We love our notion of functionality and efficiency. We dwell around contemporary modernism and once in a while we fall back into the comfort of nostalgia. We are sick of capitalism. We want a piece of ourselves in things we do or make, and we take pride of that. Today’s economy is fast transforming and our future will be driven by the coexistence of the Avant Futurists, Open Makers, Bio-Fabricators, Primitive Utopians, Peace Makers and of course, the Happy Consumers.
Conscius(ism) is originally a Latin word ‘conscius’ which gave birth to ‘conscience’ and ‘conscious’; the words mean “with” and “to know”.
Avant Futurists are the pioneers and the game changers. From the internet of things to the dream of cordless world to transporting human to space. People in this category are like Elon Musk of SpaceX, who is making future human transportation accessible with high-speed travel pods and reusable rockets, LiftPort Group founder Michael Laine, who is realising the fantasy of space elevator, and GoogleX with their secret projects.
Open Makers are the ones who contribute to the sharing economy. It is a friendly community of hackers, coders, DIY-ers, domestic additive manufacturers, hands-on problem solvers. They embrace the open digital system in distributing knowledge and take the initiative to build, experiment, solve and get things done. Making bespoke products and personalisation excites them.
Bio-Fabricators are those who take a step back and put on an optimistic view at our environment, improving nature to meet human needs and bio-hacking human to meet the resources available, in the name of making the world a better place. People from this group explores the unforeseen possibilities of nature, produces synthetic materials, cures diseases like cancer, may or may not apply technology in one’s work, maximising human’s abilities and promotes the circular economy.
Primitive Utopians, on the contrary, reject all technologies in order to prolong the health of Mother Earth. Acknowledging the deteriorating state of our environment and human culture, this collective of inhabitants opt to live by the ideology of going back to basics. They pursue simple life, have their own urban farm, bicycle as their primary mode of transportation, up for anything do-it-yourself, appreciate craftsmanship and pledge to preserve their culture and tradition.
Peace Makers marry man and machine, blurring the boundary and tension between them. Be it humanising technology or inviting a new experience from the realm of artificial intelligence, this group of individuals decide to put mankind as the protagonist among the sea of digital artifacts. With the determination of making technology unobtrusive, they believe technology can be of intuitive, behavioural and respects our humanity rights. Technology as Man’s next best friend is no longer just a catchphrase in the movies.
Happy Consumers, which consist of the majority, selfishly seek for things that make them happy, live better or essentially propagate happiness to others. It has always been an innate intelligence in pursuit for happiness. They are not hedonistic nor victim of pleasure. They are but individuals with an ethical consciousness who simply afford to, if not aiming for, an ideal healthy lifestyle.
Consciusism came about in responding to the mass invasion of technology. Conscius(ism) is originally a Latin word ‘conscius’ which gave birth to ‘conscience’ and ‘conscious’; the words mean “with” and “to know”. Relatively, conscience in this context means we have the sense of the quality of one’s character and conduct, adherence to moral principles and consideration of fairness and justice. Conscious on the other hand means “aware” or “awake”, or involving our perception and thought. We began to question ourselves the disconnection and the relationship between mankind and technology as we progress. If so, how can we contribute to the development of the desired future. We realised that, by placing human as the first priority in all our actions is the way forward. Now is Consciusism!
Dunne, A. (1999). Hertzian tales: Electronic products, aesthetic experience and critical design. London: RCA CRD Research Publications.
Dunne, A., Raby, F. (2013). Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction and Social Dreaming. USA: The MIT Press.