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Doors of Perception 7, Amsterdam - 14, 15, 16 November 2002

Press Release October 2002

Doors of Perception 7
Flow: the design challenge of pervasive computing
14,15,16 November 2002, Amsterdam, RAI

“brilliant, innovative and cool…trends that will mark design in the future” (Domus)

“bridges the establishment and the cultural avant-garde…a catalyst for radical cultural ideas that result in sustainable business innovations” (Wall Street Journal)

What happens to society when there are hundreds of microchips for every man, woman and child on the planet – most of them (the chips) talking to each other? What are the implications of a world filled with sensors and actuators? What does ‘the world as spread sheet’ look like? What will it mean it to be 'always on' in a real-time economy? Some of the world’s most insightful designers, thinkers and entrepreneurs will address these questions at Doors of Perception 7 in Amsterdam 14, 15, 16 November 2002. The theme of the celebrated international gathering is Flow: the design challenge of pervasive computing.

Among the 30 Doors of Perception’s speakers are DERRICK DE KERCKHOVE (Canada) Director of the McLuhan Programme, JANINE BENYUS (USA) author of Biomimicry: innovations inspired by nature; BEN VAN BERKEL and CAROLINE BOS (Netherlands) of UN Studio; EZIO MANZINI (Italy) expert on sustainability and the design of services, AXEL THALLEMER (Germany) head of Festo Corporate Design, JAKUB WEJCHERT (Belgium) project managerThe Disappearing Computer, STEFANO BOERI (Italy) architect, ADITYA DEV SOOD (India) Director Centre for Knowledge Societies, Bangalore, PATRICIA DE MARTELAERE (Belgium) philosopher, author of What Remains, LARS ERIK HOLMQUIST, (Sweden) leader of the Future Applications Lab, JOSHUA DAVIS, (USA) web artist.

A list of the speakers at Doors of Perception 7 is attached.

Open Doors - Design Grand Prix
Who has the most exciting, innovative and meaningful project for the future use of pervasive computing? To find out, we are staging an exciting special event at the end of Day 2: Open Doors Design Grand Prix. In quick-fire, five-minute presentations, 20 finalists - selected by our advisors from around the world - will present proposals for design scenario projects to a jury of experts. We accept entries until 15 October 2002 in the form of a 500 word max email directing us to a url, sent to: doors7editor@doorsofperception.com. No correspondence will be entered into: you will only hear from us if selected.

Doors of Perception

Doors of Perception (Doors) is an international conference which helps set the design agenda for information and communication technologies (ICTs). Doors brings together innovators, entrepreneurs, educators, and designers, who need to imagine alternative futures - sustainable ones - and take design steps to realize them. Our products are a better understanding of the design process; scenarios for services that meet emerging needs in new ways; and new connections and capabilities among innovative people and organisations. Seven conferences have been organised since 1993 with an average attendance of more than one thousand people each edition; they come from a total, so far, of 52 countries.
The proceedings of Doors are published on its website, which is visited by 300,000 people a year; the site has won a 'Peoples Voice Award' at the Webbies, the so-called "Oscars of the Internet".

Note to Editors

Our press policy is simple:
A limited number of accreditations is available. Come to us with a confirmed interest in running a piece, and we’ll issue a press pass. After that, you are of course free to publish anything you like – we do request that you mention the conference as the source of the story, and include our url: http://www.doorsofperception.com
For more detailed information, please contact Livia Ponzio

Contact details
E: press@doorsofperception.com (Livia Ponzio)
T: 00 31 20 596 3220
F: 00 31 20 596 3202
W: http://flow.doorsofperception.com

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The conference is introduced by John Thackara. As first Perceptron of Doors of Perception, it is his task to frame flows as a design issue for the real-time or ‘now economy’. What will it be like to be ‘always on’? How do we make the ‘world as spreadsheet’ a place we want to be?

Janine Benyus is the author of the widely-praised Biomimicry:innovations inspired by nature. Originally a graduate in forestry and writing, she investigates nature-based innovations that will change the way we grow food, make materials, harness energy, heal ourselves, store information, and conduct business.

