Understanding and Designing for Distributed Autonomous Systems
Designers and data specialists are at the forefront of exploring new ways of exchanging value, using Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, smart contracting and the direct exchanges between things made possible by the Internet of Things. These novel technologies mean that concepts of value and value exchange are being challenged in a variety of ways, and, far from being neutral, these innovations are entangled with and are co-producing novel political, economic and social arrangements, raising questions of ethics, privacy and the sociopolitical implications of new forms of distributed authority.
This workshop will explore the implications of the vastly evolving distributed ledgers and autonomous systems which introduce the principle that products and services may soon be owned and managed collectively and not by one person or authority, thus challenging traditional concepts of user communities, ownership and power.
This half-day design workshop allows participants to further understand, develop and critique these new forms of distributed power and ownership through a creative exploration of nodes and networks. No prior knowledge is required and we welcome academics, creatives, industry experts and non-specialists alike.
Reimagining Value in the City with GeoCoin
This workshop will introduce new developments such as blockchain and smart contracting technologies to participants in a tangible and experiential way. The aim is to foster and support creative explorations of potential future visions of value exchange in an increasingly ‘smart city’.
After an initial introduction, the workshop will comprise of a hands-on exploration of GeoCoin and a creative smart contracting activity. GeoCoin is a web app developed by the Design Informatics Team to explore digital currencies and value in the city. Based on the smart contracting platform Ethereum and in association with your phone’s GPS data, it will challenge your understanding of data sharing, value exchange, and economic transactions in the city in an experiential way. We will then further dive into the understanding and use of smart contracts through an ‘If This Then What’ design exercise to envision and imagine new narratives and potential applications.
Overall, this workshop aims to foster discussion and understanding of potential issues, concerns and opportunities arising from these new technological developments for society, business and people alike. No prior knowledge of the technologies is required to join the workshop, nor is it necesary to own a smartphone. However, bringing a smartphone along will allow you to get the most out of the experience.
Both workshops are part of the After Money Symposium which heralds the end of Design Informatics’ research project After Money in collaboration with the Royal Bank of Scotland and the New Economics Foundation, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The event is hosted by New Media Scotland as part of their 48 hours programme.