With the focus of SXSW Interactive leaning toward funding and startups this year, I discovered something of a countertheme – new interest in things that celebrate an “artisanal quality” that connects you to the creator of a work.
The project, run by Janine Saunders and Workbook Project founder Lance Weiler, seeks to put people with big ideas for a better future (especially kids) in touch with people who can prototype their ideas.
What we saw at SXSW was a microcosm of the project, with the attendees breaking off to brainstorm, gather input from the group, and build a physical representation of an invention out of play-doh (which, in our case, ended up being a network of remote medical care technologies).
The experience was frantic and enjoyable, and allowed us to get to know fellow attendees in a way that was unlike the usual networking exercises of a conference. It was a chance for us to get away from prepared pitches and talks for a short time.
Our contributions, along with the ones submitted at the project’s site, will be used to create a time capstule of futurism in the year 2012.
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