A Midjourney image of Utrecht

Imaginaries Lab 2022 end-of-year note

I’m not going to do a full end-of-year review post this year, since I’ve just been through a tenure process at work (TU Eindhoven) which has exhausted my desire to write any more about what I’ve been up to! But, briefly: current projects include IMAGINE and Playing With The Trouble, both of which are enabling some exciting collaborations with great people, and during 2022 I was elected to the executive board of the Design Research Society and became a Fellow of the Centre for Unusual Collaborations. I chaired the programme committee for the DRS 2022 conference in Bilbao and online, co-chaired workshops for ACM Creativity & Cognition in Venice, and represented TU/e in the Futuring theme of the Design United Transitions events at Dutch Design Week. At ACM DIS 2022, the Spooky Technology paper that Daragh Byrne and our CMU students wrote won Best Pictorial, and at DRS 2022 I co-chaired a theme track on Qualitative Interfaces, including a paper by Carine Lallemand, Daphne Menheere, and me exploring the ways we have applied the idea with students at TU/e and CMU. In the last part of the year I moved from Amsterdam to Utrecht. I’ve run talks / workshops / been on panels in Prague, London, Oslo, Trondheim, Bilbao, Milan, Lausanne, Brighton, plus online many other places, sent New Metaphors cards all over the world, and aside from all that, have taken a ghost story writing course, and continued compiling photos and details of the history of petrol stations. It hasn’t been a year when I’ve loved academia, but there are some good people, and I have to believe it’s all worth it.

A Midjourney-generated image of UtrechtI feel as though I’m in a state of flux around how best to develop new habits for blogging and sharing, as Twitter’s prolonged death spiral and increasing toxicity as a billionaire’s plaything removes much of the appeal of using it. I haven’t fully / properly engaged with Mastodon yet, but I will in time — I’m @danlockton@mastodon.social — but perhaps (as many people have said) this does mark a point of inflexion for blogging, proper blogging perhaps paired with newsletters and a resurgent RSS or ActivityPub to link all of it together. I think back to 2005–10 when I used to post multiple times a week in some cases (although often quite short blog posts), and it’s easy to see how in retrospect the rise of Twitter, plus changes in my work and life situations, contributed to blogging properly feeling like too much work, not appropriately matched to the circumstances, while Twitter felt right. But it doesn’t any more. So—I hope—in 2023 I will try to rebuild something of a better way of communicating, including consolidating and fixing the sprawling network of websites I have for different courses and projects, some of which are currently broken!

Take care, good wishes for 2023

p.s. subscribe to the newsletter—whatever it evolves into!

p.p.s. The images above were generated using Midjourney on 31/12/22 with the prompt “Utrecht Domkirke and Oudegracht overgrown with vines and trees on a sunny day, with red, yellow and orange flowers growing along the canalside :: extremely detailed with rich colors, Depth of Field, F/2.8, high Contrast, 8K, Cinematic Lighting, intricate details, extremely detailed, incredible details, full colored, complex details, Super-Resolution, Beautiful lighting, Accent Lighting, Global illumination –ar 3:2 –stylize 1000 –v 4” — thanks to Josie for exploring how to get the most out of it all!