The FOMObile Rolls in to Design Miami/Basel

The FOMObile Rolls in to Design Miami/Basel

#DesignMiamiBasel

Throughout Design Miami/ Basel, visitors can keep up with the hottest topics and latest discussions thanks to a continually updated print publication that gathers Tweets and Instagram images related to the fair. Named FOMO, after the ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ algorithm through which its content is generated, each newsletter is printed only a handful of times before the next edition is available, providing a constantly rolling snapshot of what’s trending in and around Hall 1 Süd, Messeplatz.

The work of design research collaborative Space Caviar, the FOMO algorithm and its peripatetic FOMObile printing press made its public debut in Milan this April, and appeared in Venice at the Hans Ulrich Obrist-led talks marathon in the Swiss Pavilion during the opening weekend of the Architecture Biennale.

There have been some refinements to FOMO since its launch; “In Milan we were using voice recognition to report what speakers were saying during discussions,” explains Simone Niquille of Space Caviar. “That technology is not as far advanced as you’d like it to be though, so if the speaker had an accent it wouldn’t recognize the words. For Basel we’re focusing on a precise spectrum of information – Twitter provides the text for the magazine and Instagram the photography.”

For each edition of the magazine, Space Caviar program a set of parameters within which FOMO gathers data, typically a time interval, geographical location, search radius and hashtag; Messeplatz Basel, 1km, #designmiamibasel, 5 minutes, for example; which, as social media traffic fluctuates over the course of the day, dictates both the content and length of each newsletter. “In some ways the content is very predictable; usually FOMO documents what people are experiencing,” says Niquille. “Occasionally you do get these ‘paparazzi’ moments when everybody gets very excited, as we did in Venice when people spotted Rem Koolhaas.” They have also added disruptive elements, such as opening up the search parameters in Venice to include feeds from nearby tourists.

Behind the novelty, the FOMObile project is intended to raise some serious questions about privacy and our slight naïveté in the use of social media. All the Tweets and Instagram images used are publicly available, yet some people have felt uncomfortable about them being displayed in a traditional printed publication. Space Caviar have also started to use FOMO to get a flavor of the mood elsewhere in the world, such as outside the US Consulate in Afghanistan, which builds up a picture of the diverse ways that people use social media in different circumstances.

To contribute to the FOMO at Design Miami/ Basel, use the hashtag #DesignMiamiBasel












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