Once the doors open to mammoth shows like Integrated Systems Europe, it’s all too easy to get hypnotized by the bright lights, 4K, 8K, decibels, virtual reality, and so on. The TIDE (Technology. Innovation. Design. Experience.) conference is the calm before the storm. This one-day event allows you to get a wider perspective around the amazing technology you’re about to see at the show. What are the possibilities? How can technology change the world? These are the questions that were posed during TIDE in Amsterdam, the conference’s maiden voyage to Europe.
Opening keynote speaker Daan Roosegaarde, Dutch artist, innovator, and founder of Studio Roosegaarde, set the stage, sharing his innovative practice of merging people, technology, and space to create a better world. How so? In 2015, Roosegaarde and his team gave Amsterdam’s Museumplein square a virtual flood through the power of light via LED technology. Why would they do that? Amsterdam is below sea-level. It is only through waterworks – dikes, dams, etc. – that the city is habitable. Roosegaarde’s lighting installation didn’t just dazzle people, it made them aware of the environment they live in and what it takes to keep it that way. Roosegaarde’s body of work also includes smart highways and smog-sucking towers. The New York Times deemed him a “hippie with a business plan.”
“If you only focus on the idea, it’s just an idea. If you only focus on the technology, it’s too harsh or too brutal. It really is about this symbiotic relationship and that’s a ping pong – that’s a dialogue,” says Roosegaarde.
That theme of the relationship between creativity and technology was woven throughout the event.
The day, hosted by thought-leader and marketer Kevin Jackson, continued with innovators like Lighting Designer Sabine De Shutter talking about using lighting design to create a visual experience, a lively panel discussion on where the role of the artist ends and the technologist begins, and Ben Moorsom, creator of Neuroscaping, sharing how technology can influence behavior. The team behind the BMW product launch for its 7-Series walked the audience through the process of creating a luxurious unveiling with the use of a live orchestra and intricate sound engineering.
Monika Bielskyte, founding partner of ALL FUTURE EVERYTHING, closed the conference, leaving attendees with a lot to think about. Bielskyte plans futures for a living, working with the entertainment industry to create fictional worlds. In recent years, technology companies have reached out to her to help them imagine future contexts where their technology could be set.
“Those technologies, platforms, and products will not be set in a vacuum, although they are often created in a vacuum," says Bielskyte. "Creatives have a key role in designing tomorrow."
We have the power to create our future world. The technology is there – but is our imagination?
The TIDE conference will return to North America on June 5 in Las Vegas, the day before the InfoComm 2018 exposition opens. Learn more at www.tideconference.com/lasvegas.