Future Everything - Open Prototyping

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Future Everything - Open Prototyping is a co-creation framework for delivering the benefits of STARTS into ICT development and innovation (Hemment et al., 2017) as a contribution to the STARTS IoT Methods. Section 2 has introduced the STARTS initiative and the ambition to integrate of Art and ICT to stimulate Innovation and Acceptance. Open Prototyping is presented as a horizontal framework for STARTS and the combination of Art and ICT across sectors and disciplines. It provides a defined method and process to which artist, technology organisation, or facilitator can refer to, to initiate and deliver STARTS in the IoT, or to define or measure success.
The Open Prototyping framework consists of a guide and a set of tools that can be used by anyone interested to design, deliver and evaluate art, science and ICT collaborations. Six stages have been defined that teams can use to structure collaborative creative projects with the intention of investigating and stimulating innovation and adoption in IoT and technology development: Scope, Connect, Play, Produce, Display and Interpret.
‘Open prototyping’ as a term was coined by Bullinger et al (2011) to look at how companies "can and should use external input as well as internal input" when developing prototypes. The Open Prototyping framework for STARTS is grounded in new media art, and is informed by co-creation methodologies in design and innovation. It has emerged out of new media art curation since 1995, and has been successively developed and formalised as a methodology for combining art and technology innovation (Hemment, 2011; Hemment, 2015; Hemment et al., 2017).

This methodology and approach builds on and extends a tradition of combining art, creativity and technology innovation at organisations such as Ars Electronica, MIT, Eyebeam, Waag Society, ArtShare, and FutureEverything. Applied tools and resources draw on the knowledge and experience of artists, technologists, curators and entrepreneurs in creative technology and public participation projects.

Co-creation involves the need for facilitation, and indeed brokerage of the relationships between partners, many of whom may speak in different ‘languages’: i.e. of art, design, activism, business, technology. Open Prototyping provides a methodology for connecting the cultures of commercial technology, critical arts and consumers, to create strategic partnerships and broker opportunities of mutual interest that can have both immediate and potentially lasting impact. It provides a mechanism for goals and interests to converge, and seeks points at which this occurs.

The Open Prototyping Process Model

A key offering of the Open Prototyping process model (V2.0) is the way in which it proposes a scaffold for people to combine art, participation and ICT (Hemment et al., 2017). Figure X gives a visualisation of the process model. It is not intended to be prescriptive, or a formula to follow. An artist, for whom research plays a significant part of their practice, may may use it directly if they wish, however, primarily the Open Prototyping process model presents a tool for intermediary organisations, to design, deliver and evaluate these cross-sector collaborations.
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The Open Prototyping process can move successively through the six stages, although more commonly there is some cyclical movement around certain groups of stages, such as between Scope, Connect, and Play. In these early exploratory phases, scoping takes different forms, depending on those people undertaking the activity. Open Prototyping also offers two main distinctive sets of activities, that work towards different types of value for a technology or city partner Fig. X). The first is the capacity for Scoping and Experimentation (green box) that is achieved in the first three stages. The second is the value in public presentation of an artwork, and the interpretation of outcomes that open prototyping delivers for a technology/city partner (orange box). Each stage has associated deliverables (Fig. X).

Table X below gives an outline description of each of the stages, including information relating to the actors involved, the activities undertaken and the deliverables that are produced by the FUTURE team and/or artists at each stage. In Table X, the actors outlined in bold in each stage are those that are most prominent in leading the activities of that stage.

