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http://www.convolodesign.com/studio/

   Informed by research and experimentation into various disciplines Convolo Design achieves unique aesthetic and tactile qualities throughout the scope of design work.  Computational design processes  and  fabrication methods are used in order to produce optimal and dynamic functional form.

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Identifying a New Era

Technology and Big Data

The two most recent philosophical Epochs, Modernism and Post Modernism are defined by their modernist systems which are evident in art, architecture and philosophy. They are two different movements in time preaching the modern philosophies of their era.

In the present day, 65 years after it was conceived, Post modernism still lingers.  This is not to say that we have had the same modern school of thought govern our creative societies for over half a century. It is possibly due to our extreme advancements in technology and science, which have caused disruption to old systems and practices that our current epoch is yet to be properly defined.

Post modernism evolved around a scepticism of the inherent philosophies of Modernism: established as a critique against modernist literature, art, philosophy, economics, architecture and literary endeavours.   . As with most revolutionary periods throughout the ages, society will likely forever continue to question our current knowledge base in a desire to improve and enhance humanity’s existence.

The current era is set apart from all the rest by the major factor of Big Data, along with 3D information, nano, digital and cognitive technologies. We have arrived at the profound understanding that biological computational systems are our educators and attempting to mimic them is our contemporary issue. No longer will a successful social ecology be influenced by apparent poetic theories. The paradigm shifts in human behaviour are now predominately determined by the global innovation economy and long term statistical studies. Big data has paved the way to a greener future as perceptions and realities toward the consequences of our actions on the environment become clear. Developments and attitudes toward production Industries are becoming environmentally conscious and innovation in technology is preparing for a sustainable future to combat the results of a growing global population.

History tells of an exciting time when the first industrial revolution was brought forth by the mechanisation of the textile industry encouraging other industries to do the same. From this the second industrial revolution established itself – the principal development being the assembly line and mass production which was invented to cope with the demand of a growing global population. Finally the new information age, as some call it, or the PDP era (Programmed Data Processor) has brought the arrival of the third industrial revolution.  It is powered by 3D manufacturing, artificial intelligence and robotic systems.  Virtually anything can be 3D manufactured from buildings and gastronomic delights to replica human organs for life saving operations. In terms of efficiency this is almost a full circle in manufacturing, becoming environmentally sustainable (print on demand), with production made so fast and cheap it becomes highly cost effective and it has re-introduced a level of individualism which was once the domain of ‘hand crafted’ specialist niches. This is the era where a world of 7 billion individuals have the potential to create or customise products and express individuality. The technology can be within our own homes enabling us to build smart prosthetic limbs or toy aeroplanes for our children at the ‘touch of a screen’.

The concept of “the tool” is morphing from a hand-held device to an extension of oneself whether it be an iPhone or brain chip implant. It is not only our personal products but our urban ecology that is becoming infused with ubiquitous technology and the semantic web. We are virtually computing our every move and connect ourselves to a network of sensors allowing us to think and act together as we creep exponentially toward an age of singularity. Perhaps we are somewhere between Ray Kurzweils Epoch’s 4 and 5 where the information in hardware and software is merging into information technology in neural patterns. If this is so then we as its creators must identify with a moral philosophy. As the architects of these programs and systems we must instil the importance of security, democracy and humanity within this philosophy in order to not lose sight of the fragile balance between nature and the synthetic world.

Social critic Paul Goodman saw technology as a branch of moral philosophy, not of science. Some people believe technology is an instrument for solving humanity’s most profound dilemmas. On the contrary, others perceive advancements in technology to be the start of dehumanisation of daily life, sending us to technocracy.  These beliefs, although highly generalised, have some truth to them. The fact is we alone are not capable of reducing the consequences of our actions as a growing global consumer culture: the environment will suffer, infrastructures will collapse and children and the elderly will face great difficulties.

Technological and scientific progress has never been as imperative to sustaining life as it is today and according to Moore’s law we will only accelerate our dependence on it. Information has transformed the nature of the human consciousness, altering how we perceive the world and how we live in it. The global trend of the innovation economy functions as the main catalyst to strategically position us in the midst of a third industrial revolution. We have entered an era of evolution through data and nature is our advisor.

 

 

 

 

Written by

Sarah Ceravolo

Founder of Ceravolo Design – 20/10/2015