Future Everything - Open Prototyping
Future Everything - Open Prototyping is a co-creation framework for delivering the benefits of STARTS into ICT development and innovation (Hemment et al., 2017). 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.
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.
|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|