Speaker Nicolas Nova & Fabien Girardin


Nicolas Nova (PhD) is Associate Professor at the Geneva School of Art and Design (Switzerland). His work lies at the intersection of ethnography, interaction design and futures research, with a particular interest in ubiquitous and mobile technologies and the cultural practices surrounding new media. He is interested in observing and documenting digital and new media practices, as well as creating design fictions, i.e. speculative designed objects exploring the experiences of near future. He has given talks and exhibited his work on the intersections of design, technology and the near-future in venues such SXSW, EPIC, the AAAS conference, O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, NEXT, the design week in Milano, the Institute for the Future, and the MIT Medialab.

Fabien Girardin (PhD) is a researcher, engineer, executive active in the development of digital and humane technologies. With a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary skills, he guides organizations in transforming data and experiments into innovative cultures, visions and solutions.

Throughout his career, Fabien has collaborated in dream teams that bring Data Science to the avant-garde of their domains. Most notably, he was the co-CEO at BBVA Data & Analytics a center of excellence in advanced analytics that derived knowledge from financial data to transform the banking industry. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he pioneered in techniques that analyze digital traces of human activity for urban innovation and applied them in the industry with a travel detection system produced for the Boeing Company. Subsequently, he co-created Quadrigram, a visual programming environment that democratizes data manipulation and visualization as part of a practice he coined as Sketching with Data.

Talk, Monday 10th 10:15

Design Fiction in the Fake News Era

In one of his pieces about design fiction, science-fiction author Bruce Sterling mentioned that they "are fakes of a theatrical sort, but they’re not wicked frauds or hoaxes intended to rob or fool people." For him, the main difference between them lies in the fact that people engage in design fiction deliberately, in order to discover the implications of a certain number of changes in society, through a set of prototypes and props. Such statement implies the existence of a design fiction ethic. Given the focus of the upcoming edition of Primer in Helsinki, our talk will focus on the relationship between design fiction work and trust. More specifically, we want to look at the close connections with hoaxes and fake news in order to highlight differences and common traits. Our aim is to rely on such analysis and a series of projects in order to propose a set of principles and to question what a design fiction ethic would entail.

Tickets on sale now! Buy tickets