An experiment in collaboratively and remotely writing short stories from non-human perspectives at IAM 2020

Last weekend during the quite amazing and fully remote conference experience of IAM Weekend I ran a small experimental workshop with 20 people from all over the world. In the past two years, I have been deeply interested in the idea of creative narratives about the future but told from mundane and non-human perspectives, and I just published a book of future fables written with Joshua Noble called Everything is Someone. …


This story, in particular, is not a future, but actually a past that is kind of the start of the present so in a way, the future too. I’m going to write a few of these alternative pasts and see how it goes.

Armit was deep in the cave looking at his stash of meat.

He was one of the best of the tribe with numbers that’s why his stash was there in the first place. Most people in the tribe were not that good at looking at things beyond their noses. They woke up, scratch off the night dust…


Or simple everyday questions for complex near futures.

This is a write up of the last part of my talk at IAM Weekend in Barcelona. A series of questions inspired by one of my favorite written pieces by Rich Gold.

Imagine yourself in the future, your real future self in the real future, not that imaginary perfect utopian or dystopian place, but the normal future. What will be your real daily future issues, with your real future things? What will go wrong? What will be unclear to you? What would you like an answer to?

How smart is a smart…


It was the first day for Rick to start his new job at the dispatch center. Rick felt weird as he had to leave his previous work and routine to start a new one. A new task not only for him but a very important change in the company as a whole. Rick was chosen for reasons that were not very clear to him, as he always felt just an average worker, a good average, but still pretty normal among his peers. He was chosen between his peers to try a new process or what the bosses of the company…


I grab the onions and carrots. Put them there in front of me on the cutting board. Get a sharp knife. Cut them in nice and perfectly even tiny cubes. I am good at that, maybe too good. Sometimes I purposely cut them unevenly to give a more ‘natural’ twist to it.

I pick the large pan. A dash of oil and turn the fire up to get to that perfect sizzle noise pitch. Put the carrots and onion in the pan and wait for them to start browning. This the easy part, this is common and basic this is…


It’s always hard coming in a new place to work, especially a very traditional one like this and in these times. Most are very scared of us, or even angry at us. Luckily most of the times we are in a cage and anyway no one wants really to get closer to arm's length. In the past decades, we have been released from doing the solely repetitive machine-like job, but have been used for artistic purposes, a tool of craft. This was not liked by everyone. People, especially craft workers are really scared at the idea that one of us…


I was there waiting for the dude to order something. He was smiling in awe, looking at me. He was giggling and talking to his friend on the side. Not sure what they were saying, but I also don’t really care. I’m here for the spectacle. I’m like a lion in a cage. There is a cage, fortunately for them. Or else I would throw the drinks at them every time I see that fucking smile. The smile of someone that looks at me, a creation of men, subjugated to this minimal and nonsense task of making drinks. Yes, I…


I didn’t feel well that day. I’m not sure how to articulate the feeling, but I felt sick. I couldn’t move properly and also everything felt a little slower. My joints were hurting and also felt warmer in most parts of my body. It wasn’t fatigue or anything like that. That shouldn’t happen, I’m really prepared and trained for that. Most of us can go on forever to keep working and doing our tasks. That’s what we do, that’s what society demands us to do. We are built for kinetic perfection, for seemingly effortless speed and strength, for infinite repetition…


It was a bit unclear how that teapot got there on the table in front of him. He was quite sure no one really put it there in his presence, or better he didn’t have any recollection of that teapot ever existing. It was white with a handle and a cap, pretty much what he expected from a teapot. It was not really sure it was actually a teapot, as his idea of a teapot was quite abstract and unclear. Is a teapot without a teacup an actual teapot? He always recognized things based on other things around it. Association…


Trainable and subjective devices for the future kitchen.

Looking back at the history of cooking tools and kitchen appliances, machines in the kitchen have defined new cooking processes and have automated parts of the act of cooking. From the invention of the blender in the 1920s to the recent smart ovens and robotic-cappuccino-makers, tools are designed to make cooking more convenient by outsourcing labour-intensive tasks to machines. In recent years, with lowered cost of computational power and easier access to robotic technologies, we see more visions of fully-automated kitchens in restaurant experiences or even home solutions.

As part of our first lab, Kitchen Intelligence here at YEAST, we…

Simone Rebaudengo

partner of oio.studio , member of @automato_farm & lecturer @ciid

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