Mark Rolston, founder and chief creative officer of the product and innovation consultancy argodesign, spoke at Pioneers ‘17 in Vienna. Billed as “the ultimate meeting point for tech founders, innovation executives, and investors to build partnerships and shape the future,” Pioneers brought 2,500 business leaders and media from around the world.
The title of Rolston’s talk was “Form Follows Me,” a riff on two 20th century design mantras. In 1896 Modernist architect Andrew Sullivan famously coined the term “Form Follows Function.” Decades later, as the rise of consumer culture put empathy at the core of design practice, the legendary product designer Hartmut Esslinger revised it to “Form Follows Emotion.”
Today Rolston advances these two ideas into the computational age. With the arrival of ubiquitous computing, invisible interfaces, and pervasive AI, every person, place, and thing is being annotated, digitized, and automated. Machines and services are designed to understand and serve our individual digital identities. In his talk, Mark explores various answers to the question, “What happens when Form Follows Me?”