Geographers haven’t pinpointed the intersection of design and tech, but based on my interview with WyldCo, I’m beginning to suspect it’s in Montreal. Montreal based Wyld Collective is a team of designers, coders, entrepreneurs and artists all working together. This may sound like a recipe for a tech version Lord of the Flies, but in practice it is quite the opposite.
Wyld Collective Co-Founder, Bruno Nadeau, explains the team’s philosophy in a few words, “We have built a pretty diverse set of projects in the last few years. We try to keep an eye out for projects that will be interesting to work on, and that we can learn from. Whether it’s tangible or virtual, room-sized or hand held, we really just look for opportunities to build compelling interactions with computational stuff.”
The team’s latest project is Cityspeak, a collaboration with Obx Labs. It’s equal parts art installation and hack. Cityspeak is a way for audiences to share their thoughts, participate in a poll, or weigh in on a discussion via Twilio SMS. Audience contributions are publicly displayed at the event. Whether it’s an art gallery opening, hackathon or writing workshop, Wyld Collective customizes the look and feel of each display for the different events. But, there is one thing Bruno sees at every event, “People who might not dare walk up to a microphone to ask a question during a conference’s Q&A session might reach into their pocket to send a short text,” Bruno says.
Most audience members are familiar with texting, and more comfortable sharing their thoughts via SMS. Bruno adds, “If we asked people to go through a registration process, or require downloading an app, the slightly higher barrier of entry means that we might miss the event’s most clever comment.”
Bruno is planning on integrating different social media channels to Cityspeak so if an audience member feels more comfortable tweeting than texting, he can do that. Additionally, he hopes to add MMS and media capabilities to bring more personality to the text.
For the Wyld Collective at large, their projects on the horizon consist of everything from an installation that builds virtual trees out of texts and tweets, to an installation that educates the public on the construction of the International Space Station.
To find out more about Cityspeak, visit the website here. To keep track of what the folks at Wyld Collective are building next visit their website here and check out Bruno’s guest post on the Twilio blog and his developer profile.