What if the stock was not determined by supply and demand, but by the health of the earth and resource extraction? Many things in our society would be different, but I decided to investigate one small niche, the information devices a financial speculator in this fictional world would use. Today, traders use computers and fast connection to continually be in touch with the computer-managed stock market. But they also follow their gut feeling, observations and guesses about human culture, and where the market will go next.
The future object I imagined is an office data visualization, connected instead to a biolab that the speculator experiments with, testing different controlled environments. The device vibrates and blinks in the secret language of the bio market, and the speculator uses it to try to feel the future, and decide whether he should bet high or low in this environmental stock market.
an algorithm is developed that measures how each and every small quantity of manufactured material negatively affects the earth's environment. A supercomputer watches global trade routes, as well as reads the dynamic feedback of the living bio material of the earth collected from data points all over the world, in the oceans, forests, and atmosphere. A couple nations decide to experiment with their economy in a radical way: no longer are the value of goods determined by the invisible forces of supply and demand, but by the flux of the natural environment, the Earth’s A.I. They call this unique system terra-economics.
This project was created during an artist-in-residence at the Vertical Gallery in Plug-In-City, curated by Fictional Collective, in collaboration with Baltan Laboratories. It was exhibited during Dutch Design Week 2016 and will be a part of Economia Festival 2017.
Assemblage is a collaborative labor performance that critiques and reimagines the relationship between industrial production and its effects on our lives. Instead of being just another participant in the global and disparate production circle, what if you could crowdsource mutual need into shared local labor. The performance prompts people to complete one simple task several times in a community led production effort, a local assembly line, in exchange for one of the objects that they have, in a small way, contributed to the making of.
Today, globalization has created complex and disparate methods of producing an object, each part of the production process is specialized, often in opposite ends of the world. What if we could take the efficient aspects of the industrial revolution, and re-apply it to a local community? A mix and mash of elements, Assemblage is the typical assembly line, but designed for local and spontaneous engagement. It cuts out the middle steps of labor, value, and currency, and connects you directly with the making of the object, infusing soul through micro-efforts of simple making, but with none of the required complexity and dedication of traditional craftsmanship.
Assemblage was performed in the Textile Lab at Waag Society, Amsterdam, January 2017, during the Amsterdam Fashion Week. It was the final culmination of a 4 month course on textile futures. The performance and concept was designed and arranged by Monique Grimord. The performers were volunteers that dedicated 2 hours to the production of a tote bag, which each performer took home.
TOCA is an exercise of emotional data visualization where shared women's memories are expressed through a touch-sensitive garment worn by a performance artist. As a method of telling stories of being a woman, through the body’s perspective - the female corporeal experience in our society - a collection of personal stories of sexual harassment serves as “data” remixed.
Toca comes from the verb tocar in Portuguese, which means both to touch, and to play a musical instrument. It features the city because it aims to collect stories from each city that it touches. The project is a quest to make these snippets of traumatic experiences visible, and at the same time resignify it into a creation where the woman's body has reclaimed its autonomy over the events.
Toca was performed at Contraponto in São Paulo. The project was ideated and directed by Monique Grimord, videography and experience design by Vitor Freire, performance and choreography by Jackeline Stefanski, photography by Tiago Lima, sound design by Julia Teles, light design by Laura Salerno, João Maia on second camera, and special thanks to Mica Toméo and Caleb Luporini.
The Empathy Bomber Backpack speculates the extreme activist as an empathy hacker. It is a fictional object, a backpack bomb that releases oxytocin, the ‘love drug’, into the air and nostrils of urban passerby— a bomb to create empathy, instead of violence. The backpack is a metaphor for ‘empathy warfare’ that defines our global conversation, today around violence, terrorism, and war.
