Designing tomorrow’s products and services will require new perspectives, skills, and tools. While the potential to make people’s lives better, and create impactful systems is becoming more realistic and scalable, designing these experiences is becoming both more intangible and dynamic.
Design has consistently played a role in shaping the value of technological evolutions to fit our lives, not merely as consumers or gadget lovers, but as people - respecting our real needs and behaviours. Desktop computing was revolutionised by the GUI, the iPhone’s respect of design launched the most impressive device we’d ever seen. Working with data is the next frontier.
DATA AS A DESIGN MEDIUM
Data as more than research, but as design medium itself to help shape people’s experiences, is a fast emerging practice at Topp. While only a few years ago, focus had been on mobile user interfaces as the key element to how someone would experience an app, now it is the data powering complex recommendation services, natural language engines empowering interaction with virtual assistants, and real time location gets processed to provide you with your best route home.
As navigators and explorers designing innovative products and services we feel a need to dig deeper into this. Designing tomorrow´s products will require something else from us than it did yesterday. Looking forward, we have questions we want to explore:
- How will the profession as a designer change?
- How should we adapt the design process?
- How can we use data as a medium?
- And what are the future expectations from people who will use the products and services we create?
A LAB FOR EXPLORATION AND COLLABORATION
The lab itself is an experiment - an open format, in collaboration with academic institutions, start-up spaces, individuals, and other companies. It practices reflection in action, and attempts to incorporate findings into real work. Activities for the lab and events take place in two main locations: Topp's studio, and Media Evolution, an important co-working space for new companies in Malmö, Sweden.
The lab is a terrific space to work together with external actors without having to formalize a project. We believe in bringing different perspectives to the table will accelerate processes normally encumbered by formalities. We believe in bringing different experts from different fields into play with us. So far we have been hosting numerous workshops and hackathons with actors like IBM, Samsung, ICA, SVT, the Game Industry, TV4, Idemolab and many more.
We believe the Design+Data Lab will give us a direction in how and when to bring data into the design process. We also think that this will be followed by some ethical discussions in terms of how data affects users, prompting questions about things like data overload into play and how it shapes the future person.
In the end, we believe that this lab will challenge our understanding and approach to the entire practice of design.