In the FutureEverything Singapore Signals of Tomorrow innovation lab, 50 designers, artists, technologists and urbanists collaborated over the festival week at the National Design Centre to create new innovations addressing societal challenges in Singapore that were then showcased at ArtScience Museum.

From 10 to 14 October, participants from the local art, design and tech communities got together in six teams to collaborate in developing imaginative ways to engage the public in envisioning the future of tech in a Smart Nation.

Design methods included narrative scenarios, futures and critical thinking, fieldwork, making and rapid prototyping, with the goal to produce unique, creative perspectives on the developing landscape evolving around new technology. The focus was using design and art to make ideas about the future tangible, and the result of the Innovation Lab was a series of prototype participatory art and design projects, which were showcased at the ArtScience Museum over the weekend.

Read about the prototypes below, including the winner, Share and Care.

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WINNER: Share & Care

Daniel Hirschmann (Design Lead) Kay Chew Lin, Lim Xiang Hua, Sunny Tham, Charlotte Lee

With the increase in life expectancy and lowering birth rates combined with the decrease of the ‘kampung’ or community spirit, there is a need to address the growing problem of social isolation – particularly in seniors.

Share & Care unlocks the talents and availability within a neighbourhood, in order to strengthen the connections between households and build a strong and vibrant community. For seniors, this not only means that they can get help when they need it, but also that they have a way of offering their skills and talents, thus keeping them engaged.

The community driven project aiming to restore the spirit of ‘kampung’, allows users to swap ‘Care Credits’, giving or receiving them according to what is needed. Eventually, donated or redeemed time will be visualised in the form of a neighbourhood light installation, visibly showing the level of care in a community as a source of pride and encouragement.

The team has now been awarded a £20,000 development fund by FutureEverything. They will further refine their prototype with the guidance of FutureEverything, and will be flying to Manchester, U.K. to showcase a full scale project at the FutureEverything Manchester festival in March 2016. 

This system can be easily embedded in an online and mobile app to truly deliver on the creation of a global Care Credit economy.

To read the jury’s statement and track the progress of Share & Care Economy, click here.

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Carelets

Andreas Schlegel (Design Lead) Serena Pang, Wen Lei Ng, Rob Peart, Melanie Tan, Wu Hui Min, Vishwakarma Chand

Carelets is a collection of wearable accessories that will help you to better understand the supply chain and waste management of the things we consume. Participants are encouraged to wear at least one carelet to identify and monitor their consumer behaviour.

A carelet gives you an on-the-spot feedback when attempting to buy a new product through a tactile response. It encourages environmentally conscious behaviour and discourages you from making the environmentally irresponsible decisions. We provide users with a open database of supply chain and waste management information to monitor and evaluate users’ consumer behaviour.

This new technology provides you with a cutting edge product-aware and consumer-aware neural network algorithm, which constantly adapts to users and the environment’s needs while taking into consideration factors such as locality, availability, or urgency based on your personal profile.

With this initiative we aim to encourage environmentally-conscious consumer behaviour to create a world wide ‘just enough’ consumption culture for a sustainable future.

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Impossible Tasks

Assemble Architects (Amica Dall and Luis Schultz – Design Leads) Jeremiah Alexander, Jiamin Ye, Iqbal Khalilullah, Lucia Wang, Cheryl Sim

Impossible Projects is based on two observations. Firstly, that all young children have an innate drive to learn by taking risks and exploring the unknown. Secondly, that widespread risk aversion is the biggest limitation on Singapore’s capacity to grow and thrive in a changing world.

Rather than suggesting new technologies or implementations, Impossible Projects addresses the underlying cultural factors which impact society’s capacity to generate and sustain the flexible, innovative and risk-accepting culture needed to thrive in an uncertain and rapidly changing world.

The project sets out to address the roots of risk aversion, by nurturing and protecting the next generation of Singaporean children’s appetite for risk-taking and exploration. It does this by setting out a collection of challenges which are impossible to complete, but are chosen for the variety and richness of potential approaches to engaging with them.

These briefs come in a book and website, acting as a framework for supporting and guiding young parents to create environments where their children are free from fear of failure, pressure and external goals and rewards, guided by their own curiosity and appetite for the new.

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Made In Singapore

Matt Rosier (Design Lead) Uma Rudd Tan, Premika PoSaw, Fred Teo, Awool Shahrulnizam Rahmat, Kenneth Yip, Mathilde Gaucher

We want to supply citizens within a prescribed area of Singapore or Manchester with a series of objects that allow them to both physically act upon and digitally capture their aspirations concerning the planning of their public spaces. After a process of identifying what are the key areas of planning that participants feel most affected by on a day-to-day basis, we will capture these in the form of a small set of miniature objects that visually represent the area of planning identified.

Upon receiving their pack of objects, participants will be directed to first decide whether any of the represented planning proposals/issues are relevant to them and their environment. Objects that are relevant to them can then be placed within their public spaces, specifically at a spot most relevant to the issue/proposal. For example, this could be a bench in front of a favoured view or a playground that is becoming unsuitable.

While providing community conversation points and visual references, these miniature objects will record their locations via GPS. A publicly accessible web-interface will record the current and past locations of each object, a unique ID will allow participants to trace their objects and offer further comment. We could then invite local planning officials, architects and designers to engage with this evolving data-set and converse with a potentially more actively involved and concerned set of local participants about the planning and design of their public spaces.

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Totemato

Debbie Ding (Design Lead) Gregory Cornelius, Ismail Vawda, Vlad Floroiu, Low Jueming, Mervin Tan, and Michelle Lai.

In the year 2025, more Singaporeans are turning to urban community gardens and urban farming as they want to be more self-sufficient and involved with the food that they are eating.

The Totemato is an open source tomato-shaped internet beacon which pushes out information to registered users on how to go on a tour of nearby urban farms, and on how Singaporeans can get directly involved in DIY urban farming – with the help of a communal resource pool on effective urban farming methods. Totematos are introduced to children in schools as an educational project and are placed in green spaces and urban farms.

Because beacons ask users to open a URL on their phone, the user of the future needs to be cautious of spam and malware beacons, which may look just like normal beacons. This issue is solved by creating an open register of good totematos, which checks against the Unique Identifier (UID) of each beacon.

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We Built This City

PAN Studio (Design Lead), Bernise Ang, Tee Jian Hen

In the knowledge-based economies of the future, the jobs market will fragment as people work in smaller teams and change jobs more often. Networking will be critical when new people meet and big data will be exploited to bring immediate, contextualised information.

We Built This City takes the idea of contextual data for networking and uses it to create a mass-participatory game for festival or events. Players must team up to build new amenities for a Smart City of the future.

Everyone is given a card representing a specialism, such as Architect or Doctor, then encouraged to find other specialists and combine skills. To do this they place their cards on the Context Table, where information is projected to show what they can create together. For instance a doctor and builder might create either a hospital or research centre. Once they’ve made their selection they can add a new piece to the city.

The city grows according to what everyone builds. If there are many hospitals but no schools, then education suffers. Occasionally inspectors or journalists will visit the city and write about what they find. The game encourages people to consider values and compromise when creating a smart city of their own.