Experience Portal: (dis)Connected Lives

Experience Portal: (dis)Connected Lives

This has been a four year investigation into our digital lives.

The objective is to articulate digital pathologies and design digital remedies.

Pathology: the undesirable consequences of the design of the internet
Remedy: a solution to pathologies that enable people to have the life they desire

This below diagram is an early attempt  in 2017 to outline what these pathologies and remedies might be.

Today, in 2020 and during a pandemic, do these still work?

The original (d)CL typology, created in 2017

Before we begin: the philosophical background

There are two main trajectories framing the dCL project:

Click here to explore Posthuman Contexts
Click here to explore Metamodern Sensibilities

The Process

We can break the 'dCL Experience' process down into four scenes using the design double diamond (diverge/converge/diverge/converge) model:  

Designed by Oli Conner

(We use the term 'scene' to denote the performative and theatrical nature of this 'experience')

Next, we will go through each scene. Each of the four section includes:

  1. Fragmentary/poetic introduction: these can be used as creative prompts and stimulus to guide and trigger you
  2. Specific actions: these help you move onto the next scene
  3. Vocabulary Builder: this is a link to an external literary reading for 'close reading'. You are encouraged to pay specific attention to the way motion/verbs/movement is described

#1: Dreaming - Conceptual domain mapping

...we begin by floating around our collective mind -> ordering chaos -> interpreting our dreams...

...our dreams draw data from our well of memory, mixing them in the cauldron of our desires...

...a liminal space -> strange/eerie/gothic/psychedelic -> situated betwixt/between today and tomorrow -> impossible geometries and otherworldly immersion...

Specific Actions:

  • This part is about listening/sensing and mapping/connecting keywords that are resonating/vibing in the zeitgeist
  • 'Conceptual domain mapping' is, simply, connecting a bunch of words. You can whiteboard, mark a notebook, or use a tool like Miro to create a mind-map showing connections
  • This is a slow, careful process where we take time to probe each words subconscious (such as the metaphors, associations etc)
  • Use this opening part of the process to set up communication channels between collaborators. Share content and ideas in a new Slack channel
  • It is important to begin challenging your personal communication style. If you find it easy to express your opinion, work on listening to other. If you tend to be shy, work on forcing yourself to say and write things
  • Begin connecting with others, setting up teams based on areas of interest
  • Start familiarising yourself with the InsightOS: 'Glossary of Research Methods' and the expanding Trello Toolkit

Vocabulary Building:  

Click here to read the opening of 'Lathe of Heaven' by Ursula le Guin

#2: Awakening - Deep, meaningful conversations

...a dawning realisation that the internet is controlled by the creature of capitalism. Where every click is an opportunity. Information is currency...

...trends include the acceleration of technology -> an increasing number of black swan events -> greater awareness of progressive movements -> uptake of design/system thinking -> a demand for new value systems -> a need for civic business to harmonise polarising ideologies -> a movement towards new or alternative economic systems -> industry 4.0 -> a new leadership model being insisted upon by emerging mindsets...

Specific Actions:

  • Write out some questions that you want to explore in the form of a discussion guide
  • Create an insight database for the project where you can begin collecting and organising your fragments of insight
  • Use the cultural canvas to help develop meaningful questions that probe into peoples cultural identity
  • Build into the discussion guide questions about the impact on humans of different technologies
  • Experiment with a variety of research methods

Vocabulary Building:  

Click here to read the poem 'Mushrooms' by Sylvia Plath
Click here to read an extract from Virginia Woolf's essay 'Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown'

#3: Rising - Workshop prototyping

...we rise from the warm bed into the frosty air -> if we are wise, we make our bed and earn an early success...

Specific actions

  • Spend time thinking about 'verby' language. These are words of change.
  • You can adapt the typical Google sprint model ('How Might We?', Journey Mapping etc) here to get to some ideas and prototypes

Vocabulary Building:

Click here to read the poem 'Still I Rise' by Maya Angelou

#4: Acting - Experiential design

... Marx's collaborator Engels once said that an ounce of action is worth a tonne of theory...

Specific actions:

  • Check out the InsightOS Glossary of Social Forms for inspiration
  • This is an experiential performance and requires a certain amount of rehearsal
  • Ensure you are delivering tightly crafted articulations of the pathologies and remedies
  • Build in engagement dynamics by exploring areas like theatre, game design, social experiments and so on


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