“Thing Tank and the woman that used her walking stick as a phone”, Presented by Elisa Giaccardi, TU Delft

As objects around us begin to collect data and make suggestions about what might be desirable, it is possible that they may even be able to design things that we could never think of. Project Thing Tank is doing design research on these possibilities.

About Elisa Giaccardi

Elisa Giaccardi is Chair of Interactive Media Design at Delft University of Technology, Department of Industrial Design, where she leads the Connected Everyday Lab. She is one of the recipients of the TU Delft Technology Fellowship for top female scientists, and a speaker at TEDx on the Internet of Things. Her design research (from her pioneering work in meta-design to social media to the Internet of Things) reflects a persistent concern with design as a shared process of cultivation and management of opportunity spaces.

About Delft University of Technology

TU Delft cooperates with many other educational and research institutions, both in the Netherlands and abroad. The high quality of our research and teaching is renowned. TU Delft has numerous contacts with governments, trade associations, consultancies, industry and small and medium-sized companies.

About Thing Tank

As objects around us begin to collect data and make suggestions about what might be desirable, it is possible that they may even be able to design things that we could never think of. Project Thing Tank is doing design research on these possibilities.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) takes a firm foothold, and as even the mundane objects of our everyday lives become instrumented and connected, they will begin creating and exhausting huge streams of data about their habitual activities. They will learn patterns of use, form connections with other objects, and eventually become aware of themselves in an ecology of other objects and sentient beings. Soon, they will become better positioned to suggest new iterations of themselves or to see connections that may be invisible to the human eye.

In Thing Tank, we grapple and tinker with such intriguing questions brought up by the rise the IoT: When everything is connected, can things design things? Can a tea cup go online and decide to interact with a kettle to create a social network of objects? Can a massive data set be mined from a fork and inspire surprising new designs and uses? The answer is: yes.