Daisy Ginsberg, Royal College of Art and Wendy March, Intel
At the end of 2007, a group of twenty five graduate students from the Design for Interactions course at the Royal College of Art in London were sponsored by Intel Research to explore the future of money. The students were asked to address the following question: As the technology of money and currency advances, how will that effect the social and psychological dimensions associated with those technologies? What new behaviours, new dangers, new rituals, and new pleasures could emerge?
The students explored how the abstract qualities and interactions of money and financial transactions might be made tangible and visible. How could they imagine possibilities to enrich money with personal, social and cultural significance? In this talk we will show a selection of the student projects and talk about the issues they raise, for instance:
Early Exit by Daisy Ginsberg
Would you trade Alzheimer's for breast augmentation or a luxury cruise? With an ageing population and an overextended NHS, you may find yourself alone, geriatric and diseased in your home, discovering new forms of "Care in the Community", ordering your food by rescanning barcodes on empty tins of spam and using a webcam to be diagnosed by your GP. So why not choose a cash windfall and a shorter life? Post Credit Crunch, Genetic Credit has given us unprecedented purchasing power. Gamble on your risky future, and opt for Early Exit: you can eliminate the risk of inherited disease and receive a refund for all the expenses you would have run up. Your life might be enhanced - but at what cost?
Half/Half by Dot Samsen
Half/Half is a money-adviser gadget embedded with a barcode reader and a direct internet connection to your personal money adviser. This adviser can offer you two types of encouragement: materialistic or anti-materialistic, depending on which ear you listen to your half/half with.
The Spectacle of Paying by Gunnar Green
The "spectacle of paying" illustrates the idea of visible gestures as a means of transferring and exchanging money face to face. The initial idea was to create a stringent system of specific gestures - each gesture equals a certain amount of money like notes and coins. This allows people not only to adjust their transfer of money to specific situations, but also to communicate nuances of phrasing and expression through gesture. These paying gestures have to be choreographed beforehand, but the result is, the way of spending becomes more attractive than the holding of actual money.
Your Citigold Relationship Manager by Revital Cohen
With the transparency of e-money all of our secret, private behavioral patterns will become visible. Paradoxically, new freedoms often turn into new controlling strategies. By offering bespoke interactions between you and the bank with the aid of custom made bank statements and electronic devices, the service's aim is to establish a satisfying relationship between you and your finances.
About the authors
Daisy Ginsberg is an MA student in the Design Interactions department, Royal College of Art. Daisy studied Architecture at Cambridge, graduating with a BA (First Class) in 2004, and worked in urban regeneration at the Mayor of London's Architecture & Urbanism Unit. She spent a year at Harvard University as a Herchel Smith Scholar, exploring communication and narrative, returning to London to work for an agency specialising in social, cultural and spatial planning of the public realm. At the RCA, Daisy has been exploring the unexpected social, cultural and ethical impacts of emerging technologies, and considering how design research can be part of this process.
Wendy March is a Senior Designer in the People and Practices Research group, in Intel Research. Her current research focuses on the design of mobile devices. Wendy’s previous research has focused on Personal Digital Money and understanding the ways in which the design of money can reflect social values such as sustainability. She has also studied smart streets, the use of technology by teenage girls, mobile workers and the design of technologies for use by communities. Before joining Intel Wendy worked for IDEO Product Development. Wendy has an MSc in Information Systems from Brighton University, UK, and an MA in Computer Related Design from the Royal College of Art in London.