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When you Delegate Positive Experiences

Sao Paulo: 3 x Se Station

During yesterday’s TED talk I proposed that from a design perspective a potential solution to pretty much every design problem is delegation – getting other people or technology to complete those parts of a task or activity that the user is unable to complete themselves. With the exception for things like bodily functions e.g. going to the toilet or entertainment – you wouldn’t pay someone to go to the cinema and enjoy a film on your behalf. (Yes, just because its a potential solution doesn’t make it a worthwhile goal to aim for).

Except that at some point – when we are better able to understand and map sensorial experiences and have a better understanding of how the brain processes these you may well be able to delegate entertainment experiences to other people, to be enjoyed at your leisure at a later time and date. In essense – time, location and body-shifting experiences. Movie buffs amongst you will already be tutting about Strange Days, and so you should.

Experience shifting raises all sorts of interesting questions about empathic design, where from an physiological-emotional perspective experience designers will literally be able put themselves in someone elses shoes. What are the characteristics of the people whose experiences will define, well, the essense of the experience we wish to design for, to communicate? It can be anything from designing an out of the box experience to learning, knowing what it feels like to walk in a Sao Paulo subway station (above), the touch a razor from a Chinese back street barber (below) and yes, will encompass sexual encounters. In this world DRM boils down to removing experiences from human memory and the inevitable badly written DRM leaves its host as a vegetable.

A new profession will arise – people whose job it is to experience stuff, and who will be judged on their ability to capture the subtlties of any difference process, task or context. With a distinction between raw experiences and those enhanced though stimulants, or post production. And yes, Gonzo?