Luis Fernández-Galiano, an architect, and professor at the School of Architecture in Madrid, is the author of a remarkable book: Fire and Memory: On Architecture and Energy. Galiano borrows from anthropology, ecology and thermodynamics as he explains the mythical origins of fire and architecture, and explores the work of Vitruvius through to Le Corbusier.

Felix Stalder co-moderates the influential nettime mailing list and is a director of Openflows, a project in participatory media and open source intelligence, based, partially, in Toronto. Stalder explores what happens at the crossovers between physical and informational infrastructures.

Until 2002 Philip Tabor was director of Architectural Studies at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. Now based in Italy, Tabor will explain how architects and designers, from the time of Vitruvius until today, have employed varied strategies to design the spaces of flows.

“Jules Verne would have understood; so would Edgar Rice Burroughs and E. M. Forster” wrote Wired of Axel Thallemer, founder of Festo Corporate Design in Germany. “In their pre-modernist world, pneumatics epitomized the promise of science. But the 21st-century visions that Professor Thallemer is promoting aren't fiction. This technology works. Festo’s groundbreaking work with air pressure produces both the Fluidic Muscle MAS, operationalized, for example, in the lamination of car door trims and the Stingray, of which Bruce Sterling wrote: “The Stingray is something like a rigid, tough, high-tech, flying, intelligent, air mattress.”

Ton van Asseldonk, an expert on the concept of mass-individualization in services and products, advises Dutch companies on structural change. He will introduce Ivo Janssen’s recital of Simeon Ten Holt. In whose work he has found principles of managing complexity.

At Doors 4, Ivo Janssen's virtuoso piano-playing of music by Christian Lauber was the soul of speed - the theme of that year's conference. At Doors 6 his piece, which embodied lightness, was Soloduiveldans II (Solo Devil's Dance II, 1986) by Dutch minimalist composer Simeon ten Holt. For Doors 7 on Flow, Janssen has chosen another ten Holt piece (but he hasn't told us what it is) - a sort of map, with the player choosing the eventual destination. Janssen will pay the new Postpiano, a remarkable digital instrument which uses five gigabytes of discrete samples to recreate the sound of a Steinway D.

"What happens when you go into the garden to look at the flowers- and the flowers look at you?” So asks Bruce Sterling - author, journalist, editor, critic, leader of the Viridians – and proof that good guys, too, come from Texas. Bruce also tells us that we must “learn to enjoy loading mercury with a pitchfork”.

A research scientist at MIT, Felice Frankel directs the Envisioning Science project. Her task is to enable scientists “to see things about their own research they hadn't seen before”. Frankel also organised the recent Image and Meaning conference. Said the New York Times: "When Frankel...looks at scientific data, she sees the art within”.

In her book What remains, the rising star of European philosophy Patricia de Martelaere asks what we can and should sustain in a world of processes of perpetual change and becoming. De Martelaere teaches philosophy at the universities of Brussels and Louvain.

The Bangalore-Hyderabad area is probably the only region in the world where global-quality high-tech, and Bible-age lifestyles, co-exist. Aditya Dev Sood, Director of the Centre for Knowledge Societies, documents developmental ICT projects throughout South Asia. He uses Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to identify opportunities for the design of services by, and with, rural and urban poor people.

For Marco Susani, flows of communication are invisible and intangible “but they are the real picture of collective intelligence”. Susani, director of the advanced concepts group at Motorola Consumer Experience Design, USA, is developing diagrammes and maps of communication models supported by networks and networks yet to be imagined.

For thousands of years, buildings were designed for a single purpose. That's no longer true. Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, principals of UN Architects in The Netherlands, design multi-modal, multi-functional, multi-temporal transport interchanges that are epicentres of extraordinarily complex spatial planning and building design processes. In them, real-time simulations and physical structures influence each other.

Praystation.com, the website of New York artist and technologist Joshua Davis, won the 2001 Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in the category "Net Excellence", the highest honor in international net art and design.

