Aurora, the Aura City

Authors: Mara Balestrini, Sandro Engel, Ena Hadžić, Assunta Matassa; Atelier leader: Tobias Revell; Atelier coordinator: Sara Božanić.

Video (2:12), contact lenses packaging and case

By around 2050 the urban population had grown dramatically and resources were scarce.

Despite attempts to achieve sustainability, the human obsession with owning resources led to the collapse of society. The first wave of hope came in the form of collaborative consumption. Citizens started to share their resources to ensure access to shelter, food and transport. Ownership had become a historical luxury. In the beginning the sharing economy enabled human encounters, trust and social capital. But desire for efficiency and greater optimization led to the development of highly sophisticated sharing systems that precluded social interactions. Gradually, equipped with all sorts of sensors capable of recording information from brain activity to visual stimuli, smells and somatic experiences, we began to share remotely the most sensory data about our human experience. As time passed by the streets were empty, people lost agency with the physical world and with others. This led to public funding being given to researchers working on interactive systems to foster social connectedness.

aurora-still

Now it is 2113 and this is our second wave of hope. Wearing our new technologies, we have achieved ultimate connectivity: we enjoy augmented experiences as long as we sync our senses with others in proximity. Sharing visual data requires that people look in each other’s eyes; sharing feelings can only occur if people actually touch. Even memories can be shared, but this data is only unlocked when two or more users reach certain levels of specific neuromodulators. In a society that relies on data sharing for most of its processes, reputation needs to be quantified. Personal Aura Points determine your aggregated reputation and whether others can trust you for sharing or not. In an Aura economy, finally, what you give is what you get.