The New Age of Technology Enhanced Intimacy
As the technology becomes a natural augmentation of our physical relationships, virtual interactions are becoming less of a substitute for physical proximity and rather a mechanism to extend and augment intimacy (play/engagement/closeness) between humans and machines.
Humans are drawn to create and sustain intimate connections with each other. This goes beyond a partner sex bond and includes close friends, family and work colleagues. Technology will increasingly facilitate and strengthen these deep human emotional bonds.
These deep intimate connections are not limited to human to human subjects. Technology will also facilitate deep connection with machines, computers, devices and sensors embedded in our world.
Carl Hastrich is a Biomimicry Fellow and Associate Professor at OCAD University, developing biomimicry courses with Bruce Hinds which included research for Herman Miller and Autodesk, while teaching in the Industrial Design program. Hastrich was trained at the Swinburne National School of Design in Melbourne and OCAD University, where he is currently in the Masters of Strategic Foresight and Innovation.
Heather Vescent Schlegel
The Purple Tornado
Heather Schlegel is a futurist, technologist, and cacophonist. Schlegel started in Silicon Valley in 1996, helping to build and launch over 50 Internet products at over 30 startups. Her academic research focuses on the future of transactions and complementary currencies, including the impact of technology on identity creation and positive wildcards.
Research & Design
Kerr Smith Design
The recipient of both national and international design awards, Karen has over 18 years of experience in art direction and graphic design. Passionate about the art of design and committed to best practices, she has earned a reputation amongst peers and clients for her meticulous approach and her eye for creating award-winning work. An active participant in the design community, Karen is a member of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) of Ontario and was a sessional instructor position at Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) University.
Zahra Ebrahim is the Founder and Principal of the design think tank and creative agency, archiTEXT. Born in Kenya, raised in Vancouver, and educated at McGill University in Montreal, she started archiTEXT at 22 years old as a place to bring together diverse groups to tackle the intersections of architecture and design with social change, to explore the impact of design and creativity on systems change, and to engage the public in a discourse of design and design thinking as a mechanism for creative problem solving.