The top 10 jobs of 2010 did not exist in 2004, and the top 30 jobs of 2017 do not exist as you read this statement. This networked revolution begs for a new field of business, and new entrepreneurial intentions. [ ] is an incubator for imaginary business-design proposals. Working as fictional entrepreneurs, we seek out the voids and gaps within the daily lives of our future selves, and design for those situations, fulfilling needs that have yet to exist. Our products do not aim to predict the future or solve problems, but instead speculate in order to raise questions around today’s ramifications. As an organization, [ ] manufactures diegetic prototypes and opportunity-reports that aim to inspire and produce entrepreneurial vision, using business as a medium for design-research. Formally speaking, our work is not concerned with the conventions of current design systems (web 2.0, mobile apps, etc.). Instead, our renderings are inspired by the aspirations and aesthetics of the industrial revolution – a method of looking at the past to better understand the future in order to craft a more accessible and compelling visual strategy. The work is crafted through collaborative effort. After establishing and illustrating a design proposal and assembling a diverse team of consultants, [ ] engages in a series of explorations that dig deeper into the affordances of the original theory to create diegetic business, the tangible form of fictional entrepreneurship. While the breadth of [ ]’s research is wide, our current focus is on the potential for innovation within the context of bionic evolution.
I believe we are headed towards an era of sameness – an era in which innovation by the human species alone is impossible because all humanly perceivable problems are solved. While, to some, the elimination of problems may seem to be a great success, I find it to be the most pressing dilemma of mankind. Entrepreneurship, the design of new stuff as a result of our innate empathy towards others, is what makes us human. To strip innovation and ingenuity out of the human equation is to strip the very thing that makes us unique as a species.
Matthew Manos is an MFA Candidate in Media Design at the Art Center College of Design. This is his thesis blog.