The Lab’s Splendour Event – Futurology & Culture

June 19, 2014

Our Splendour events are internal workshops that hinge on exploring a theme in detail as a basis for understanding the implications for culture and brands alike.

On the back of The Lab’s cultural mapping sessions and adventure to SXSW in Austin, it felt fitting that our Splendour event should focus on colliding the latest and greatest innovations of the tech world with a number of emerging social and cultural dynamics that will affect us all, in order to understand what the future may look like.

With the focus of the Splendour being to explore what the future may look like, both analytical and creative thought were the fundamental building blocks of our day, and as such, the event was held at Laneway Rehearsal Studios in Abbotsford. We always try and theme the location for our Splendour events in a way that connects with our theme for the day and in this case the studio was selected on the basis of being a space that reflects the unification of art and science.

To kick things off, Daniel began the day with a presentation that identified a number of innovations happening across multiple industries and in the tech world revealing how these transformations would influence the way we explore, learn and create in the future. From topics as close to home as social media innovation and reality TV through to the new frontier of bioengineering, all of the topics covered focused on the social and cultural consequences of innovation, paying special attention to the kinds of tensions that will emerge in the coming years. This triggered some highly engaging dialogue, and at the completion of our morning session, we were well equipped to engage with the workshop sessions to follow.

MEANING ECONOMY - Empathic Threads from IDEO | Boston 

Coming into the afternoon, the first of two workshop sessions involved 3 groups breaking off to explore what some of the implications for society and brands may be in relation to The Lab’s 9 Cultural Dimensions. From vicarious travel with Occulus Rift through to creativity metrics being employed as screening tools for tertiary entrants, a number of challenges and tensions that we appear set to face became apparent very quickly.

The second workshop served as a conceptual hackathon – a brainstorming session so to speak – focused on innovation and work.  With ideas spanning from mobile applications to measure workplace productiveness and employment wellness through to reality TV shows for graduates entering creative industries, the room was again abuzz with insights and possibilities that we may very well see manifest in varying forms over the course of the next 5 to 15 years.

By day’s end, the clock had truly been cast aside, and with all on their toes, not only had we learnt and brainstormed plenty of new ideas, but we had built a substantial amount of thought into what the future may look like and what it may mean for brands.

If you’re interested in finding out a bit more, you’ll be glad to know that we are currently in the process of refining our thought piece on the ‘Futurology of Culture’. Get in touch if you’d like us to share some of the madness with you!