Back to the /Futures/ Part I & II

The Best Way To Predict The Future Is To Create it

I have finally returned from the Christmas break

Five weeks to patch myself up and allow for the wounds to heal in time for the second term.

I think I am ready.

*Looking back I now realise that this post is not in chronological order*       
*I apologise*

First week back (Rolling into the Second week). What happened?

Prior to this project starting I had some preconceived ideas of what these five weeks would be like, I knew that it would be rather philosophical and out of the box, that being one of the main things that drew me to it, at this present moment I feel as though I find it difficult to think outside the box on subject projects and I am hoping that these five weeks will somehow allow me to open up more in exploring ideas and get the creative juices flowing.

When this project began I struggled a lot to break out of the mentality installed in me from the earliest form of education. I spoke with Martyn and Sarah about this subject in further and from that I began to think about the effects of this, I also thought about how this subject could be mentioned within my dissertation as a reference point of a starter.

From the age when we begin primary school to that when you leave high school we are taught to follow objectives, one step at a time to grasp the knowledge from a wide range of subjects which is very good in the order of things. This system of learning starts to become difficult when set within a design university, a good description of this would be we climb the ladder of education from the age of four till we reach the top at eighteen, from that journey we have a basis of understanding from all subjects. At the top of the ladder you’re met with an ocean, this is where you begin the university education where there are no boundaries to the direction we choose to go – A vague interpretation of what Sarah explained to me. 

Following another conversation Martyn forwarded a book chapter for me to read titled ‘First Year at the University’, a book by Bruce Truscot. After reading this chapter re-read and took small quotes out that I found particularly interesting.

‘A school is essentially an institution’ Page 8.

‘Universities were founded for quite a different purpose – DiscoveryPage 9.

‘What, then, were universities founded to discover? Fresh Knowledge. Page 9.

‘At the university you will never be marked wrong for a critical judgement which you have thought about with care and argued logically’ Page 17.

Truscot, B. (1946). First year at the university. London: Faber & Faber.

I believe that this links back very well to what Sarah spoke of, whilst at university, especially that of design, we are able to fully explore our ideas whilst also gaining a lot of information from the lecturers in the process. constantly learning and expanding our field of view on the world. It is just difficult to break out of the mind set you have been taught to follow most of your life. I am enjoying that challenge.

On to what happened!

The Objectives of this project

1. Mapping this invisible medium is imperative – we must make it visible for critique and take back control. In all areas of life.
2. Understanding the political, economic, commercial, and military colonization of this space is crucial – we must take back this space for our needs and values.
3. Re-deploying electromagnetic technology for other means is our mission. We must take back control of the Hertzian space.

Hertzian Space – Dunne and Raby (2001) investigate what they call the ‘Hertzian Space’; a modern space that is constructed through the emitting of electromagnetic radiation from all electronic objects that litter our environment. All electronic products are “hybrids of radiation and matter” – television, radio, GPS, telephone, WIFI, Bluetooth that entangle and blur into an electromagnetic medium that constantly surrounds us. Within the twenty-first century we find that ‘space’ has become a not only the transducer for deeper ecological, geological and atmospheric radiation, but a medium comprising a complex soup of more recent kinds of electromagnetic radiation.

Group Thinking…

Our task on the first day was to think about mapping but not in the ways we think of instantly, we were asked to think of interesting ways in which we could map a space. what space? any space. this could range from the location we were sitting to a city….or something..else.

Starting off within a group can be difficult but it seemed to go pretty well from the beginning, having a fellow product design student within the group helped a lot I feel. Following some group discussions an idea was formulated that involved mapping the university building, specifically the CSAD Building based upon the network signals that are available whilst inside. The building is notorious for having very weak signal due to the material it is made from, that being very thick concrete which completely blocks network signals apart from certain locations that are scattered across the various studios.

We were asked to use some wall space dedicated to each group so we could begin to connect and expand on ideas that were added in the future. these are a few initial photographs taken at the end of the day on the Monday.


Following on from the day I began thinking more about this subject and how Martyn and Steve have asked up to fully explore ideas, no matter how farfetched. 

Individual Thinking…

Whilst on the bus to university the next day I began to think about different ideas, one idea that kept coming back to me was different types of mapping…how could this be different to other forms? I wanted to keep the essence of what mapping is but with a futuristic feel to it.

The idea involved the mapping of a city, any city but not through the buildings that we always see but from the signals that are transmitted from those buildings and the people within and around the area. This quickly evolved into mapping people and their activities to create a forever changing ‘living’ map of the city or area, this would most definitely create dead zones where there would be no activity, possibly creating an incentive to go out and bring it to life. (Following on from some conversations with both fellow students and lecturers this idea sparked somewhat of a flame in terms of idea making)

Where do I fit on this possibility cone? I would like to think I fit between possible and plausable.

Whilst speaking to Martyn about this idea he discussed the idea of using the signals to create somewhat of a bubble around a person that would communicate with architecture allowing for someone to walk through walls essentially, the kinetic architecture would form around the bubble. Following this conversation I began to add the ideas formed onto the wall. It was suggested that the more images the better.


Moving on to further developments within this project.

Whilst speaking with Todd ( we discussed the ideas already proposed within my group and he suggested that there was a way in which we could bring most together whilst also linking it with the idea that he and his group had come up with. 

The Idea in steps…

  1. Map the hotspots around the city/university
  2. Plot them on a map. Have people update them via social media so it is in a constant state of flux.
  3. ‘Invent’ something that can ‘mould’ the radio and WiFi waves into a simple chair. (This relates to an idea of Air Architecture mentioned by Martyn and Stephen but with radio waves). It can be a simple fold out square that you carry around and flip it out when you find a hotspot so you can have a chair to sit on whilst you tweet.

Recommended to me was this article…

The Possibility of an Immaterial Architecture: the Collaboration between Yves Klein and Claude Parent

These illustrations show exactly what I imagined our idea to be like.
The work of both Yves and Claude inspired further conversations between Myself and Todd.

The Article:

What if…

What if we could form human and non-human ashes into humanoid forms that could be interacted with. 

Would that mean there is life after death? 

or would that just be a synthetic representation of that human/non-human?

Would you want to see that?

(this idea linked with Todd’s idea about a part of the soul becoming trapped within a photograph and the essay also written by Todd – )


What if you could create multiple interiors within one space? Immaterial Interiors.

Interiors formed by air.

I think the direction these ideas are heading in means there could be something promising at the end of this Futures project. 

I am really enjoying where my mind set is currently located, thinking about very abstract ideas within a project that has no boundaries is a breath of fresh air from previous projects which held strict limitations on how creative you could be. 

I look forward to the following weeks.

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