What will be the impact on our wellbeing if smart technology determines everything?

We launch this new Probes Program with this challenging theme and the kick off is coming up

Experts; Peter Voogt (Owner at IGG, Bureau voor Sociaal Beleid), Carl Heskens (Entrepreneur and Entrepreneurship – Fontys), Koen van Wijk (Chief Technology Officer – ICT Automation) Cécile Cremer (Trend Researcher & Creative Strategist – wandering the future), Henk van der Waal (Philosopher, writer, poet), Thom Aussems (director Trudo) and Idowu Ayala (ONMI Design) will present inspiring perspectives on the theme at the kick off event the 6th of October. Their perspectives will be provocative, inspiring, recognizable, comforting or confronting statements. For sure, we will see many different opinions and view points to be followed by a debate.

The result is a realm of visions, perspectives and opinions that are all applicable to the theme. Together with our partners Philips, Rabobank, BPD, ICT Automation and Trudo. VPRO medialab, ACE Ingenieurs- & Adviesbureau and NPK design, the experts and the students we kick off the Probes 2016, the start of an inspirational, innovative, interesting and sense making prom called ‘Probes’.

Probes is a program of World Design Forum. Probing is a design driven research approach to explore future scenarios around social, environmental and economical themes. Probing uses exploration, imagination, envisaging and empathy to gather deep insights of people’s intrinsic motivations, beliefs, feelings, conflicts and emotions to feed the debate around complex multi dimensional challenges. Out of the debate, tomorrows opportunities, concepts and solutions can be identified. The ‘what if…’ question is the starting point for this probes program. What if this would be the  situation in 15 years from now. What could that mean? A probe process starts with a radical proposition, an extreme future perspective. To stimulate our creative thinking, our imagination. We don’t have to think about reality, about feasibility, we’re unrestrained. Using our imagination to think and visualize a future where things are possible that we can hardly imagine today.

What is Probing?

Probing is a design-driven research methodology to gather insights in the intrinsic drivers, believes, wishes, dreams and values of people. A probe is a visualization of a possible future situation, provocative, empathic, confronting, meant to provoke spontaneous reactions and emotions. These insights feed the debate; politically, economically, socially and ecologically for different, including unlikely, developments in the world. In a probes program we want to identify the inspiration and opportunities for the concepts of tomorrow, for products, services, new business models, new processes, situations and collaborations. The probes process follows the iterations of the design process, from exploration, to ideation, to building the probe to testing and validation. These are iterative loops, that can be repeated at any time, to allow for new insights in the experimental, explorative process.

Students from different schools and domains are participating in this program. Probes is multidisciplinary. At the Kick off event we will compose teams with a nice mixture of disciplines in each team to secure a diversity of knowledge and skills in each team and to stimulate cross virtualization during the program. We have chosen three domains in this program where the ‘what if…’ question can be applied to; living environment, working environment and health. The domains will be spread over the teams.