D&T Special Edition #14

Will Designers Replace the Real World?

Hi there!
This is the fourteenth edition of D&T Special, a more in-depth view of topics that interest the Canvs team. Today’s topic – ‘Will designers replace the real world?’ We hope you enjoy this edition.

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✍️ From the Canvs Research & Editorial Desk

The first video game that ever came about was a tennis game, similar to pong that ran not on a computer but an oscilloscope. It is the retro equivalent of running doom on a Texas instrument calculator, and although the visuals were not anything — the immersive experience was too hard to deny. Cut to the present and you can see companies pouring their entire valuations to put humans into those experiences. From social media companies to tech legacies to telecomm monoliths — everyone wants a piece of the metaverse pie. As designers, whether we like it or not, that seems to be the next frontier for us to conquer.

This week the Canvs R&E team has spent some time pondering this concept, let’s dive into some details.

Special 1.1

Chris Do wears a cap that says “God is a designer.” The point of that is God has this playground called Earth where they have placed rules, conditions and objects for life to interact with. That is probably the role a designer in the metaverse would play — not really designing each and every object per se — but creating a complicated system of interactions for people to live in. For designers knowing the “playground” is crucial as this is the canvas that they craft experiences out on.

Whenever the metaverse is mentioned in pop culture, it always has a variable degree of technological implementation — from simple VR glasses to full-body suits, to human pods and brain chips. The complexity of each of these “platforms” increases significantly not only in its implementation but also in its operations. There are different tools that when united can orchestrate an environment where digital experiences can come alive. As designers, our job is to understand their functioning and use that in order to create a platform that can serve as a digital playground.

Key spaces to keep your ear close to:

1. AR/VR

Designers will have to deal with randomness and edge cases at a scale that was not present before. Physical constraints of space and time will also play a role in how the experiences are designed.

2. Game design

Look at any role-playing games like the early Pokemon games to something more modern like Cyberpunk — they all recreate real-world objects digitally. Understanding these aspects of game design is the key to creating and populating the digital world.

3. Sound design

Good sound design does not only elevate an experience but can also imply feedback and intended directions. Humans live in a noisy world and have deep associations with it.

4. Haptics and wearables

In conjunction with sound, the emergence of consumer-grade wearable devices has been a game changer. From gesture-recognising gloves to haptic vests, companies are trying to emulate every possible interaction digitally. This space is always buzzing with new toys like an omnidirectional treadmill or even a microphone that allows you to scream as loud as you want without disturbing others.

📚 What we were reading this week

And the value of eclectic designers in creating complex designs.

We need to build a habit of questioning AI.

CALA’s technology uses AI tools to design, manufacture, and ship garments, making it easier for independent designers to start their own labels.

But unions are not taking this sitting down – read all about it here.

A bot plays the video game by tapping the text generator to pick up new skills.

Amid an unemployment crisis and rising inflation, vulnerable job seekers are falling victim to con artists.

This years announcements break into the the much awaiting (and pricey) VR experience that Apple is bringing to the market.

Some highlights from the past month of D&T

And that’s the lot! Thanks for checking out what we had to share with you this week, we shall catch up with you next Wednesday. Incase you aren’t subscribed to the newsletter, you could subscribe here.

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