When thinking about the possible effects of a future where people have lost their intuitive understanding of the world around them because of technology dependence, there were many directions I could explore. What intersted me most was the effect on human psychology. How does this scenario affect our stress levels, personal relationships, sense of place? Rather than explore how people might struggle to understand new environments, I decided to focus on how people learn to interpret the places they see everyday. In other words, how do people in the future understand the meaning of “home?”
While talking to my peers about the best way to get to know an environment, many said “getting lost.” This isn’t a new idea. I discovered in the 1950s a French man named Guy Debord came up with the theory of the dérive, which is essentially getting lost for the purpose of studying the terrain of a city and emotional disorientation.
(n) lit. “drift;” a spontaneous journey where the traveller leaves their life behind for a time to let the spirit of the landscape and architecture attract and move them.
Playing off the idea of the dérive, I imagined a future where getting lost (and I mean truly lost, without the help of technology to navigate back) was the only way for people to learn about their environments. In this world, technology is so engrained in the lives of everyone, that an analog experience is novel and even cool. To illustrate my idea, I designed a website for a future tourism service that helps clients get lost in their home cities.