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Subjects included Bruce Sterling's prediction of the convergence of genetics and cybernetics to develop a new kind of 'desktop' biology where industrial processes 'run at room temperature' and products are grown rather than manufactured in factories. Jamer Hunt was interested in the possibility of the open distribution of the code of production, to encourage a distributed model for design that is open, collaborative, evolving, mutating with no finished state and driven on demand.


PARTICIPANT ESSAYS

Michael McCoy: The Design of Rich Experience Versus the Mall-izing of Experience

Katherine McCoy: Character and Behavior

Peter Stathis: Metaconsumption: Is Durability Overrated?

Mike McCoy proposed an alternative to the mall-izing of experience where the design of large systems like an airport could create randomness, surprise and change rather than a perfect autonomous fixed entity. John Rheinfrank discussed the explosion of diversity in business and an economy based on connections instead of commodities since the introduction of e-commerce and the internet, comparing it to the extinction event that eclipsed the dinosaurs and created many new life forms.

Susan Yelavich asked if we will cede objects to experience, and will design be the clothing of the invisible, making the emperor's new clothes? She sees PCs aspiring to be furniture but still loves her humble bedside table. Lorraine Wild discussed her recent work with rare book libraries and a deeper appreciation of the book tradition's materiality, 'a fundamental human system for archiving.' Peter Stathis questioned the tradition of durability in manufacturered products and observed that style surfing as well as ecological imperatives might create maleable product identities. Katherine McCoy continued Susan Yelavich's interest in dematerialized ubiquitous networked products, and pointed out that character and behavior will become the primary elements users' experience with this new type of product and communication.

Shelley Evenson argued the need for unified user experience protocols across all networked platforms, the equivalent of dial tones and busy signals for all media. Bill Moggridge protested the over-heated post-modern design scene and advocated a move from 'PoMo to Shinto', a new gentleness and coolness in design that can still tell a hot story. John Kaliski discussed an urban design process he has recently explored that is devised to implode the patina of time and durational experiences into the singular event of urban design, looking for a random aesthetic that can be beautiful. Many discussions extended, intervened and sometimes contradicted each presentation, adding a multitude of additional perceptions and laughter, with John Kaliski contributing the parting shot, 'You've gone from brilliant to clever to just plain wrong!'

Participants included:

Chris Conley, designer, engineer, design researcher; IIT Institute of Design faculty; director of Design Research and Gravity Tank, Chicago; and President, American Center for Design

Shelley Evenson, interactive electronic communications designer; Scient, Chicago; formerly of Fitch Richardson Smith and Seespace; visiting faculty of Carnegie Mellon University

Jamer Hunt, philosopher, teacher, writer, and visiting design critic at Smart Design; University of the Arts,
Philadelphia, design faculty

John Kaliski, architect, critic, teacher; former principal architect of the LA Community Redevelopment Agency; and current partner in Aleks Instanbullu/John Kaliski Architects, Santa Monica

Katherine McCoy, communications designer, writer; IIT Institute of Design faculty, Chicago; and principal in High Ground/McCoy & McCoy, Buena Vista, Colorado

Mike McCoy, designer, partner of Fahnstrom/McCoy; IIT Institute of Design faculty, Chicago; and principal in High Ground/McCoy & McCoy, Buena Vista, Colorado

Bill Moggridge, designer, Stanford University and Royal College of Art faculty, and co-founder of IDEO, San Francisco, London and the World

John Rheinfrank, design strategist; Scient, Chicago; formerly of Fitch Richardson Smith and Seespace

Peter Stathis, industrial designer, Head of 3D Design, Cranbrook Aademy of Art, Bloomfield Hills

Bruce Sterling, featured journalist for Wired magazine; noted science fiction author

Tucker Viemeister, designer, lecturer; former member of Smart Design; and currently Executive Vice President of Razorfish, New York City

Lorraine Wild, graphic designer, writer; California Institute of the Arts former director and current faculty; former partner of ReVerb; and current president of Lorraine Wild Industries, Los Angeles

Susan Yelavich, public design educator and painter; Assistant Director, Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design, New York, in charge of Programs