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The Innovation Lab is a postgraduate innovation learning program.
Each class is interdisciplinary and brings together a variety of profiles from design, technology, social sciences, and entrepreneurship. Surrounded by a network of professionals and recognized experts in their fields, the 15 students of the "Social Networks of Tomorrow" Lab will work together on the theme of WEB 3 and the future of social networks, to explore concrete issues such as
- How to build social networks that would protect our relationships and privacy?
- How to ensure the legitimacy of information disseminated through social networks?
- What new insights can experimenting with decentralized technologies introduce towards bespoke use cases, manageable scale, and autonomous organizing of communities?
Workshop for the class of 2022
From April 17
to July 28 2023
Language of training : English
Hybrid program: 11 weeks distance learning, 4 weeks at La Plateforme, Marseille
Tuition: free of charge, transportation and accommodation covered for the weeks of training in Marseille
Application deadline: Monday, March 13, 2023
Selection: application and interview
April 17-23: program launch sprint (Marseille)
April 24-May 14: online training (Monday to Thursday)
May 15-21: intensive week in Marseille
May 22-June 24: online training (Monday through Thursday)
June 26-July 2: intensive week in Marseille
July 03-16: online training (Monday to Thursday)
July 17-28: final sprint (Marseille)
Young graduates in the process of professional integration, professionals in reconversion, researchers, freelancers...
We select complementary profiles to form interdisciplinary teams.
European residents with experience corresponding to the profiles sought are invited to apply.
- Design in team a POC prototype of a decentralized social network
- Explore methods and technologies for prototyping ideas:
- observation and fieldwork
- design fiction
- UX research and UX/UI design
- acculturation and Web3 development
- Identify local communities, understand how they use social networks to find relevant ideas
- Master a design process, from observation, to illustrated hypothesis, to prototype
- To become more competent on the theme of Web3 and the distributed web, autonomous organizations (DAO)
- Improve skills according to profile (UX design, blockchain development, observation tools) thanks to learning tracks (see below in this page)
- Promote a systemic analysis of problems
- Explore collaborative and interdisciplinary work methods
Team and stakeholders
The program includes high-level international speakers, who will be announced in the coming weeks.
Critical designer, UX researcher
Marie-Cecile will talk about her practice as a UX researcher and educator, as well as her critical perspective on social networks.
UX designer Marie-Cécile is a freelance UX designer, bringing to the people and organizations she works with a systemic and usage-focused perspective. Marie-Cécile publishes articles and gives conferences on design and on topics such as the Anthropocene, burnout, self-design, and inclusion and sexism/racism in tech. Member of the Lyon chapter of IxDA, she co-organized the Interaction 18 conference, and participated in the animation of the Lyon design ecosystem.
She is also co-creator and moderator of the think tank common-futures.org.
Matt will give a masterclass on speculative design fiction and film practice.
Matt is a designer and filmmaker at Superflux, where he speculates on future realities and designs fiction that interrogates the complex and interconnected challenges we face in the present. His experience at Superflux has led him to work on many internationally recognized film projects, including Our Friends Electric, The Future Starts Here, Refuge For Resurgence, and The Intersection.
Elvire will share her experience as an activist with social networks.
Elvire Duvelle-Charles is a journalist, director, author and feminist activist. After publishing the essay "feminism and social networks" which questions the capitalization of digital activism in the face of algorithms, she created the feminist film club Tonnerre, to transform movie theaters into a place of revolution.
Independent user researcher, Doctor in political communication and digital governance, Kheira worked as a product manager and then as a user researcher in the British Parliament and Government.
Since 2018, she accompanies private companies, teaches Lean UX practices in schools and in companies. In all her missions, Kheira proposes a user-centered approach in the design and development of digital services.
Designer, design researcher
Through "embodied design" methods (see embodied design), Juan pushes participants to consider social media/networks beyond screens
and to think critically about their broader socio-cultural impact.
Juan is a design researcher and doctoral assistant at EPFL (Lausanne) and HEAD (Geneva), where he explores the role of decentralized technologies on spatial practices. Juan works at the intersection between art and design and organizes critical workshops on contemporary technologies and debates around contemporary editorial practices. He designs interactive installations using the programming tools he develops. He is co-founder of Station of Commons, a research project about digital commons.
Project manager, presentation coach
As part of the program, Isadora will help structure and confidently deliver the final project presentations.
Working for the French Development Agency (AFD), Isadora develops, structures and facilitates accelerated and peer-to-peer training programs, mainly for entrepreneurs and change agents. Isadora strongly advocates the need to deploy programs based on the idea of collective intelligence, developed between peers to multiply the impact of social innovation projects. Previously, Isadora spent 15 years honing her expertise in structuring, financing and monitoring social innovation projects in emerging countries (particularly in Africa and Latin America), and more specifically in the areas of education and innovative financing.
Jon C Flint
Jon will co-host a Metaverse workshop with Miller Klitsner and Vytas Jankauskas
Technology products and services are becoming increasingly complex. Jon C Flint's interests as a designer lie in dissecting this complexity and distilling it into a simple, unique physical form. Anchored in the domestic space, often the essential stop for new technologies to impact our lives. These manifest as: IoT devices, mirrors, vendor cases, workshops and even rooms of the future. From 2015-2018, Jon worked as a prototypical designer at the renowned design and empirical futures research studio: Superflux. Over the years, he has exhibited work at the Tate Exchange, the V&A, the Asia Culture Center, the CCCB, as well as various conferences and workshops from Montreal, Canada to Shanghai, China.
Sarah Friend is an artist and software engineer, specializing in blockchain and the P2P (peer-to-peer) web.
