20+ years of the Web and we are still at the very beginning of understanding and implementing digitization. For the first time we are facing a generation that never got to know the offline world. By nature they are riding the wave without ever having touched the ground. We might have unlearned our ancestors' knowledge about materials and crafts, it's easy to overlook the intrinsic characteristics of the Web in favour of the newest framework or boilerplate.
Let's re-explore the material Web and evaluate what we have learned so far. Join us in Reykjavik, Iceland, for a trip through history, views and cultures.
The Web as a material
For centuries we've worked with wood, metal, glass, ceramic, paper, textiles. More recently, new materials have emerged; plastics, fiberglass, silicon, and more. We understand their limitations, their affordances. We can fold, heat, manipulate and warp some of these materials. But the Internet and the Web are still very new to us. We don't fully understand them as a material.
What does this mean for the Web? What are the properties of the Web as a Material?
We have lost the apprentice / master relationship in the digital world. Spending years getting our hands dirty with an expert, learning slowly and really understanding the material rather than the framework. We need to be asking ourselves what sacrifices should we be making for the convenience of our customers rather than shortcuts for ourselves.
What properties of materialness exists in the Web is what this conference is meant to explore.
The conference will be a day long mix of presentations and fun little side-shows from both international and local speakers.
Charlie is a front-end dev manager and Brexit escapee living in Berlin. She has attained notoriety for her foul mouthed tirades on social media, and for making fun of the privileged excesses of the tech industry. She advocates for a simpler approach to the web, and writes about how vital empathy and kindness are in building sites for our fellow humans.
Chanel went from fashion to full-stack with the ambitions to combine both fields and change the game. Gripping onto her core values of sustainability and ethical trade, she has a goal to eliminate the human and environmental exploitation caused by the hyper-consumerism of clothing. While changing industries, the California native also changed residences, embarking on her dev journey in Berlin — a burgeoning fashion and tech-hub. There she works as a full-stack dev, exploring what it means to be a junior with an unconventional background and diverse perspective in the tech industry.
Stephanie is a designer, researcher, and product strategist with an expertise in the sociocultural, economic, and systemic impacts of technology. A mobile industry veteran, Stephanie has worked with some of the world's leading technology brands including Microsoft, Philips, Intel, Symbian, Nokia, Opera Software, and Mozilla. She is also co-founder and principal at yiibu, a small design studio that blends product strategy, research, and foresight to explore issues around automation, algorithms, and the future of the (open?) internet.
To expand our line-up, we invite several shorter talks to compliment what we're learning. These may or may not be web releated, but they will always be technical, fun, interesting and stay with the theme of Material.
TBA: The Web as Sound
What would it be like exploring the web of sound? Audio is a big part of how we interact with the world, what aspects of sound can we explore when it comes to the web?
TBA: Responsive design in analog
We focus on a web which is flexible and can look different on different devices for different people. What sorts of parallels are there in the analog world? What can we learn from the scoffolding we might need to make something physcial flexible?
TBA: The Web of Smell
Scents and odurs are not something we tend to experience in a digital context. Could that change, or should it? We want to explore how smell can compliment the Web and what affordances we can take from smell to apply to how we think and design in the digital world.
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