Friday, April 04, 2008
Chocolate, beer, and futures
The photo above, which I took this afternoon, is of an innovative calling card sent by our colleagues at Pantopicon, a consultancy based in Antwerp, Belgium.* It's a door hanger with a detachable set of advertisements for hypothetical future products, such as personalised medical plants, and mood-responsive t-shirts ... all at bargain basement prices! (If you earn Euros.)
Like HRCFS, Nik Baerten and team assist a variety of clients both local and international to envision and pursue preferred futures, and like us, as we learned last year, they take advantage of the imagination-catalysing potential of expressing possibilities in a range of media (which they refer to as 'experiencable futures' or 'futures experiences').
Take this elegantly simple still shot, for example:
Or this video ad:
Pantopicon has also made the occasional foray into user-generated content in the form of FFWD>> with a series of themed photoshop contests around a twenty-year future. (The example below was submitted for the theme "transport" by Gareth Davies.)
While this example is a few years old now, multimedia open source futures is really coming into its own -- as suggested in yesterday's post about design concepts; but also evidenced by the popularity of photoshop sites such as Worth1000, and the terrific cross-platform alternate reality game World Without Oil (previously mentioned here). Anyway, I hope Pantopicon will continue to engage people in this type of visual futures thinking.
Regular readers of t.s.f. are also encouraged to check out their blog, A Thousand Tomorrows, which tracks similar themes and, while internationally oriented, gives a stronger sense of the pulse of futures work in Europe.
You know, they might technically live in a low country, but from what I can tell the Belgians somehow see further than most... ;)
Keep up the good work, guys!
* Actually, it was a New Year's greeting that has been sitting in Jake's mailbox for several months -- he returned to Hawaii yesterday from self-imposed exile for dissertation writing purposes. Aloha Jake.