.process festival is an annual event in the Metropole Ruhr about the creational processes behind creative, cultural and technological projects and ideas: the individual handling of working techniques, the communication and cooperation of different actors, innovative tools, the development of new perspectives in the economic, cultural and creative context – and everything that happens on the road.
This way, instead of the final product, the process, its hurdles, challenges and learnings are brought to the center: .process focuses on the implementation itself and asks for the "how" rather than the "what" – a central question for a new generation of practitioners in a fast-changing world. At .process international experts, entrepreneurs and creatives are invited to share insights to projects, inspiration and working methods in talks, panels. and open workshops. This creates an educational and open exchange for professional designers, developers, makers, founders, researchers, activists and creative minds.
On Saturday, June 3 2017, .process took place for the second time at Dortmunder U, a former brewery now turned cultural center: After our first version of this festival was a lot of fun and brought up about 60 participants, this year’s process had over a hundred participants, more than 15 speakers and a great set up of partners, friends, supporters and sponsors. With this years topic of ‚play‘ in all its variations (from tinkering, to gambling, and - of course - gaming) we all met for a full day of discussions and learned a lot. Besides loads of fun and inspiration, some of our (personal) take aways were:
- The concept of walled gardens: in tech, games, and society. Moritz Riesewieck shared some insights about his ongoing research, theater, and documentary project in Manila, and highlighted the image of a walled garden for the social networks and technologies we’re building today. An interesting parallel to the set up of technological systems in the IoT, where information and data might lead to insurmountable power-dynamics, that set a certain kind of rules to a game that now everyone is willing to play. We discussed how these gardens can be maintained, opened up, and who is needed to set the rules and keep them going.
- The returning theme of the reflective practitioner: From Dr. Viktor Bedö, talking about explicit and implicit rules for social interactions and collaboration, to Dr. Lina Yassin highlighting the importance of learning for us individually as well as for our teams and organizations, the role of reflection, that is the relevance of taking step back to review our work, M.O. and assumptions, was a recurring theme throughout the day. Interestingly it plays quite well with the principles of [ThingsCon], and its notions of ethics, responsibility, and openness.
- How collaboration, learning, and fun tend to be interconnected, especially in early stage ideation phases of projects: virtually all projects discussed at .process held elements of any of those factors - be it the (super packed!) designing IoT Workshop by [Dries de Roeck] and [Ricardo Brito], that offered a fun, open and highly interactive setting for participants to join forces in discussing connected services for the IoT, or the DIY cardboard workshop by the great [Mareike Ottrand], illustrating the need and potential of prototyping with scarcity and fun teams.
Of course the was quite a lot more going on. Other highlights included the Holoship, brought in by Arzu Uyan of 42dp, the Polynucular Tech Lab, a project by the wonderful Katharina Meyer, and the brilliant supporting program by EEGB and our wonderful sound crew. More impressions can be found over here (thanks to Norma Bosselt of decent.photography).