TALES OF CONSUMPTION FROM 2025
In the near future, where consumers are like 'walking barcodes' and local vendors
are sick of their wretched role in society, together they have found a new way to revamp their identities in the ‘always on’ society.
How will this new found relationship between Leela Amma, a street vendor and Vishnu, a young man in 2025 be like?
It’s 5 p.m. already. Vishnu is waiting for Leela Amma’s voice notification which she sends out multiple times before arriving. Gone are those days when consumers used to indulge in ‘buying’ and ‘selling’. It seems too primal to consume in material forms now.
He prefers streaming goods from Leela Amma majorly for two reasons.
Firstly, their data-relationship is strong. She is amongst the few trustworthy street vendors that advocates for 'privacy-first' lifestyle. Camera tracking and monitoring through heat maps during the Covid-19 pandemic have exposed the harsh motives after five years. The surveillance metrics have gone way beyond healthcare and have seamlessly seeped into capturing every decision making. Secondly, Leela Amma has seen Vishnu grow. He used to accompany his mother to those Friday mandis where Leela Amma used to sell nimbu and mirchi. That acquaintance gives her a head-start
in curating goods that might spark his interest. Apart from the privacy concerns, there is a constant fear of consuming potential ‘controversial’ content that is pushing citizens back into their offline shells. Within this overwhelming havoc, the vendors seemed to capture a silver lining and discover an entry point for themselves.
It gets tricky to spot Leela Amma in her anti-surveillance Pochampally scarf. But she has her reasons; the geometric patterns help her cheat the algorithms and elude detection. Apart from offering streaming services, Leela Amma has discovered a new way to continue her almost forgotten role as a message carrier. Her 3-D printed bamboo cart
comes in handy when she has to circulate discreet information to the fiery activists who are busy deconstructing the status quo. Their motto is “One small step out of comfort zone, one giant leap of change for the environment”.
FUTURE TELLER CARDS 20.25
Physical goods have long had a monopoly on status. Companies like Happy99 and Gucci are making us rethink what it means to consume.
What does it mean to ‘consume’ and ‘pass on’ in a transitory virtual world?
Time expands into a liberating concept. Burning Man 2020 and V&A offer portals to escapism adventure and alternate realities.
In a ‘digital-first’ lifestyle, what kind of behaviours will be transferred to physical lives?
Hopping from one identity to another, games like Everything by David O'Reilly blurs the boundaries between “subject” and “other”.
How might one cultivate wellbeing practices in the digital realm?
Brands like Doconomy help close the aspiration-behaviour gap of citizens. ‘Eco shame’ and ‘Voting with wallet’ become more relevant.
What extent will one take to stay carbon neutral? Alternative approaches: ‘Below Carbon Line’?
Ted Hunt’s "Modes of Thinking" and Man-Machine Affairs takes us on epistemological journey of questioning and analysis.
In new age, tools created by man will change man. What are these ‘new age’ tools?
Masters of Invisibility
Citizens increasingly seek protection from security breaches and the use of their personal information.
How might one domesticate technology to one’s own purpose and context?
Twitter allows researchers to access data real-time conversations about the coronavirus pandemic to tackle misinformation.
At what expense will the shift from data 'owners' to 'stewards' be?
Airbnb hosted a Antarctic Sabbatical, a month-long research expedition to understand the impact of microplastic pollution.
With leisure and scientific adventure converging, how might the future of 'leisure' activities be?
A set of envelopes which temporarily transform your phone into a simpler, calmer device, helping you to take a break away from your digital world.
Will ‘smart’ technology take a step back when when it has to?
This project was guided by Turian Labs, a Design Research and Innovation Strategist