26 May 2016 13:12

A critical look at how we are shaping digital technologies and, in turn, how digital technologies are shaping us is captured in a new exhibition in Liverpool.

Premiering at FACT from June 17 to 25, ‘Designing Digital Now’ explores the ways in which digital things can be imagined, designed and made in ways guided by our creative and ethical needs, rather than the functional capabilities of digital technology.

It draws on projects originated by Lancaster University’s Creative Exchange, a UK knowledge exchange hub for the creative economy. Over the past 4 years The Creative Exchange programme has instigated and supported more than 50 projects connecting academic research and expertise with creative sector businesses.

Visitors will have a chance to explore how a cohort of designers, makers and artists have worked across public and private sectors to propose new concepts, products, services and infrastructures that respond to the complex picture of technological risk and opportunity.

The exhibition explores some of the intricate ways in which digital technologies are empowering and overpowering human behaviours and actions.

Designing Digital Now examines how design can alter people's relationship to the world and their ability to change it for the better.

The exhibition features prototype products, infographics and films alongside a number of interactive exhibits from smartphone apps to a giant collaborative drawing machine. A programme of events will accompany the exhibition, ranging from workshops on digital games or self-publishing magazines. Visitors are invited to contribute their own stories to a digital map of Liverpool, become part of a participatory documentary or experience a live audio walk around the city.

Rachel Cooper OBE, Principal Investigator at The Creative Exchange, says: “A great idea you have this morning could be a YouTube hit by noon, a crowdfunding project tomorrow and a commercial success next week. You can craft a unique online persona and connect with people around the world through common interest and need, not common geography. Designing Digital Now examines how design can alter people's relationship to the world and their ability to change it for the better, moving beyond rhetoric and taking collective action in a time of technological and ethical complexity.”

For more information please contact Pam Allen, p.allen1@lancaster.ac.uk, +44 (0) 1524 510887.