Nicolas Nova is cofounder of the Near Future Laboratory and a faculty member at the Geneva University of Art and Design, where he teaches ethnography, the history of digital cultures, and design research. He holds a Ph.D. in human-machine interaction from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and has served as a guest researcher at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He is the author of Les flops technologiques (FYP Editions) and Curious Rituals: Gestural Interactions in the Digital Everyday (Near Future Laboratory Press). He is also head of the editorial board for the Lift conference, one of Europe’s leading innovation and digital technology events, a reflection of his interest in user-centered design, emerging design trends, and their relationships to digital technologies.
Once-virtual digital services are now embodied by communicating objects in our urban environment. This talk will examine the challenges and opportunities inherent to designing these new objects. In other words, how can communicating objects be used to make virtual services tangible? What materials-related issues will designers need to address? What role should be given to the interconnections between these communicating objects? What existing objects could be leveraged to ensure that communicating objects are integrated into our cities in a way that is relevant? And, ultimately, is it actually possible for the digital city to be anything else but a series of screens?