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Spoiler alert: 11 works in the 131.000 item collection are by non-binary artists, with 9 of those being in the new media art department

Being asked to explore any topic we were interested in for my Data Science class as part of the MA Data-Driven Design, I stumbled upon this official MoMa dataset outlining 138.185 artworks from their collection. Surprised to find nobody had published any analysis or visualizations of it before, my decision was quickly made. …

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Global driving forces (showing up as blue projections) representing the global agenda in the debate alongside nations.

“The Utopia Compass” — a Speculative Design film by Viraj Joshi and Nadia Piet in response to the UN & Design Futures open call on Futuring Peace

In August 2020, the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Design Futures Initiative partnered on an open call inviting (speculative) visions for future peacebuilding. Having just finished our collaborative Postcard from the Future, Viraj and I took this opportunity to turn our thoughts and criticisms of the world into something constructive.

We feel excited and honored to be recognized amongst the Honourable / Noteworthy Mentions for the open call. In this article, we want to share our speculative artefacts, and a bit of the process and principles underlying them. …

A no-code and step-by-step account of training a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) to generate places that don’t exist

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Both Nadia Domide’s and my (yes we’re both called Nadia haha) day-to-day work is focussed on Artificial Intelligence and Design. Intrigued by creative AI practices, we decided to not leave this excitement to client requests and to start experimenting.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the entire process of how we created our first generative AI visuals using Runway ML.

Runway: ML for Artists

Runway ML is a free software making Machine Learning accessible to artists and creatives. They offer the option to (re-)train your own models such as StyleGAN which we were most eager to try out. Around the time we were having these talks, Runway ML put out an open call for their residency program and we decided to apply. …

At Bit, we have a range of methods and tools to explore opportunities for tech-driven innovation with our teams and clients. One of them is our tech cards. We use these cards as prompts to think about the technologies as superpowers to solve your challenges and as conversation starters to explore (near-)future opportunities.

To support you in your innovation journey, we decided to make them available to all! You can brainstorm around emerging tech yourself and with your teams at any time — also when we’re not around.

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Why use brainstorm cards?

Before we look at the value of brainstorm cards, let’s get on the same page about what brainstorming is. A term cited at any opportunity, there are many interpretations about what a brainstorm is. Our take is that it’s a way to collaboratively generate a large quantity of ideas. …

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The start of a meeting can be a little uncomfortable. It feels rude to jump straight into the agenda without a bit of chatter, but you’re also trying to make the most of a limited time.

At in-person meetings, the first few minutes usually fill themselves up with enjoyable small talk. But the virtual equivalent and our new standard doesn’t cater to that as naturally.

So at Bit we asked: how might we open our virtual meetings in a fun way? Inviting everyone to arrive and connect socially without taking up too much time?

Having experimented over the past weeks, we have gathered a handful of our favorite icebreakers for you to try out during your next virtual meeting! All of them take 5–10 minutes and work best for groups of 5–15. …

A taxonomy of practices emerging at the intersection of AI and design.

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Shaping the world around us

The role of a designer is to intentionally shape the world around us with the resources we have available. That world is increasingly shaped by data sets, algorithms, and pre-trained models.

As Artificial Intelligence(AI)/Machine Learning(ML) is finding its way into every industry and area of life, we can no longer afford to limit the development of these systems to the domain of engineering. As people are widely affected, both positively and negatively, we no longer get to excuse ourselves because it’s ‘too’ technical.

You may ignore technological developments and continue your design practice as-is for now. But if you recognize the influence and responsibility we have as designers or are simply curious to learn what AI and design have to do with one another, you came to the right place. …

Can we do for Terms & Conditions / Privacy Policies what Creative Commons did for IP by building a visual iconography?

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T&C / PP suck and are a pivotal moment in skewing the relationship between digital providers and users. How might we re-imagine these documents to be legible, accessible, and transparent? Can a visual iconography help communicate what you’re consenting to?

Terms & Conditions are messed up

We think it’s time to shake things up when it comes to Terms & Conditions, aka this one mouse click that legally binds you to an illegible contract with ambiguous contents. We’ve grown blind to telling the lie “I’ve read and agree to the T&C”. As a user, do you have any idea what the fine print reads? …

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Disclaimer: this is not speculative (nor is it 100% peer-reviewed and flawlessly replicable science research ok).

Who knows you?

What does it mean to say an algorithm knows you better than your colleagues? Better than your friends? Better than yourself?

The first glimpses of this phenomenon appeared to me when I learned about the use of psychographic personas in Growth Tribe’s AI & marketing course preview. Psychographic personas are tools providing marketers with a deep data-driven analysis of each user’s behavior, psyche, preferences, and vulnerabilities to inform their targeting.

Then I came across the concept again watching the interview between WIRED’s Nick Thompson with Tristan Harris and Yuval Noah Harari (some of the great thinkers of our time), in which Harari speaks on it saying “it’s the end of the poker face, the end of the hidden parts of your personality”.

Intrigued with the method, last week I ran an experiment with my 1st attempt at facilitating a speculative design workshop. Struggling to find practical resources online during prep, I decided to share my workshop agenda & reflections here for all those looking to run an experiment themselves.

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A shot from team ‘anticipatory finance in 2030’ the workshop.

What is speculative design?

Speculative design is a practice to spark thoughts and discussion about the social, cultural, and ethical implications of emerging technologies. It’s about developing potential future scenarios, anticipating consequences, expressing interesting tensions in tangible artefacts, and ultimately guide us in designing preferable futures.

A pretty new field, similar practices go under the names of critical design and design fiction (while its originators try to hash out the differences, if any) and the methods are as ambiguous as the terms. Regardless, the results stand their ground. Equal parts strategy and art, it is used within companies to inform competitive business strategies as well as to guide ethical implementation of new products. …

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So you want to be a design thinker?

Fully adopting design thinking as a second nature will take time but there are best practices you can pick up with a tiny learning curve and benefit from instantaneously. Shall we?

WTF is design thinking?

You’ve surely heard the term design thinking being tossed around but let’s backtrack for a second to make sure we’re on the same page.

Tim Brown describes it on the IDEO blog as:

“a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.” …


Nadia Piet

Designer & researcher focussed on AI/ML, data, digital culture & the human condition mediated through computing

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