Protein(R) Forum – A provocative evening of science, technology, and design

5 Aug

Last Tuesday I went to a fab digi(ish) event held by the guys at Protein(R) – they hold regular free events that bring together interesting people to talk about interesting things in the world of science, technology, and design. I guess you could call them friends of AMV as we haven’t actually worked with them yet, but they are on my wish list. The event was rather small (nice venue though), with lots of friendly people. And it was as they promised…interesting.

First up was a lovely chap called Matt Jones from Dopplr.

Your average “Web 2.0” site – a community for travellers. I wasn’t wowed by the execution, in fact he even admitted the site looked rather like a bank statement, but there were some interesting takeaways. I’m not going to go into a full on description of Dopplr’s services, but you can find more out here. I particularly liked..

Your very own logo – Everyone has their own logo and colour pallette based on things like the length and frequency of travel.

A website you never need to go to – This sounds negative at first, but it basically means that Dopplr can hook into Flickr, Facebook, iGoogle, etc., so you can enjoy all their services without even visiting their site.

Map mash ups – OK an obvious one for a travel community, but they have nice mash-ups and map visualisations.

Cute touches – Users have a fun representation of how far you’ve travelled – i.e. so you may have the velocity of a duck?!?

And the future of Dopplr? Monetisation apparently. Eek, to end on such a sour note…

Second up was Kate Morross – an ambitious girl, who has a fascination with three sided shapes, illegible typography, and freeform lettering. She was disappointingly likeable, and made everyone else in the room feel suitably inadequate.

She’s a 22 year old London based creative maestro. Practicing as an Illustrator and Graphic designer but does not narrow herself to those fields alone. So of course she was bored, and with the little spare time she had, she launched ISO & Isomorph Records (because that’s the sort of thing we all do in boredom?!). She’s worked with the likes of TopShop, Nike, Cadbury, and Motorola, and many more.

Perhaps nothing new and slightly over-rated, but you can’t help but love her.

And finally, a presentation called My City My Body from Tuur Van Balen. Yep, this was the science bit! A recent graduate who’s fascinated by how our cities are ultimately made up from our behaviours and experiences. And piss.

Here’s a brief summary from his site as I can’t put this into my own words…

Only a small amount of the pharmaceuticals and chemicals we swallow are taken up in our bloodstream, most of them pass through our bodies into the city’s wastewater. Since wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove pharmaceuticals, the contents of our medicine cabinets eventually end up in the drinking water. This results in local differences in tap water, based on the food we eat and the drugs we take.

I branded tap water from three different areas: Notting Hill tapwater benefits from the highest density of organic shops, tapwater in the city of London is enhanced with various stimulants and Golders Green ‘produces’ a very fertile water due to the low concentration of people taking anti-conception pills.

This branded tap water was then sold on a sunny Saturday morning on Broadway market and people were asked to also put their tap water on the map, speculating it’s special qualities. On the project website, people also added stories about their tap water to the map. The result is a new map of London, revealing potential local city-body ecologies or biotopes.

You can check out the wrongly named “piss map” here.

All in all an interesting evening. Check here for future events. Drop me a note if you know of any brands who’d be interested in sponsoring such cool monthly events.

13 Responses to “Protein(R) Forum – A provocative evening of science, technology, and design”

  1. Amelia August 6, 2008 at 4:08 pm #

    Dopplr Matt is great – been at a couple of events with him and always impressed. Have you seen the new social-travel site TravelWolf, asked them what their point of difference was with Dopplr and they said that |Dopplr was for business but not sure that I agree!

  2. AlexM August 12, 2008 at 10:48 pm #

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

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