FROM SERVICE SUPPLY TO 'ENABLING PLATFORMs'
The sketch and system map on the left represent a concept for a community owned, drone operated last-mile delivery system. The concept has been conceived to operate in synergy with existing logistic providers so to avoid redundancy of standards and vehicles. A general description of its service can be the following:
Through a partnership with existing service providers, communities would lease the technology. Maintenance and management would be by handled by the local community. In exchange, the companies would use the new local infrastructure to e.g. provide door-to-door services at lower cost because of less ground transportation – see maps. Other opportunities for revenue could come from the data and visual recognition services that drone could supply to, for example, the sorrounding forestry industry. The community would bring their part to the network implementation by placing a drone postbox on their property, allowing drones to recharge along their journeys in this very sparsely populated area.
MODELLING FUTURE SYSTEMS
Once defined, the basic unit and interface of this concept were materialised and used in the studio to rehearse and explore possible qualities and features of its service and its business model. These materials have been then employed in a participatory process of speculation in the field, as way to stage and simulate the service in its real context of use, providing an experience of the drone arrival as close as possible to the everyday life experience.
The premises behind this approach comes from the awareness that technology and every type of organization, digital or physical, have an 'agency'. Business models and service configurations for instance hinders and support certain behaviors and not others, with consequences and manifestation that are not directly perceivable and hard to relate before these are implemented.
These agencies have very concrete social, economical and environmental consequences on our life and are responsible of several systemic issue and rebound effects that are not really predictable through consolidated design approaches. Thus there is a need for designers to research and develop methods to anticipate these mediations, developing a facility with the scale and systemic complexity that designing and introducing new technologies in a world already congested by artificial networks, standards and protocols entails.