In collaboration with Marei Wollersberger, our project for the Future of Vienna entitled ‘CitizenEvolution’ has been chosen to be exhibited at the MAK in Vienna. One scenario describes how adapting rooftops in Vienna will enable individuals to generate energy by extracting filtered bio gases from pigeon poo. Our work was recently posted on the Austrian newspaper website called kurier:
“Project Vienna – A Design Strategy – Designstrategien für die Zukunft Wiens | kurier.at
“Marei Wollersberger and Jessica Charlesworth propose 4 hypothetical scenarios, that create new social structures and dynamics in the city through new interactions and usage of existing resources. For example the pigeonry of the new generation: the consumer generates energy by extracting filtered bio gases from pigeon shit directly on his rooftop.”
“By combining the DNA of parents with genetic material from a third person, scientists might have developed a way for women with rare genetic disorders to have healthy children. The bad news: The ethical complications involved are so messy that it might be a long time coming. The researchers outline their work in a study in this week’s Nature. On the surface, the idea is fairly simple. They took the nuclei out of the father’s sperm and the mother’s egg, and transplanted them into a donor’s egg cell that had its nucleus removed, but whose mitochondria remained in the cell’s cytoplasm. What you get is the genetics of both parents, plus the mitochondrial DNA of the host. This technique was pioneered in monkeys last summer, but researchers have now done a proof-of-principle study with human cells.”
via Discover Magazine
During my internship on the Tackling Obesities project at Foresight, DTI (now Government Office for Science) we were asked to respond and envision the impact of the predicted obesity epidemic over the next 40 years. This current scientific research development reflects some of the work I generated during this internship; one scenario Michael Burton and I generated was entitled P-Evolution Clinic.
P-Evolution Clinic: The Immersive Future Child Portrait Room
The P-Evo Clinic is the ultimate preventative measure against our obesity epidemic and a development of the Family Planning Association. It offers services to would-be parents, through advanced PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis), to predict genetic variants in the not-yet-conceived child. Parents can prepare for possible special requirements their unborn child may need in an obesogenic environment. The experience of a visit to the P-EVO clinic is a rare blend of religious vision, health spa and theatrical spectacle. It was particular a service catered towards three different parents who want to find the opportuntiy to merge the ‘ideal’ DNA of each parent to prevent future predisposition to obesity disease.
This particular scenario was generated to raise discussion amongst the other scenario planners and researchers at Foresight to imagine the impact obesity will have on the health service. Now that this research has been published, where might the discussion continue?
What would be the parental negotiations if 3 parents were responsible for a child? What social services would exist? Would the average family be increased? How will housing change? Would and how will these Gattaca services exist? How would parents roles change? Would the mother become ever more a vehicle for reproduction ( see The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood)
Every day for one hundred days (from October 30, 2008 to February 6, 2009) I picked a paint chip out of a bag and responded to it with a short writing. I have selected my favorite forty, titling each writing with the number of the day it was written (out of 100) and the name of the color from that day’s paint chip. This project was generated in Michael Bierut’s 100 Day Workshop at the Yale School of Art.
About the Significant Objects project
A talented, creative writer invents a story about an object. Invested with new significance by this fiction, the object should — according to our hypothesis — acquire not merely subjective but objective value. How to test our theory? Via eBay! The project’s curators purchase objects — for no more than a few dollars — from thrift stores and garage sales. A participating writer is paired with an object. He or she then writes a fictional story, in any style or voice, about the object. Voila!
An unremarkable, castoff thingamajig has suddenly become a “significant” object! Each significant object is listed for sale on eBay. The s.o. is pictured, but instead of a factual description the s.o.’s newly written fictional story is used. However, care is taken to avoid the impression that the story is a true one; the intent of the project is not
to hoax eBay customers. (Doing so would void our test.) The author’s byline will appear with his or her story. The winning bidder is mailed the significant object, along with a printout of the object’s fictional story. Net proceeds from the sale are given to the respective author. Authors retain all rights to their stories.
Future Implications: Is the future still the four box model?
Peter Schwartz, co-founder of the GBN and a key advocate for scenario planning recently wrote in Wired about how to apply the methods of scenario planning normally applied in a corporate horizon scanning to a personalised futures context much in the same way as FATE develops personalized forecasting with the help of The Delphi Party service and The Microtrends Diary.
As personal genomics continues to become more accessible and affordable, it has opened up another way of understanding ourselves in the future, enabling individuals to quantify and digitise their future health and real time activites. There has been a coming together of how we understand ourselves by the use of other methodologies that are normally used on a large scale. The services that form The FATE Institute experience are about applying corporate horizon scanning to our personalised futures.
Yet The FATE Institute is still not in actual practice but in research and prototype stage. The next steps for The FATE Institute is to evolve beyond its current scope of research …. but where?
FOOD HEDONISM: Was the name of one scenario generated during my internship for the Tacking Obesities project at the Government of Science’s Foresight think tank with colleague Michael Burton. During our research, we were influenced by an essay by one expert, “The potential of contributions from neuroscience and psychology for understanding and treating obesity” by Edmund T Rolls. This essay was sourced by the Foresight team detailing the psychological impacts of our hunger pains and relationship to food intake. We proposed the possibility of creating alternative taste buds that exist elsewhere on the body; could hunger be satisfied using the other senses?. Would they offer the feeling of a food, a phantom food and satisfy the hunger of an individual? Would there be spas that people would go to to immerse themselves in the feeling of healthy food, but smell the sugar and chocolate at the same time. What other sensual mash ups might this ensue? What impact would this have on diabetics?
With this in mind i find it amazing to see that Le Whif has been produced. Le Whif is a revolutionary new way of eating chocolate that you inhale. David Edwards the founder of Le Laboratoire, a new artscience center in Paris in his new book , Whiff, outlines experiments in encapsulating flavours.
“In this latest experiment, the double-Michelin-starred chef Thierry Marx collaborated with the colloidal scientist Jérôme Bibette to introduce a new way of encapsulating flavors. Wishing to present these delectable capsules in an unusual way, a group of art and science college students developed with Edwards a new way of eating by aerosol, called whiffing.”