Designed and performed in Turin, Italy, the project was inspired by the urban atmosphere of a multicultural northern Italian city, the vibe of the public spaces that Italians have preserved for centuries. It is a comment about Europe’s relationship with its own permeability, its complicated perspective of immigration and refugees. It often seems that the conversation is less to do with who is deserving of citizenship, but rather, who is deserving of empathy. Often acts of urban violence between clashing cultures is the result of a desire to be noticed and understood, rather than an act of hate and vengeance.
This project is for the extremist, the activist, the forgotten urban-dweller of the future, who not only has more sophisticated tools, but also has become more self-aware of their true desire: more empathy.
Starting with a fictional character, I imagined a bio-hacking activist in northern Italy, synthesizing oxytocin to asphyxiate the city with empathy in the air, inducing citizens to shed their assumptions and perceive new societal truths. She disguises the device as a backpack, a cultural camouflage for walking through the city. In a public space, she detonates the backpack, pushing a button to open a tiny window that expels a stream of the drug into the nostrils of passerby. She wears a sealed mask to protect her own preconceptions from the invasive effects of empathy.
If today activists use terror to send a blunt and devastating message, the activists of tomorrow have concocted a plan to go straight to the core of their intentions, to enforce genuine understanding through extreme measures.
The project was developed during a residency and workshop with The School of Machines, Making and Make-Believe at Casa Jasmina and FabLab Torino, and hosted by Officine Arduino. Thank you to Rachel Uwa, Andrew Friend, Sitraka Rakotoniaina, and Matthew Visco.
The Empathy Bomber Backpack was shown at Casa Jasmina in Turin, Italy, the experimental IoT space for Officine Arduino. It was also featured in DesignBoom.
The Agora is an analog interactive installation to play with our data in a tactile and communal way. We can only see data as an invasive, invisible force, that leeches off our actions at unknown moments, and floats away to unknown places. What if we could change this perspective, by changing the medium? If the experience of data was more playful, would we be more open to imagine constructive, critical, and more community-oriented ways to put it to use?
A larger-than-life bar chart and tiny colorful blocks (one represents a piece of data) prompts the passerby to engage in a question – answer game, composing their thoughts with magnetic words on the chart. Together, everyone considers the data already on the board, puts down their opinion, and continues to engage the next passerby with their own question. It is titled “The Agora” as a reference to the ancient Greek democratic space in the public square, where anyone could publicly present and discuss their political arguments.
Designed as a ‘meta-conversation’ about the experiment itself, passerby considered the concept of the installation, composing questions about data, power, knowledge, and the commons, and what it means to them. One of the best observations was that everyone was vocally engaged in a joint composition, helping each other to find a missing magnet word, or pondering their opinions together.
The Agora was the graduate thesis of Monique Grimord for a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design at Savannah College of Art & Design. It was awarded the SCAD Outstanding Achievement Award in 2014 and presented at the AIGA Fresh Grad Symposium in the Parson’s Auditorium NYC in 2015.
A brand for car diagnostics asked us if there was a friendly way to communicate information while driving in the car. With cars becoming smarter, can we can reimagine new forms of communication, new forms of relationships with our cars?
At Room for More Possibilities, we thought, what if the interface of the connected car uses the emotive power of eye expressions? Connected cars provide a sense of security on the road, but the interface of these technologies is passive and trapped in an emergency button experience metaphor. No more Australian voice dictating you, or fumbling with the buttons with your knees on the wheel, just positive emotional facial cues from your driving buddy robot.
Vemoji is a driving companion, emotional engine, continuously linking us to the intelligence of connected cars. He translates essential connected cars' information through a palette of empathetic eye cues. These emotive cues provide an instant and continuous connection between human and the car.
Vemoji was created by Room for Possibilities, an innovation lab at Crispin Porter + Bogusky.Director: Wojtek SzumowskiStrategy: Alexia MathieuInvention Design: Monique Grimord
If your car has a maintenance issue, Vemoji lets you know immediately.
When you have been driving too long without stop, Vemoji reminds you to take a break.
Vemoji gives you subtle and clear directions.
To create a community of fellow drivers, Vemoji senses and sends out hearts to others on the road around him.
