Smart Frictions

When labelling a product smart, we charge it with assumptions that change the way we interact with it and we charge it with expectations that influence the way we experience its flaws. Experiences with “smart” products seems to converge into a passive taking over of tasks that hides all the complexity and control behind “simple” interfaces.

How do we design for a future where smart will not always be perfect or so passive?

What interfaces can we design to avoid turning people into unaware and passive bystanders? How can a product adapt its smartness to a range of various users’ profile in order to fit their culture / desires / situations?

In this dual talk Nicolas Nova (Near Future Laboratory) and Simone Rebaudengo (, frog) will discuss the role of term smart, its uses and misuses. By contrasting technological flops with speculative scenarios and by showing how to design deeper and deeper under the hood of smartness, attendants will learn the key questions to ask when designing smart behaviors and the complexities that will emerge in a future of smart frictions.

Simone Rebaudengo

Simone Rebaudengo

Simone is an interaction designer based in Shanghai working and speculating about futures at frog. He builds products and scenarios that are believable enough to be real, but that come from hypothetical and questionable futures. His research focuses on exploring the implications of living with networked and somewhat smart products that change, grow, and that are smart enough to take their own decisions and show a point of view. He’s been teaching and talking at CIID, SUPSI, China Academy of Fine Arts, Tedx, SolidCon, Thingscon and Dconstruct. His works have been published internationally on Wired, Fastcompany, The Atlantic and Designboom […]

Nicolas Nova

Nicolas Nova

Nicolas Nova is Professor at the Geneva University of Arts and Design (HEAD – Genève) and founder of the Near Future Laboratory, a design studio based in Europe and California.




Finlandia Hall Main Stage

Event Partners