Urban designer Stefano Boeri is involved in the transformation of port areas in the Mediterranean - Genoa, Naples, Salerno, Trieste - where the hubs of old trading routes are evolving as they interact with the new flows of globalised trade and information. Boeri is also co-author of Uncertain States of Europe, a survey of the so-called "nebular" urban landscapes which now surround all major European cities.

For the Director of the McCluhan Programme at the University of Toronto, Derrick de Kerckhove, flow has become an issue for design because of wirelessness - the multiplication of networks criss-crossing and interacting with built environments and objects.

“At the crossover between flows, places occur.” says Malcom McCullough, the author of Abstracting Craft and the forthcoming On Digital Ground. “Design is about configuring situations”, he explains, adding that “flows needs contexts like a river needs riverbanks. When designing flows, look for the crossovers between infrastructures, and expect to add design value right there”.

Computer games are already a bigger industry than Hollywood. But this is just the start. For J C Herz “the real action will happen when online gaming transforms the ways we learn”. Herz is the CEO of Joystick Nation Inc., a company that applies the principles of complex systems to the design of products, services, and brands.

Franziska Nori is curator of Digital Craft at the Museum of Applied Art (MAK) in Frankfurt. Her hit exhibition, "I Love You", explored the worlds of hackers and viruses in a museum context. If the world is indeed to be filled with ambient intelligence, pervasive computing, smart space and the rest, will they be hacked?

A renowned expert on the design of services, Ezio Manzini is Professor of Industrial Design at Milan Polytechnic, and author of such classic design books as The material of invention, and Artefacts, towards a new ecology of the artificial environment. Manzini spent 2001 in China where he set up a design for sustainability network (that includes Doors).

Architect and photographer Michael Awad, of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, was architectural advisor and creative director of Immersion Studio's first digital panoramic film. Awad's landscape photography has recently been translated into a 300-metre-long public train station mural.

David Rokeby is a Toronto-based installation artist and a winner of Canada's 2002 Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. His work reflects his interest in visual perception, language, surveillance and the human body's relationship with technology. His Very Nervous System has evolved into a system used by composers, video artists and medical facilities in many parts of the world.

Michael Schmidt and Toke Nygaard are a pair of award-winning Danish designers and web developers. They are the founders of Kaliber 10000 TM, one of the world’s largest design portals, and their works have been featured in magazines, books and periodicals from Hong Kong to Malmo.

As the leader of the Future Applications Lab at the Viktoria Institute (Göteborg, Sweden),
Lars Erik Holmquist is busy with innovative design methods and open-ended user studies, which will investigate and develop applications that could become part our daily life. He also chairs UbiComp 2002, the premier event in ubiquitous computing.

Jakub Wejchert is the coordinator of the Disappearing Computer project, which explores how everyday life can be supported and enhanced through the use of collections of interacting artefacts. Together, these artefacts will form new, people-friendly environments in which the computer-as-we-know-it has no role.

Design manager
Ellie Runcie of the Design Council, UK, is developing the Sharing Innovation Business Network, a network of the UK's most innovative businesses. She is also responsible for pioneering and managing the Design Council's work on e-business. Her colleague, design manager Gill Wildman, develops industry tools and methods to manage the design process. She works to ensure that tools are fit for their purpose, easy to use, and relevant.

Neil Gershenfeld is Director of the Centre for Bits and Atoms, MIT, a unique research group investigating the relationship between the content of information and its physical representation, from molecular quantum computers to virtuoso musical instruments. Technology from his laboratory has been seen and used in settings from the Museum of Modern Art to rural Indian villages. He is the author of the best-selling books; "When Things Start To Think," and "The Physics of Information Technology".

Roland Lahti, environmental manager at Telia, Sweden, is the initiator of the CommIT project, which involves utilizing information-technology (IT) aids and implementing practical communications measures. Underlying the program is a joint commitment on the part of the largest companies in the area: Nacka Strand Förvaltning, Telia, Ericsson and Apoteksbolaget. Nacka Strand, which was originally planned to accommodate 4,500 work places, has already burst these limits and now has nearly 7,000.

updated Monday 31 March 2003
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