about music is?

Passages from /users/, Bruce Sterling’s design-science-fiction story printed in the NET book:

In an e-mail exchange, the “team coordinator” directs his design team:

So let’s not start with the product qua product. Our product is not a “commodity” any more, and the consumer is not a “user.” The product is a point of entry for the buyer into a long-term, rewarding relationship.

So what we require here, people, is a story. That story has got to be a human story. It has to be a user-centric story – it’s got to center on the user himself. It’s all about the guy who’s opening his wallet and paying up.

I want this character, this so-called “user,” to be a real person with some real human needs. I want to know *who he is,* and *what we’re doing for him,* and *why he’s giving us his money.* So we’ve got to know what he needs, what he wants. What he longs for, what he hopes for, what he’s scared of. All about him.

Later, the narrator posits the following:

What if the story wasn’t about design after all? What if it wasn’t about your physical engagement with the manufactured world, your civilized niche in historical development, your mastery of consumer trends, your studied elevation of good taste, and your hands-on struggle with a universe of distributed, pervasive and ubiquitous smart objects, that are choreographed in invisible, dynamic, interactive systems. All based, with fiendish computer-assisted human cleverness, in lightness, dematerialization, brutally rapid product cycles, steady iterative development, renewability, and fantastic access and abundance. What if all of that was at best a passing thing. A by-blow. A technie spin-off. A phase.