She is a participant in the Berlin Artist Program, is co-founder and co-curator of the Ender Gallery (an artist residency that takes place within the game Minecraft), an alumna of the Recurse Centre - a retreat for programmers - and organizer of Our Networks, a conference on all aspects of the web are distributed.
Miller will co-facilitate a Metaverse workshop, with Jon Flint and Vytas Jankauskas
Miller Klitsner is an artist and game developer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. From an early age, he worked in the toy and game industry as a tester and prototyper for his family's business. During his undergraduate studies at UCLA, he dabbled in multiple fields, from documentary to performance, stop motion animation, game development and design. Since then, he has worked as an augmented reality developer, concept artist, game designer, and instructor, in Los Angeles. In 2019, he left Los Angeles to complete a brief fellowship in Shanghai, where he helped develop Unknown, a large-scale installation, with Chronus Art Center in collaboration with Beijing sculptor Yin Xiuzhen. In 2020, he returned to Los Angeles, where he continued his work on augmented reality and taught courses on immersive interactive media at the UCLA Game Lab and Cal Arts.
Communication & social sustainability designer
Alexia will support students in their design process and outcomes, and assist with course coordination.
Alexia is a communication designer. Trained in graphic design, visual didactics and sustainability, she has developed an interest in social sustainability and citizen empowerment. Her professional experience in both the corporate (advertising, fashion and entertainment) and social (food activists, live arts and healthcare) fields has trained her to shape and champion interdisciplinary creative concepts, using co-creation, speculative design and service design.
Cultural anthropologist, ethnographer
Nicolas will give a masterclass on interdisciplinary fieldwork based on observation.
Nicolas Nova is an associate professor at the Haute-Ecole d'Art et de Design (HEAD - Geneva) where he teaches the anthropology of digital cultures, ethnography and design research. He is also co-founder of the Near Future Laboratory, a design fiction agency. His latest books are "Dr. Smartphone: an Ethnography of Mobile Repair Shops" (IDP, Lausanne) and "A Bestiary of the Anthropocene" produced with the collective Disnovation.org and published by Onomatopee (Eindhoven).
David will be handling the UX side of the program.
David Benqué is a designer and researcher from Paris FR living and working in London UK. He has a background in graphic design (BA) and speculative design (MA RCA).
He is currently the project manager of CryptPad, an end-to-end encrypted collaborative office suite.
He holds a PhD (2020) from the Royal College of Art, with a practical research on algorithmic systems, using diagrams as a form of media archaeology. He has since continued this work independently under the name of the Institute for Diagram Studies.
Editor and independent researcher
Justin will support students in observation and community-related fieldwork.
Justin Pickard is a freelance researcher and writer. He holds a PhD in Infrastructure Policy and Urban Life from the Institute of Development Studies, UK.
From 2014-18, Justin was co-director of Strange Telemetry, a research firm conducting forward-looking projects for policy and innovation. His current work tackles meaning-making and uncertainty, using horizon scanning, qualitative research methods, writing, and experimental publishing.
Vytas Jankauskas is an artist-designer working on digital related topics. He is responsible for training at the Innovation Lab at La Plateforme in Marseille and also responsible for the Digital Pool at the Haute école d'art et de design in Geneva.
Previously he ran a creative research lab at Chronus Art Center in Shanghai, and worked as a designer-researcher at Superflux, an internationally recognized fictional design studio in London.
Phase #1 - Exploration and observation
Collaboration, research, and inspiration // Decentralized social network: what are we talking about?
- Sharing of skills between learners
- Team building
- Exploration and analysis of the complexity of today's digi-social interactions
- Meeting communities, observing their use of conventional social networks
- Identification of communities of interest for projects
- Discussions around the notions of Web3 and the decentralized web.
Phase #2 - Vision of the near future
Creative exploration of the future uses of social networks // Present and Future close to social networks
- Exploration of future relatives for social networks
- Creation of films, speculative narratives and prototypes.
- Presentation of a tangible vision of the near future of a social network to communities, in order to explore use cases as well as to anticipate potential unexpected effects.
Phase #3 - Prototype
Concretize the concepts / model (methodological toolbox for the mastery of use)
- Back to the present to design a proof of concept (POC) prototype of a social network.
- Projects will take the form of navigable user interfaces, accompanied by solid research documentation.
- The groups will make informed functional decisions about the latest decentralized technologies (blockchain, tokens, DAO, etc.).
In parallel - Upgrade tracks around the theme
The 3 learning tracks that take place throughout the program will aim to build the skills and knowledge necessary to create a quality social network prototype. Each student will be required to take at least one track, but may take multiple tracks:
- Observation Track
Optimized for social science profiles and social entrepreneurs, this track will introduce design-based research methods to gather insights on communities and have them feed into the project.
- Track UX/UI
Aimed at designers and artists, this track will cover the history and politics of user experience and interface design in social networks, and will teach some technical UI courses (using Penpot) .
- Development Track
This track will engage theoretically and practically with the various notions around Web3, examine the development frameworks for dApps as well as the technical and ideological models that weave the decentralized web.
A selection of emblematic projects carried out over the years.
Discover the Project
Tri.co is a social network that allows upcyclers to buy or collect materials, sell their creations and learn from user-generated tutorials.
Discover the Project
Discover the Project
Discover the Project
Who has a place in tomorrow's social networks?
Essay by Vytas Jankauskas.
2022 Program Overview
2023 Program outline download.
Vytas Jankauskas presents the 2022 program at Unfinished Live.
Project Liberty aims to build a new foundation for the digital society, where citizens will once again have control over their data, where ethical principles will be an integral part of the technologies, with economic opportunities for both Internet users and developers.
Some of the projects created during the training will be selected by Project Liberty to be presented at Unfinished Live in New York City in September 2023.