I’m not sure exactly who came up with the term Information Superhighway — seems like Clinton/Gore administration — or it might have been MIT — the who for me isn’t as important as the what. The notion that we have information and ‘providers’ connected in a perfect system doesn’t seem to be particularly human. I don’t want ‘providers’ I want collaborators. Even the notion of ‘information’ doesn’t seem that relevant anymore. Yes we want information but we also want knowledge; knowledge that comes in a myriad of different forms and knowledge that can be formed in complex diverse human ways.
The idea of a Caravan for me is a looking at this new routes, pathways and journeys through knowledge from digital practices and expression. That people from all sorts of places and interests can join a journey rather than an event. That there is no group start and end. That people work asynchronously and in multiple locations. It’s as you would expect me to say — messy, emergent and rather experimental — with the likelihood that something might not go as planned.
For me, I’ve joined the Product and Exhibition design studios to explore the ‘Connected Home’ — something that Michelle Thorne and I have been playing around with over the last year or so. One of the students asked me this morning “What is the difference between a Smart Home and a Connected Home” — a brilliant question! — and one that I think enables me to frame where I think so much of what I’d like to explore in the caravan. So I told the student that I thought the Smart Home as a corporate notion of technology driven innovation where technology would replace human activity in my home. That the Connected Home was much more abstract, less defined and was about social connectivity in and through the home — where technology can play an amazing role, but where people are in charge and have ownership.
So let’s jump onto the wagon and explore the collaborative superhighway on a journey into far off digital lands — lands that are full of people who have ownership of their digital worlds and who are able to craft the digital future that they want….