Student masterclass

More-than-human fictions

Tuesday 8 December; 10:00-12:00

Smart, connected, and intelligent devices, and the algorithms behind them, are more than passive and used objects, but actors that influence the world that they share with us. New companions that roam our floors and that we talk to in our homes, new co-workers that we collaborate within our offices, and new autonomous infrastructure and robot citizens that we share our cities with. In this scenario talking about ‘user-centered’ gets quite confusing as users might not be humans, but things themselves.

In my design practice in the past 10 years, I focused on various ways to explore what it means to be an object in this connected and complex world. I have been designing sharing services to please toasters needs, political systems for power plugs to decide how to turn on lights, and VR experiences for people to experience life as a vacuum cleaner. I discovered that sometimes switching your perspective from yourself to the things that are around us and often designing, can unlock sometimes weird, but sometimes amazing ideas, scenarios, and projects.

The workshop

In this two-hour workshop, we will go through some thoughts, theories, and projects to get in the mindset of looking at the world and designing from a perspective that is ‘other’ than human and more in particular of mundane, connected, objects in a home or in a city. 

We will then work on short stories/scenarios on a common Google Doc, where you will have to abandon your human self and explore the daily life of a device, the interactions with humans and non-humans, the surprises that emerge from looking at the world from that perspective and find a way to tell that story in written form. We will then mix up the stories and find common threads between them ending up with a collection of short stories and point of views which will tell about the more-than-human world that we are living in.

Simone Rebaudengo

Simone’s work focuses on exploring the implications of living and interacting with networked, smart and autonomous systems. Sometimes they are real products, sometimes they are fictional. He is partner at and founding partner at