Creatively Engineering The Future of Social Interactions
What’s a great way to go about finding ways to engineer the future of social interaction? Gather a bunch of anthropologists, filmmakers, surfers, two wyrd guys in lab coats, photographers, astronautical data scientists, experience designers, and motorcycle demons on the Venice Beach boardwalk and rapid prototype like there’s no tomorrow. Which might be the case because tomorrow is now.
We began the day with a short intro of the problematic situation we face today; Cultural norms keep us in our own little bubble and don’t allow serendipity to occur as frequently. We’re limited by our own imaginations and have routine ways of thinking based on our personal view. We lack ability to easily and readily share ideas in groups. There’s a lack of productive disruption in our society.
We need more unique ways to collaborate with other like-minded and non-like-minded humans to unlock our shared creativity. We also need to discover unique ways that create meaningful bonds between people and make strangers not strange.
The Kismetic Knights of the Square Table convened for a 1 day blitz to solve the following challenge:
How might we interact in unfamiliar ways to create pathways that unlock our shared creativity?
PHASE 1/2: Summoning Kismet
rules #1 + #2: remain open + embrace the unknown
We began with a ceremony where we would invite serendipity to come play. Closing our eyes and looking within, we would commit to embracing the unknown since “everything is exactly where you need it to be”. We needed to keep in mind that if we wanted to engineer the future we’d need to act today, for tomorrow is now.
PHASE 1: KISMETIC IDEATION
rules #3 + 4: quantity > quality + no criticizing idea
With no time to waste, because as we previously agreed, tomorrow is now, we quickly generated as many big ideas as possible to solve our challenge.
Some potentially great and not so great ideas were as follows:
- Ayahuasca ceremonies
- skinny dipping
- making a story with 1 billion people
- building an internet just for cats
- creating a human centipede in Venice Beach
- developing analog ways to use high tech devices (?)
- building an underwater club
As you can see, we didn’t believe in bad ideas during this phase.
PHASE 2: TEACH ME HOW TO KISMET
The Bureau of Kismetic Happenings split off into Field Crew A and Field Crew B to teach people how to kismet.
>>>>>>>> BUT FIRST! SNACK TIME <<<<<<<<<
ok, on with the Kismetic Field Experiments…
STAGE 1: Forage for story
rule #5: no stranger is off limits
Serendipitous resources were to be collected in the field to aid in the creation of human interaction prototypes. A number of artifacts were to be collected: story, object, image, sound, observed interaction, personal ritual.
Three main roles were to be assumed in order to get the most efficiency out of the field work to be exercised:
- Scout Master Flex- on paper, taking note of the local culture’s behaviors, rituals, customs, symbols, icons, tools, processes, and systems.
- Supurb Sherpa- carries the Kismetic Box with which we will collect necessary artifacts.
- El Profesor De Fotografía- photo document interactions between the group and strange humans.
- The Collector of Audible Occurrences- capture field conversations to be turned into sound bites at a later time TBD.
Near and wide, we approached anyone and everyone searching for Kismetic Artifacts and unfamiliar human interactions.
Colorful icy cones were collected and a playful biker made a paper airplane and threw it as if he was aiming for the moon. An exotic woman with big, curly hair shared that the last thing she created was a painting with the man she was now separating from, and they made the art piece together as part of a breakup ceremony.
The humans of Venice Beach were very interesting, some friendly, some unforgiving. An audible artifact expressing “OK, interview over!” was collected at one point.
One eclectic human even showed us a dance with a tree because it “made him feel ALIVE.”
STAGE 2-A: Aggregate + Curate
We returned to TBKH HQ with the collected artifacts, we began to consolidate our findings, picking out things we could use to engineer the future of social interactions.
We sketched, worded and re-worded, and discussed key features and possible uses of each artifact. We reflected on all the stories and odd sights we experienced while in the field.
STAGE 2-B: Rapid Prototyping
rule #6: create an unfamiliar social experience
PHASE FINALE: Real Life Human Interaction Beta Tests
rule #7: make strangers not strange
We embarked on a quest; a quest to summon kismet down to the very bottoms of the soles of the shoes on our smelly feet.
The room was filling quickly and riffs & raffs were flying everywhere. We began to break apart key moments we picked up in the field and tried piecing them together in various ways. The collected artifacts, gained interaction experience, and our collective past knowledge assisted us in rapidly prototyping “experiences” that would attempt to solve our challenge question.
Smiles & positivity & gorilla toys & silly selfies with pipe cleaner accessories & underwater minion cities above water & orange goggles & starry balloons & scientist celebrities were conceived between the minds of the Kismetic Knights.
Crew A wanted to build a fun city that could give strangers a new perception of the world, so that’s exactly what they did. Paper + markers + earplugs + pipe cleaners + empty duct tape rolls turned into…
************* Kismetropolis **************
Journeying over sandy landscapes hugging watery vistas, we scouted new building locations for Kismetropolis where serendipitous happenings would be ever present.
Curiosity sparked imagination and everyone wanted to join in on the fun. The old, young, wyrd and beautiful envisioned themselves at residents of this new city.
No one was safe from the beauty Kismetropolis bestowed upon its future citizens.
Crew B knew that Kismetropolis wouldn’t be complete without fun ways for its citizens to interact. They knew their creation should include a ceremony in some way that could lead to a collaborative creation. So, we began with a blank box, and it turned into…
…The Kismetic Friend Experience TM.
The sequence of The Kismetic Friend Experience TM would be as follows:
1. Attract- create unique modern mating call that makes stranger feel good
2. Express- show almost-new-friend it’s okay to be wyrd & have fun
3. Question- let stranger know you’re unique and see if they are too
4. Ceremony- engage in collaboration to create trust and bond further
5. Gift- new friends part ways with interesting story and a reminder
1. Attract — The outside of the box would have a positive message written on it which would be the first interaction strangers could read from a distance. Its intention was to attract by complementation. Upon seeing the stranger’s curiosity or maybe even hearing some “thank you’s”, the approach would be made. Questions about the KFM would arise from the stranger’s mouth.
2. Express — Upon opening the box, some fashionable accessories that were handpicked by the Three Princes of Serendip were revealed. Members of our crew and the now-not-so-strange strangers would adorn the accessories with reverence, showing them off to the surrounding audience in magnificent style.
3. Question — A wyrd question would be posed to the strangers to let them know that this friendship is serious, no monkey business. “What kind of toy would a gorilla make for it’s child?”
Almost-new-friends response: “HAHA Whaaaaaaat????”
4. Ceremony— a serendipitous moment of the highest order would occur, leading to further collaboration between the two parties. Because this was a familiar form of action within pop culture of today, the strangers would comfortably join in on the fun. We were right, it worked.
Checkmate. That’s how almost-new-friends became new friends.
5. Gift — we parted ways with more positive energy and a great story to share. The Bureau of Kismetic Happenings also gained valuable insight for further iterations on The Kismetic Friend Experience TM.
Key Learning Moments
- smiles must be worn at all times
- serendipity can happen anywhere, look out
- snow cones are kismetic
- ceremonies can open our hearts
The Bureau of Kismetic Happenings discovered an extraordinary concept human term labeled “fun” while interacting in with the strangers. We learned that PLAY is essential in this world and without it we are just small, boring people doomed to a life of complacency. We learned how to CREATE the best of our time instead of waiting for it. TOMORROW IS NOW and remember to look inside because…
Everything is exactly where you need it to be.