I don’t want to talk about people losing their job in relationship to all this automation, actually that’s good… I love machines. I mean, I’m happy to hear that many jobs such as these will be not handled by humans anymore, in order for them to care about more useful things than serving hamburgers from behind a counter. My concerns goes towards the shopping experience and the way we are taken to see at the future of food in restaurants and groceries. Coop, Amazon Go an the automated cashier are simply a way to upgrade the image of such stores, from a retro analog, motionless, warehouse kind of image to a more advanced, futuristic, up to date modern look. At the end of the story in the Milan’s Coop we still buy tomatoes coming from Spain or Algeria, pomegranates from Israel and I’ll stop the list here.. Now, all this might be related to a more conscious shopping experience, even if the work done by monitors and sensors could be made by a consumer that works hard for preparing himself to the shopping; but, why not to rethink the shopping experience in relationship with a more conscious production of the food itself in large scale? We all know the answer..I don’t want to judge capitalists here but maybe judge a weak and lazy audience that gets fascinated by a monitor telling him the same old story to which is driven to believe.
A supermarket designed to provide shoppers with up-to-date information about their purchases as they make them, with screens that display facts about the item including allergens, nutritional information, and tips for disposal is not enough, or better.. that’s just diverting, making people even more lazy about this specific act.. (are we humans supposed to act like machines maybe?). The failure is precisely this: the employment of the newest and specific technologies following the same inefficient rules of a 50-year-old society, where consumption is seen as a performance, a selection of choices and acts from a repertoire of rules.
Why not imagine the supermarket as a food-lab where the consumer is capable of choosing the food directly from its growth environment? Why not to imagine a place where the consumer could invest his time for developing the food he likes or the one he needs in relationship to specific needs? Sensors, screens or mobile-apps interconnected in way to monitor and even interact remotely with the state of growth of your food, a place for the build and exchange of knowledge, research and maybe even for relax as you do today in a park. Screens and sensors for monitoring what I need in terms of Organic compound, bioreactor for in place growing, bio-3Dprinting of meat with the specifics for my body.
It is a transformation from a place of distribution to a place of production, where the idea of “market” contains the shared experience. If we see food as medicine (or drug if you prefer..I do prefer seeing it this way), then I want a service that really gives me the opportunity to build the “super-food” I need.
Making a step back, there are many reasons why today’s interaction with machines it scares the common user, but is precisely this average user which admits that between the automate cashier and a human service (specifically in McDonald’s), they prefer to interact with a screen for the simple reason that the control of their order and payment is entirely on their own hands, it is faster and more clear when it comes to choosing the meal.
It seems that machines are capable of letting us overcome easily certain feelings related to the purchase of a specific thing.. like when a teenager feels embarrassed while asking a pack of condoms to the pharmacist. The shopping experience is handled between me and a machine, or actually even without the machine.. is just myself, and we got used to lie to ourselves. Machines are enabling us to know more about the relationship between what our biological body needs and what actually gets, more about where food comes from and its nutritional values, are giving us the chance to feel less shame about a specific purchase. In a way the connections are clear, the sad reality of the lazy consumer and in a way this looks to me like a wasted opportunity, a moment in time in which a more radical change could have been made. But of course, we deal with humans and trade corporations, we speak about cultural mechanisms that needs years or even decades to change and improve. This small changes will affect for sure the way we do shopping today and hopefully through technology we’ll be able to see a bigger picture and we’ll start to think differently and therefore to act the same way.
Using the words by Daniel Miller from the book “A Theory of Shopping” :“We are highly resistant to such introspection, (introspection about what is going on when we go shopping) that we almost wish to reject such images of our own shopping activity in favour of a model of shopping as hedonistic materialism that we enjoy abusing.”
Ok, I’m convinced.. There’s the need to make a quick image about this vision and continue the talking.. We’ll keep in touch!
“New Paradigms for Metal Design and Handcrafts” is the publication of the outcomes of the IronCamp Symposium 1. Fourteen guest-editors bring essays and answers on the present and future of metal design and handcraft. The contributors are architects, blacksmith handcrafts, sculptors and art historians. On the basis of its history in forging and a vivid productivity in metal production today, the Schmiedezentrum Ybbsitz in Austria wants to push the discourse on blacksmith handcraft and metal design, and bring the crafting of metal into the future. Thanks to all supporters: Eisenstraße Mostviertel Land Niederösterreich (Lower Austria) Europäische Union (European Union) Ring der Europäischen Schmiedestädte (Ring of the European Cities of Iron Works) gestalte(n)
Article written for the first symposium of metal design and handcraft “Iron camp”, Ybbsitz, Austria 2016. Starting with the description of some manipulability features of the material, I propose two different perspectives about the opportunity to transform metal in a creative way. In the first perspective, there is the idea of a “humanization of machinery”, to extend a new corporeality, where we can reconnect the tools (machines) with our body, where we reconsider the human scale, where we teach human sensitivity to machines, for a contemporary handicraft. The second “perspective” moves around the idea of form in action, where the material could be modified from within, where the drivers are the interactions of physical conditions. A perspective influenced by the innovations in the field of bio-technology and material sciences.
Nyxo has been invited to take part at the “Udine 3D Forum” this November. Designer and co-founder Mirko on a round table discussion, Friday the 11th over the topic of Design and Technology with the Architects Alberto Sdegno and Marco Zito. Come and join us in Udine!!
Welcome to our news board!!
What better way to launch our blog other than sharing with you some of our recent investigations?
Here are few pattern tests we are developing in the last days. Enjoy and follow our news!