The Channel Expo

tune in, tune out. a future of possibilities await.

Exhibiting hundred of channels of augmented reality to the city, the Channel Exposition is an event that occurs every three years. Each channel’s unique attributes- namely, their distinct values, opportunities, media, interfaces, abilities, and interests- are unveiled and exhibited at the expo. People from all different channels come to the event to taste and experience potential futures. A ceremony of sorts, the Channel Expo offers people the 1-in-3-year opportunity to flip channels and tune in to a new life.

Channels open up unique opportunities for individual growth, education, and relationships; the right channel can uncover an entirely new worldview. Channels open up experiences that transcend physical senses — what you see, where you hear, who you interact with. Alternately, they reach and impact exclusive values, interests, thoughts, and behaviors.

Upon arriving at the Channel Expo, one receives a map and guide to the Expo Grounds. The guide introduces newly aired channels to the public along with instructions to the Tuning Ceremony (how to make the flip)…

Welcome to the 2063 Channel Expo, your chance to discover new realities and transform your life in one flip (in the Tuning Ceremony). Broadcasting channel features from one pavilion to the next, lavish experiences are in store for those that browse the Expo Grounds. Rich, classical arts are on stage in pavilion 68, while ch.01 unveils new discoveries in life science technology. Euphoric sensibilities are conveyed in ch.0’s pop art, and just next door — in pavilion 27 — a still, peaceful world of phenomenal photography is brought to life. Walk a little farther and the two newest channels exhibit ambitious and intricate designs for fresh lifestyles. Don’t miss this chance to get a glimpse of the channel that is right for you.

Role of Design?

In a speculative future where augmented channels of reality exist, designers play a fundamental role in shaping and preserving the welfare of such a system. The multi-channel structure itself will, predictably, arise under the influence of design as each channel touches the center of human life, value, and behavior. For example, understanding and anticipating the human identities that will originate within certain channels will be contingent on the designer’s role in society. Thus, in order to avoid the possible consequence of a divided and oppositional community who grows increasingly apart through incongruous and incompatible channels, designers must acknowledge the ethical urgency that is required in a system that quite literally serves up reality.

Identity becomes a serious consideration within this kind of system. At present human identity is drawn from a large variety of influences; religion, family, nationality, value, interest, education, accomplishment, money to name a few. In curating the conglomeration of these factors within each channel (making up unique human identities), the risk and opportunity for design is realized. Furthermore by predetermining identity or demographic, humans will evolve and adapt in unexpected ways; ways that must be pondered by the designer within this future.

Time, also, becomes meaningful to designers in this reality. Benchmark moments in human life begin to orbit around a three-year-mark, as this is how often the Channel Expo opens. What kind of values do people assign to this ceremony of change and how will it affect the intermittent three years between expos? How do channel-wide systems and services change over the course of three years between each expo? How many resources are allocated by each channel to the way they exhibit themselves at the Channel Expo? These are questions a designer in this proposed future must acknowledge and strive to answer ethically.