I’m Laura, French/Swiss person currently living in London UK.
On my way to the Borderland (www.theborderland.se) I met Hugi who’s talked to me about this network. I’ve dreamed of something similar for a while now, so I’m happy to see it actually exists and I can jump in it / join the conversation!
I’m a Creative Technologist, which can more or less mean anything, but in my case refers to:
- for 5 years I’ve been working for my company Incidence (www.incidence.io), conceptualizing and building tangible interactive installations for events, both commercial and art related. As such I’ve been the glue between highly specialised partners and employees (engineers, carpenters, metalworkers, etc) and my clients, and have had the pleasure to jump between prototyping, designing, managing, producing, writing contracts and other fun (??!) practical and legal shenanigans.
- From September I’m about to start working for a large company as a mix of software engineer and UX designer, analysing their users’ needs, coding functional prototypes and shipping finished (code) components to production.
I’m more or less interested in any subject as soon as I start researching into it / discussing it with passionate people, but here are a few of the things I’ve been putting more focus on as of late:
- Communities and community building (I am currently travelling through Europe visiting some communities and talking with individuals who have built or participated in some), and will start a (mini) experiment in community building by starting an open collective in a shared house in London when I return this Autumn (if I can find the right house to rent - the housing crisis in London doesn’t help for these kind of experiments!).
I’m particularly interested in questions such as how to build communities, how to make them sustainable (not just ecologically), how (and if) they can integrate current capitalistic models to strive, how they can be a model or a drive for change, how they can connect together.
- Art installations: building on my past experience as an Installation Designer I am starting a new interactive light project. We’re at the very beginning now (research and prototyping) but once we’ve passed this phase I will be looking into funding and exhibition opportunities. This is new to me as I usually rely on commercial funding rather than public art grants, so in the future I’d be interested to connect with people who have some experience around this, if any here.
- Making tech understandable by everyone. Unless being a techy or someone really passionate about these subjects, most people consider tech as a complex and magical thing that they observe from afar, considering that they do not have the time or capacity to learn about it. I believe this is an extremely big problem because this means that they continue to use services that are detrimental to themselves or society instead of switching or demanding services that truly benefit them on the long term, and leave to tech companies and governments the power to take decisions that will affect them for years to come.
Therefore I think that we need to create detailed, easy and compelling sources of information for non-techies. We must create mental models of the techs that affect our societies so that people understand them and make informed decisions with regards to those. We must make those in formats that are highly sharable to reach those who are currently less interested in these subjects and thus make discussions about the future of tech more of a public debate.
On a personal level I have started to write a series of articles explaining in simple terms which technical features of specific tech tools are required to respect important values such as privacy, freedom of speech and decentralisation. (See first article of the series to come here: https://medium.com/@lauraPoni/stop-leaking-your-private-data-use-signal-not-facebook-messenger-b37eee960aa)
These articles should help to clarify complex subjects for non specialised people, however they are not particularly spreadable to a mass public (they still require quite a lot of time to read and therefore some initial interest). But I am thinking of using them as bases for creating other medium that would use some of the information in these articles as a basis.
Although this is currently a personal project, I would be keen to hear from people who might be interested to contribute via feedback, writing other articles, or maybe taking the project further with creating other medium or finding funding for it (or any other thing this might make you think about!)
- Feminism/gender equality: In the past years I have read and discussed quite a lot around these subjects, and would love to continue this discussion/work on projects around these themes. Especially would like to follow the latest discussions on the subject, as I’ve been mostly reading about historical feminism (which is still extremely relevant, but would like to start looking at the latest most subtle discussions now)
… sorry for the long intro; would love to hear your thoughts!
Also please do let me know if I can help with anything