To quickly connect with the person you love, just tap Vemoji and he will send a heart and your coordinates to your emergency contact.
Like any other buddy, Vemoji texts back anyone who is trying to reach you while you're driving.
Cindy Gallop came to launch MakeLoveNotPorn in Brazil, and with Mesa&Cadeira, we created a social sex revolution in São Paulo with a set of emojis, a funk song, and a launch party to challenge the way Brazilians think about sex.
Cindy Gallop always says make sure to ‘flip the script’ with gender, sex, and social expectations. The emojis that we designed give a visual culture to talking about sex on the internet in a way that challenges the typical memes that our culture enforces around sex.
Funny, imperfect, sloppy, protected, alone, accompanied, diverse, without rules, with feeling and with consent. #SexoNaReal is all for any kind of sex you would like.
Engraçado, imperfeito, melecado,protegido,solitário, acompanhado, diverso, sem regras, com sentimento e com consentimento. #SexoNaReal são todos os sexos que você quiser.
With a team of 15 creatives from all over Brazil, Cindy Gallop and Sarah Beall, and Mesa&Cadeira, this project was completed in one week. Monique was resident designer and created all of the visual material.
An American classic surf brand challenged us to rethink how a true surfer documents his passion for the sport and the ocean. Tossing away the typical social media, we recognized that such a strong passion for a nature sport belongs in a more sacred place than online pixels, and is too spiritual for casual everyday sharing on the internet.
With social media oversharing, sometimes it feels like we don’t know how to tell the truth anymore. Surf, as a culture of determination and risk, can inspire brands to rethink the way we tell and capture truth. To tell a surf brand story, we need new forms of truth telling. We created four different ways for surfer’s gear to document their experience in the ocean, using IoT technology and material investigations.
Self-Documenting Objects was created by Room for Possibilities, an innovation lab at Crispin Porter + Bogusky.Director: Wojtek SzumowskiStrategy: Alexia MathieuInvention Design: Monique Grimord, Vitor Freire, Sara Plavsic
A small capsule that is attached to the board shorts fills with water every time it is in the ocean. After several days without surfing, the water evaporates, an analog way to remind the surfer of the call of the water.
This tag is an analog entry point into the universe of surfers’ sportswear. It is a material language for the aftermarket exchange, using a digital code imprinted on the physical tag and self-documenting fabric. Each time the material touches the salt water, the color of the tag very slightly changes, marking the object’s experience, and the surfer’s commitment. This timeless language can be read and translated into the digital world, and used for surfers to pass down the lineage of their surfwear.
The surfer enters the shop to make a new apparel purchase.
An in-store press creates the surfer’s personalized Forever Tag.
It is stamped with his name, blood type, hometown, and the year of the purchase.
When the apparel is overworn, and ready to be replaced, the Forever Tag is removed and placed in the new apparel.
Surfboard shorts come with a rough sandstone on the tie. After repeated use, and exposure to the water, the stone erodes and eventually turns into a smooth black bead to represent the seasoned surfer.
When the surfer first purchases the board shorts, the bead tie is a rough sandstone.
Years pass, and the surfer experiences many times in the water with the shorts.
Eventually, the sandstone erodes away to expose a smooth black stone, signifying the surfer’s experience.
Surf apparel comes with a tag that syncs to the accelerometer in the surfer’s board. With each highest wave, the tag receives its data, and documents the surfer’s experience. The surfer can then scan the tag to access his own online memories database—where each piece of anonymous apparel is represented by the experiences that have happened in it. The history of the wave stays with the apparel, for the next owner to inherit the object’s story, and accrue with the next owner.
How can we give drivers the power to naturally communicate? Omnipresence is a haptic mobile device that sends small gestures as messages to your future destination.
Omnipresence is communication across space and time in the form of mobility, and the car as a communication device. It gives us the ability to make an emotive connection with the future, sending and receiving touch signals, amplifying a distant presence of the driver. When the driver squeezes the wheel, he sends a signal home, where his family sees a connected light blink. When they touch hte orb, it sends a haptic vibration back to the wheel, a secret language communication between the traveler and his loved ones waiting for him.
