The Viridian Design Movement

From: Bruce Sterling []
Sent: Tuesday, September 03, 2002 6:44 PM

Subject: Viridian Note 00333: Doors of Perception

Key concepts:
Doors of Perception conference, Amsterdam, Natalie Jeremijenko, robot dogs, flows


GBN/Viridian Spokesmodel Tina Estes temptingly displays the Sony Aibo prize for our latest Viridian Design contest.

Semi-licit Aibo hacking. Don't look at us Viridians, it isn't our fault:

Entries in the Biofuture Robot Dog Contest:

None yet, but check out this bit of Koestlerian synchronicity from former Viridian contest judge Dr. Natalie Jeremijenko.


Natalie Jeremijenko remarks:

"My robot dog adaptation pages:"

"It's a project I have been working on for about a year now, in typical no-funding way. The radioactivity dog is done and being deployed in November in some post Chernobyl fallout regions by a bunch of Norwegian highschool students, fingercrossed. I have a few students working this semester on the organic solvent and carbon monoxide dogs. It took me a year to convince my institution to let me set these dogs on the students.

"Then you come in to invite hundreds, no thousands of well paid, underworked corporate and anticorporate types to jump all over the dog redesign game.... Or maybe to create lots of interest/material/willing participants and dog adaptation recruits.  Not sure if you are wiv me or agin me! Anyway, it is surprising how coincident you and I can be. I thought I was secretly redeploying my feral robotic dogs as secret agents.

"I think I will see you at Doors? your co-conspirer, n"

(((Why yes Professor Jeremijenko, I will indeed be at Doors of Perception this year.)))


"The design challenge of pervasive computing
14, 15, 16 November 2002 in Amsterdam


"'Everything flows' said Heraclitus. But we have filled our world with complex technical systems – on top of the natural systems that were already here, and social/cultural ones that evolved over thousands of years – without thinking much about the consequences. Some of these consequences, as a result, include environmental decline and poor social quality. So we need to start thinking proactively about the design of complex systems and flows – particularly as we pervade the world with smart systems and ambient intelligence.

"We open the conference with a review of the natural, human and industrial systems that we live among: how they are doing? how they are interacting with each other? We then explore the ways in which flows are a design issue. What are the implications of a world filled with sensors and actuators? What will it mean it to be 'always on' in a real-time economy? To what question, is pervasive computing an answer?

"In order to do things differently, we need to perceive things differently. On Day 2 we therefore ask, how shall we design ways to perceive, experience and understand flows? What does the world as spreadsheet look like? How do you design a global company¹s 'dashboard'? Do we only design visualizations of flows, or do we design for all the senses, and experience flows through performance?

"On Day 3 we look at the design process in the space of flows – and what it means to move from designing things, to designing systems. When computers disappear, what then will we design? How do we move from a project model, to a continuous model of design? In what ways are games, simulations and play appropriate modes of designing flows?

"The conference combines short, punchy presentations – by thirty thought-leaders from around the world - with panel discussions, and interactions among you, the participants. Flow Breakfasts for small special interest groups take place on Days 2 and 3.

"Doors of Perception

"Doors is a conference, website, knowledge network, and cultural accelerator.

"We bring together innovators, entrepreneurs, educators, and designers who want to imagine alternative futures – sustainable ones – and take design steps to realize them.

"Doors brings together the actors and the thinking that will influence social, cultural, technological and theoretical design decisions in the years ahead. Design decisions which are process decisions in a media and network saturated environment, where the computer has disappeared as visible technology. When the computer disappears the environment becomes the interface. We might understand this as a move from content management towards context-management. Yet: what does it mean to manage the design of context?

"Speakers confirmed so far

"The programme will feature 30 presenters together with invited panellists, moderators, and you, the conference participants.

Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, UN Architects, The Netherlands
J.C. Herz, Joystick Nation, USA
Ivo Janssen, pianist, The Netherlands
Ezio Manzini, author of The Material of Invention, Italy
Malcom McCullough, author of On Digital Ground, USA
Aditya Dev Sood, Centre for Knowledge Societies, Bangalore
Philip Tabor, architect and writer, Italy
Bruce Sterling, leader of the Viridians, USA
Patricia de Martelaere, philosopher, writer, university of Brussels, Belgium
Stefano Boeri, architect and urban planner, Italy
Felix Stalder, cofounder of, Canada
Ole Bouman, editor of Archis magazine (who are publishing a special issue on Flow for the conference), The Netherlands
Franziska Nori, curator of the I love you virus exhibition at Frankfurt's MAK, Germany
Marco Susani, director of the advanced concepts group at Motorola Consumer Experience Design, USA
Felice Frankel, research scientist at MIT, USA
Ton van Asseldonk, advisor about change to large Dutch enterprises, The Netherlands
Natalie Jeremijenko, engineer in the Center for Advanced Technology, New York University, USA
Joshua Davis, designer of, USA
Louis Fernandez-Galiano, author of Fire and Memory: On Architecture and Energy, Spain
Axel Thallemer, founder and head of Festo Corporate Design, Germany
Peter Boegh Andersen, Computer Science, Aalborg University, Denmark
Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry, USA
Derrick de Kerckhove, director of the Mc Luhan Program in Culture and Technology, Toronto, Canada
Gill Wildman and Ellie Runcie, design managers at the Design Council, UK

Doors 7 Programme At A Glance

Thursday 14 November
11:30 Registration opens.
13:00 Conference begins
19:00 Ivo Janssen performance
19:30 Conference reception

Friday 15 November
08:00 Flow Breakfasts (by registration)
09:00 Bookshop and club-room open all day
09:30 Conference begins
1700-1900 Open Doors/ Design Grand Prix

Saturday 16 November
08:00 Flow Breakfasts (by registration)
09:00 Bookshop and club-room open all day
09:30 Conference begins
17:00-18:00 Large Doors panel

21:00 Conference Party (attendance is compulsory)

"People are losing their jobs: how do I justify coming to Doors?

"One reason we face economic problems now is that the technology-driven model of innovation has failed. People participate in Doors when they need to imagine sustainable and engaging futures – and take design steps to realize them. Doors helps people and organisations look at the world in new ways. We explore next-generation service and product concepts, and develop exploitable insights, tools, and knowledge. Doors gives you a better understanding of the design process, and will introduce you to scenarios for services that meet emerging needs in new ways. You will make new connections among innovative people and organizations that you would never have met elsewhere."

Wibauthuis, Wibautstraat 3 1091 GH,
Amsterdam The Netherlands
T +31 20 596 3220
F +31 20 596 3202

Doors of Perception 2002. We are happy for this text to be copied and distributed, as long as you include this credit: "From Doors of Perception:". Want to send us your comments? Email

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