This is a direct question – and a stark reminder that the answers will depend on the small decisions that each one of us makes in our daily lives, about our tolerance for technology, our foundational values, and the nature of our dreams and nightmares. Technologies formerly found only in the realm of science fiction are now part of our daily lives or wait just over the horizon in the very near future. Each of these new technologies has the potential for great good or unintended negative consequences. We asked people to engage with this spectrum, and to place themselves in an emerging future that reacts to their own emotions and fears.
Interior Design Show 2018
Feature Installation for IDS18’s Digital Installation Lab
Image, Tom Arban 2018
How Bright is Our Future? asks the public how they feel about emerging technologies, where their fears and hopes lie, and what our place in this new world will be.
This installation was conceived for the 2018 Interior Design Show in Toronto; one of four feature installations to support the future-forward theme of their 20th anniversary show. Visitors entered a dark space and encountered five tall, blade-shaped structures, each glowing to light the space. Printed on each of these ‘blades’ are ten statements, each from a category of technology or study that will be critical in the formation of the future of our society. The statements are different on each blade, but the categories are the same. We invited visitors to react to each statement with a touch to the triangular buttons on either side of the text. Does the statement inspire fear, or does it inspire hope?
A large screen behind the installation reacted to each choice; a response of fear projected a potentially negative outcome of the statement, a response of hope projected a potentially positive outcome of the statement. It existed for only a fraction of a second – as soon as someone else made a choice. We measured the overall mood of all participants on a spectrum of hope and fear – how bright is our future, or how bright do we think it is?