This is a working protoype created for a major car brand by Room for Possibilities, an innovation lab at Crispin Porter + Bogusky.Director: Wojtek SzumowskiStrategy: Alexia MathieuInvention Design: Monique Grimord, Vitor Freire, Sara Plavsic
With self-driving cars near on the horizon, a major car brand asked us how can we redefine the future of mobility? How can we reinvent the empowering sensation of operating a fine-tuned machine, give back the driver the carnal sensation, the joy of driving? What if the driver could have the same sixth sense power of the smart car?
Hyperception is a collection of wearables that give drivers the power of imagining the world that can't be seen. Driving gloves that measure the rush of the driver’s pulse, a steering wheel that amplifies the grind of the road to the driver’s hands, a battery that stores his moments of exhilaration, and a sixth sense sensor pin that lingers on his shoulders.
Hyperception was ideated by Room for Possibilities, an innovation lab at Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Director: Wojtek SzumowskiArt Direction: Adam Skalecki
Strategy: Alexia MathieuInvention Design: Monique Grimord
These gloves will harvest the biometrics from the driver, and give haptic feedback on car performance data and the connection of the car to the road. By measuring the driver's pulse, every drive starts with an audible Symbionic heartbeat that puts the driver and car in sync with the very first grip of the steering wheel.
The haptic coating on the steering wheel gives physical sensory feedback on the road and the corresponding grip of the tires on the surface.
The energy harvested from the driver’s biometrics is stored into an “Exhilaration Battery”, allowing you to track and store moments of driving exhilaration.
The user pins this small motion sensor anywhere on his/her clothing, shoulders, shoes, helmet, etc. to receive haptic signals according to an object's pace and proximity to you. It is a sixth sense wearable that endows its users with the same hyperception of the smart vehicle.
The Pool is a sharing economy application that creates a culture of accountable car pooling through a simple visualization. Car pooling on a daily basis, to work or school, causes a lot of stress and hassle because each member relies on the to be prompt and on time. This app helps the users to have confidence and communication, making what is usually a messy, spontaneous arrangement, into friendly expedience.
The color field represents the advancing driver, and each notch is an awaiting passenger. When the driver enters their car, they press start. Awaiting passengers view the advancing driver during their morning routine, and are alerted as soon as the driver is outside.
This project was a thought experiment on mutual visibility. Location services has continually been a source of discomfort for many smart phone users, so this UX addressed that fear, and created a social situation plus a limited visualization that reflected the love/hate relationship between our need for technology and our reservations with it.
Instead of showing exactly where someone is on a map, this visualization shows our relationship to one another in time and space. It isn't a map, but a timeline, which protects the privacy of our driving route, but allows everyone a clear idea of when we will arrive. The important thing is to expose the information that helps us to connect efficiently with the classic collaborative task: carpooling.
The Pool is a hypothetical application created by Monique Grimord during her masters at Savannah College of Art & Design.
The friend who is driving enters their car and presses start.
The waiting friends know exactly how far away their ride is with the connected visualization, so they can complete their morning activities in the meantime.
If the driving friend is held back by traffic or anything else, everyone can see the delay.
You know exactly when you ride arrives at your door, so there is no lag time, no frustrated honking, and no waiting outside in the cold.
A physicist, marketer, information architect and interactive designer got together and asked a question: Can knowledge truly be curated and generated by a crowd? Actually, they were tapping into a deep philosophical question, the relationship between the wisdom of the expert and the force of the crowd. Can we collect information in a way that takes advantage of both of those things at once?
Relevate is a peer knowledge exchange and database built by a personal human trust network. It is a polling application that maintains the integrity of its results by relying on each user to send questions along to their peers, people who are experts, participants, fans, or witnesses in the same thing they are, and who they know have something thoughtful to say on that topic.
