SIC 2011: Post-Opulence Design

I had the opportunity to speak at the inaugural Seattle Interactive Conference and, looking for inspiration, I settled on an old tweet as a seed. The result was a talk entitled “Post-Opulence Design”. There have been many requests for slides and notes, so I posted them on SlideShare, where the speaker notes are visible (including image attributions) but I cannot otherwise annotate. So here’s the deck, a video, and a few links I’ve been asked about.

3: I got the word “opulence” from Umair Hague.
4: Douglas Rushkoff came to my attention because of an interest in procedural literacy, but his consideration of social change has been thought-provoking.
7: My job at frog makes me an applied futurist, which has led me to my personal model of economic (business), technological (physical), and cultural (human) forces.
14: The singularity optimists come in many forms, but most of them rely on acceleration of human capability. Paul Allen argues that human understanding will be limited by complexity brakes.
15: The best intro to collapse pessimism is probably Jared Diamond’s TED talk on the subject.
16: Michael Eysenck’s hedonic treadmill suggests we will always be acting to pursue happiness.
18: Conspicuous consumption was proposed by Thorstein Veblen in 1899. Yet it’s only recently the ridiculous model of the rational agent is falling out of favor.
21: If you didn’t recognize the little pig farmers, please watch this commercial from Chipotle.
26: A good place to learn more about both environmental and economic influences that threaten to drag our economy down is the Post Carbon Institute.
29: For evidence that thought leaders are beginning to plan for continued wealth disparity, look up Citigroup’s consumer hourglass theory.
34: The “rise of the maker” is worth a talk of its own. I’m fortunate to live near one of the nexuses of maker culture in Metrix Create:Space, go check it out. My use of a steampunk image was inspired by a viewing of Vintage Tomorrows last month. And if you’re not using Etsy, shame on you.
39: I’m surprised more of the SIC audience didn’t admit to knowing their rough Klout score.
40: Eudemonia is the concept that started this conversation.
42: One of the key concepts behind dematerialization is embedded energy. But as one audience member’s question indicated, even “virtual” business has energy costs, so it won’t save the future from the material forces described earlier.
43: …likewise with ephemeralization.
44: Bonus points to anyone who recognized Dieter.
45: The deck I stole this slide from isn’t available publicly, but Hartmut’s thoughts are also expressed in the Journal of Product Innovation Management.
47: I got this image and the idea of affordable not having to be austere from the wonderful Atlantic Cities online journal.
49: Sometimes the obvious statements are the sticky ones. “Gamification at its best is a form of eudemonia” got re-quoted quite a bit on Twitter, amusingly looping back to Umair Haque.
50: Don’t forget to check out this local project.
51: I hear that the reference to experience boasting led to some great side conversations about whether literacy and education are just proxies for financial wealth, making Goodreads just a proxy for opulence.