For more than a century, science fiction has been both the conscience and the subconscious of the technology industry. Its authors have invented new ideas that became world-changing technologies and they’ve shaped the moral, philosophical and aesthetic lenses that we use to understand our changing world. We use an interface from Minority Report to operate our Star Trek communicators, in order to communicate over geostationary satellites invented by Arthur C. Clarke, to visit William Gibson’s cyberspace and experience the drifting identities and psychological dislocation described by Philip K. Dick.
As a designer, technologist and artist, Greg Borenstein has mined science fiction for storytelling tools that help communicate how new technologies feel and what they might mean to our world. In this talk, Greg presents projects that show some of what he has learned and outline ideas that may come in handy in your own practice.
Presented at FITC Toronto 2014
Learning from Science Fiction
MIT Media Lab, Playful Systems
OpenCV for Processing
A good science ﬁction story should
be able to predict not the automobile
but the traﬃc jam.
— Fredrik Pohl
“The abrupt jolt into other ﬂesh. Matrix gone, a wave of sound
and color . . . She was moving through a crowded street, past
stalls vending discount software, prices felt penned on sheets
of plastic, fragments of music from countless speakers. Smells
of urine, free monomers, perfume, patties of frying krill. For a
few frightened seconds he fought helplessly to control her
body. Then he willed himself into passivity, became the
passenger behind her eyes.”
“the deliberate use of diegetic
prototypes to suspend
disbelief about change.”
— Bruce Sterling
Domestic Robocop, 2010
Prototype Robot Armpit, 2011
Imagination -> Prediction
Technology -> Storytelling
Technology -> Prediction
Storytelling -> Imagination
Collaboration with John Powers
All science ﬁction is
really about the present.
— Cory Doctorow
Sophia Brueckner Dan Novy