It is a pass-along method that controls quality of information, trusting personal connections to curate and propel questions into the world.
Relevate was a thought experiment ideated by Monique Grimord with the help of Bobak Hashemi, Joseph Scheno, and Cory Siegrist.
Someone sends you a question, you answer, and send the question forward to your friends that are relevant to the topic. Your friends pass it to their friends, and a network of people sharing knowledge is built.
Starting a question means have a real curious interest, and activating your friend circle to engage you, and to engage their various networks.
When a user has been sent four or more questions in the same topic, and given their opinion on each one, they are made an ‘expert’. People outside of your network can shoot questions in that topic at you too.
But you aren’t only limited to information passed from your friends. You can seek out new curiosities by trading or shuffling through questions. Shuffling through questions is an addictive exploration process. With each swipe and click, you see a question sent to you from a friend, or from a stranger, in a topic you are an ‘expert’ in.
Inspired by thinkers and makers paving the speculative movement, such as Dunne and Raby’s United Micro-Kingdoms, Donna Haraway’s Speculative Fabulation, Ian Bogost’s Alien Phenomenology, and Andrew Friend and Sitraka Rakotoniaina’s VVFA, Monique Grimord’s Fictional World-Building expresses the methodology through a collaborative exercise of play-acting, dialogue, improvisation, and fabulation. The end result is a narrative artifact, an object that serves as a speculative fabulation through its form and function.
The workshop is a journey that leaves you with a new lens, a sense-making tool that serves as a powerful ally in the design process.
(1) Speculative fabulation is "fiction that offers us a world clearly and radically discontinuous from the one we know, yet returns to confront that known world in some cognitive way.” —Robert Scholes
What if data wasn’t surveillance, but a tool for democratic participation? The Agora is a sculptural space that prompts this social alternative, a redesign of our interactions. Data collection today is surveillance, despite the contemporary perception and definition of this concept, it still remains a one-way communication model. There is a passive doer, and an active viewer. The public conversation is bored, uncreative, and we are comfortable in our ignorance, shy of experimentation. Without any societal tinkering, data has been left mostly to the hands of an aging mentality, such as banner-clicking advertising, paranoid security measures, and bureaucratic maintenance — those organizations that have the resources to collect and structure it, utilizing it for their private agendas, and creating the monopoly of data that we live in today.
Reactive criticisms cling to its pure preservation of privacy and lawkeeping mechanisms as the only solution. But we can’t slow the roll of advancing technologies, and that’s why Edward Snowden suggested another approach — creative solutions from the makers, thinkers, and development community. We need a redesign of data, a new perspective. What if we create a new democratic code for data collection? What if we define data as collective knowledge? Our individual motions form data, our life performance creates dialogue, and our everyday actions become advocacy. With this, data becomes something like the artificial intelligence of the community.
This thesis prompts a mental transition from being passive carriers of data, to active participants. The design community is a perfect place to start, by building digital places where data collection has three new and clear goals: critical introspection, creative problem-solving, and empowering agenda-setting. If we keep in mind at least one of these goals while designing data UX, then we are making a big change. I wanted to prompt us to think about this new perspective, so I created a data collecting interactive installation. The Agora is a social experiment with a sculptural and analog data infrastructure. Each gallery-goer would pass through the space, consider the content of my thesis statement, which was presented on small, movable magnets. Each word could be deconstructed and recomposed on a larger-than-life bar chart, allowing everyone to create questions and responses. There were small blocks for casting votes, building the chart higher with each passerby.
Everyone could weave through this shared space, discussing the information as they remodeled it, and see the results of their intellectual contributions take material form in the same space that they were occupying. Physically interacting with something as mysterious and intangible as data gave users the novel experience of a collective creative synthesis. The experiment didn’t create a design methodology, a blueprint, instead it’s a call to action — let’s change our mindset about the social possibilities of data. Let’s head into a transition from surveillance to civic data collection, empowering our users with the opportunity to invent their own forms of micro-political debate.