"Design and technology colliding" say speakers at Designed in Hackney


1 August 2012

Design and technology can no longer be helpfully distinguished said speakers at Designed in Hackney, a seminar organised by Dezeen.

Speaking to a pop-up auditorium in Shoreditch, designers from digital studio BERG, think tank Tomorrow's Thoughts Today, and critic and designer James Bridle said that distinctions between design and technology studios were no longer helpful, and that barriers between creative studios were breaking down.

Matt Jones from the digital studio BERG, said that his own work was influenced by both design and technology. "We don't really make any distinction between the two," said Jones. "We work with technology but consider ourselves a design studio.

"Software is the most important material we have come across in the last 100 years. It absolutely is a material."

James Bridle, whose project Bus-Tops installed video screens playing gifs on the roofs of bus shelters around London, said that the breakdown between the disciplines had begun in London and been driven by cross-pollination between creative practices working in close proximity to one another.

"This could have only come from London," he said. "I work in a building with Internet start-ups and artists. There's even a book binder two doors down and we all influence each other's work."

Jones and Bridle were speaking at Designed in Hackney, a day-long seminar celebrating the design work from the area surrounding Hackney's "Silicon Roundabout", a district around Old Street known for its technology companies.

Liam Young, a designer and director of the think tank Tomorrow's Thoughts Today, said that he saw no sign of the crossover between design and technology ending soon.

"We're a generation privileged enough to live in the belly of the beast," said Young. "Everything is being taken over by technology."