A description of the Open Prototyping Process Model V2.0
STAGE DESCRIPTION ACTORS DELIVERABLE
1.SCOPE Research undertaken to map, identify and frame issues and dimensions of the IoT and technology development: e.g. literature reviews, networking, attending events, devising community workshops, investigating the sector interests and new technology developments FUTURE Team (incl. Curators, Producers); Artist(s); Technology/City Partners; Communities (incl. Residents, Interest Groups, Service Users); Evaluator; IoT/Smart City Supply Chain Concept Note / Artist Brief
2.CONNECT Artist(s) selected, define team and roles. Engage communities and stakeholders, a strong collaborative approach to build ownership and trust. Co-creation of shared, flexible and realistic Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). FUTURE Team; Artist(s); Technology/City Partners; Communities; Stakeholders; Evaluator Shared goals and indicators (KPIs)/ Stakeholder map
3.PLAY Led by the artist(s). Involves exploring technologies and technology concepts from the Technology Partner, prototyping early concepts with hardware, software and data, testing of artistic concepts with stakeholders, community engagement where appropriate. Artist(s); Technology/City Partner; Communities; FUTURE Project Team; Evaluator Documented prototype and/or Production plan
4. PRODUCE Artist(s) and production team produce/install the artwork. FUTURE plan and launch press and marketing. Wrap-around engagement activity devised to create opportunity for impact at city scale. This is a core preparation stage for evaluation activities, to capture targeted audience response and gather actionable insights. FUTURE Team; Artist(s); Evaluator; Technology/City Partners Engagement plan; Promotional materials
5.DISPLAY Evaluation tools are used to gather data with target audiences. FUTURE Team; Artist(s); Evaluator; Delivery Partners; Communities; Audiences; Technology/City Partners Artist documentation; Press/media report.
6.INTERPRET An evaluation phase, triangulating insights developed throughout the project, analysing the data generated during the Display phase. Debrief interview held with Artist(s) and Technology/City Partners. A report can be produced that communicates high level and actionable insights for the partner. Other communications can be produced to disseminate results of the project to broad and specialist audiences. Evaluator; FUTURE Team; Artist(s); Technology/City Partners Report; Video and other dissemination

The benefits of the Open Prototyping framework for integrating STARTS in the Internet of Things

Research has assessed how combining art and ICT through the Open Prototyping framework can stimulate innovation and demand for IoT and Smart City data and services, and highlight potential roadblocks to acceptance before they are encountered (Hemment et al., 2017). Findings of this research suggest two key contributions of combining Art and ICT through Open Prototyping are to a) stimulate innovation and demand for IoT data and services in ICT companies, and b) enable consumers and industry users to question what is trusted, acceptable and desirable (Ibid.). Table X presents the findings on perceived benefits to artists and stakeholders (Ibid.).

Findings of the case studies and perceived benefits to artists and stakeholders through OP
STAGE FINDINGS BENEFIT TO ARTIST(S) BENEFIT TO TECHNOLOGY / CITY STAKEHOLDERS(S)
1.SCOPE Artistic imagination and research and imagination introduces a novel framing of a problem, concept, challenge or capability. Provocation, jumping off point Domain and problem characterisation
2.CONNECT OP builds connections, ownership and trust between partners, teams and among citizens and service users. Open prototyping builds ownership and participation between partners, teams and among citizens and residents in Smart City development. Build an interdisciplinary team and network Build ownership and trust
3.PLAY The unique skills of artists can explore the limits of technologies, ideas, materials and applications. Concept and technical development Creative experimentsation and artistic user testing plan
4. PRODUCE The combination of art and ICT through OP can add novel, imaginative dimensions to the Smart City. Production of Make the work, supported by engagement strategies. New expressions, interfaces and experiences
5.DISPLAY Art works can create visibility and attention for the IoT capabilities and consequences. Art works can make the IoT visible and build literacy around capabilities and consequences. Presentation of the work, audience engagement. Visibility, attention, participation (in public audiences and industry)
6.INTERPRET OP can elicit insights and stimulate literacy and industry demand.

OP enables people to question what is trusted, acceptable and desirable. Combining Art and ICT can stimulate innovation and demand for Smart City data and services in technology companies.

Build legacy and impact Stimulate literacy and industry demand Insights on what is trusted, acceptable and desirable (demystify IoT, elicit requirements)