Social Insects / Social Realities

Mobile application prototype, White Coated Lumbercore Board, Steel, Acrylic Glass, Ash Wood, 3D-printed Resin, Screen, Raspberry Pi, Textile Cable, Digital Print, Video


Social Insects / Social Realities is a collaboration with Professor Toshiharu Akino of Kyoto Institute of Technology's Applied Entomology department and Professor Hiraku Nishimori of the University of Hiroshima's Mathematical and Life Sciences department. The design-led research team, studied the algorithmic application of ant behaviour and its potential to be applied to future driverless ride-sharing systems. The project specifically embraces the possibilities of technological development and research in academia which can exchange concerns about profit and marketability for social and environmental priorities. In this spirit the concept focusses on senior mobility in context of Japan's rural depopulation and ageing population as well as decentralised services that can be owned by small communities rather than multinational companies.

A multimedia exhibition design presents the concept in form of a physical model city that allows the visitor to observe interactions in a smartphone app alongside their effects on the scale of the overall system.

Social Insects / Social Realities was developed during a 6-month research residency at Kyoto Institute of Technology's Design Lab.