01.06.22
Lee Moreau + Liz Danzico | Audio

The Futures Archive S1E12: The Pet


Do you have a pet? Do you name inanimate objects in your life? On this episode of The Futures Archive Lee Moreau and guest host Liz Danzico discuss her dog Harriet, and the anthropomorphization of things.

With additional insights from Greger Larson, Gail Melson, and Hannah Chung.

Lee asked Liz about interaction design:
It's the interaction among people, objects, technology. It's the experience of being alive. I think it was just last week that Amazon's AWS, which is their cloud computing service, went down and Roombas across the country went down as well as a result of the outage. And there were a lot of funny mentions of what happened when people some people have kind of a pet like relationship with their Roomba. And you could no longer interact with your Roomba in quite the same way.

Lee Moreau is President of Other Tomorrows, a design and innovation consultancy based in Boston, and a Lecturer in MIT’s D Minor program.

Liz Danzico is Acting Senior Vice President of Digital and Vice President of Design for NPR and the Founding Chair of the MFA Interaction Design Program at the School of Visual Arts.

Greger Larson is the Director Palaeogenomics & Bio-Archaeology Research Network in the  School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford.

Gail Melson is Professor Emerita in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies, Purdue University.  Dr. Melson is a noted authority on children’s development and relationships and a leader in the field of Human-Animal Interaction.

Hannah Chung is an entrepreneur and designer. She founded two award-winning organizations: Design for America, a national organization of students using design to create impact, and Sproutel, a patient-centered research & development studio.



Subscribe to The Futures Archive on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app. And you can browse the show archive.

Kathleen Fu created the illustrations for each episode.

A big thanks to this season’s sponsor, Automattic.

And to our education partner, Adobe. For lesson plans created for each epsiode, visit Adobe's Education Exchange.



Transcript

Lee Moreau
Welcome to The Futures Archive, a show about human centered design, where this season we'll take an object, look for the human at the center and keep asking questions. I'm Lee Moreau...

Liz Danzico
...and I'm Liz Danzico.

Lee Moreau
On each episode, we're going to start with an object. Today that object is the pet. We'll look at the history of that thing from our perspective as designers who've done work in human centered design— not just how it looks and feels, but also the relationship between a pet and the people it was designed for,

Liz Danzico
and with other humans too.

Lee Moreau
The Futures Archive is brought to you by the design team at Automattic. Later on, we'll hear from product designer Jill Quek. The Futures Archive's education partner, this season, is Adobe.

Lee Moreau
Hi Liz, thank you so much for being with us today. I, you know, I don't know you all that well, to be honest. You spoke at our conference in 2019, which was, you know, before the pandemic and it feels like another lifetime. And as we were doing research on you, one thing sort of jumped out— on your Twitter bio it says: part designer, part educator and full time dog owner. In addition to being a dog owner, we'd love our listeners to know more about you before we get started.

Liz Danzico
Sure, yeah, I am an acting senior vice president of digital and the vice president of design for NPR, National Public Radio, where I'm responsible for leading human centered design across NPR's products, services, and platforms. And I am also the founding chair of the MFA Interaction Design Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. And I do both of those things full time. And then I do indeed have a dog, a vizsla, named Harriet.

Lee Moreau
Beautiful.

Liz Danzico
Harriet is a four year old vizsla. This is Harriet's first time on a podcast. Harriet,

Lee Moreau
Oh yeah, hi.

Liz Danzico
There she is.

Lee Moreau
Welcome, Harriet.

Liz Danzico
Harriet. Would you like a treat?

Lee Moreau
Well, that's a good dog.

Liz Danzico
My personal website, Bobulate dot com does have a vizsla like iconography as it's, you know, kind of masthead. So, um, so yes and the dog is very much a part of my my life and has always been a part of how I've thought about design. So I'm excited to talk about that and more today.

Lee Moreau
Well, we're going to talk more about this. We'll certainly talk more about your vizsla, but we'll also talk more about interfaces and interaction design. How we're going to get there is we're going to start with pets, right. And so we're going to hear from some historians and some designers, some people who have done work on the history of pets to help us make sense of that and that will take us on a journey.

Greger Larson
What I like to think of as dogs is sort of an emergent phenomenon that has resulted from an interaction between people and wolves.

Lee Moreau
Greger Larson is an evolutionary geneticist and a professor in the School of Archeology at the University of Oxford.

Greger Larson
By calling it an emergent thing, that obviates the need for us to say that there were people who were driving this, they that they knew what they were doing, there was some intentionality about the entire thing. And I really, from all the evidence that we see in a lot of evolutionary biology, there is no intentionality to start, which is not to say that there isn't now.

Lee Moreau
So his work kind of looks at these ancient genomes. He's going back and tracing the very origins of the domestication of species to try to understand how this happened. And in this particular example, he's looking at how dogs became pets over time. And there's a kind of narrative that a lot of people share, which is that we kind of captured a bunch of wolves and we kind of treated them nice for a while. And then suddenly they became our pets, right? That it was a very willful act of human intervention on another species. But what Greger suggests is that actually it was probably much more symbiotic in terms of the development, that we were doing things for dogs and dogs are actually doing things for us, or there's kind of more much more mutual development. So that's like the ancient history of dog domestication. But how did how did dogs become part of your life on a very basic, simple level, like how did you start to bring them into your home?

Liz Danzico
We always had dogs growing up. We had 16 dogs overlapping sequential, starting with the first one. You know, I wasn't the first child, it was like the dog was-was first. And-and so when I left home, it was just a matter of time and the right kind of context and opportunity before having a dog. It just feels like home.

Lee Moreau
It's interesting that, you know, probably the first dog which was- even precedes you. There probably wasn't a kind of standard operating procedure established, right? It's like that was an experiment— hey, let's get a dog and we'll see how this works. And then maybe when you get to dog four or five, eight nine ten, then you start to have a way that that works. You basically, I think you lived a kind of a life of dog domestication in your own world, right?

Liz Danzico
Right.

Lee Moreau
You know, it's like if you think of every dog as a generation of sorts, that's a- you've lived that experiment for us. Thank you.

Liz Danzico
That's right. Yeah, it's kind of a nice kind of set of domestication and standard operating procedures, as you say.

Lee Moreau
Let's hear a little bit more from Greger Larson.

Greger Larson
The why question presupposes that people who were involved in the early stages of domestication knew precisely what they were doing, it was a very top-down, directed, focused idea. And what I love about this is that a lot of design is like this to where we tend to want to see the final product as why it happened in the first place. And we all went to see ourselves as very goal directed smart people who take a bunch of information together and then say: Well, this is what we're going to do now. We have a few things to overcome, but we're going to solve this. Design becomes a riddle where you're trying to make something out of what's available into something better. And I'm just not sure that actually applies to dogs at all. I feel like and maybe to a lot of design.

Lee Moreau
Right, so it's sort of instinctive. We want to tell a story that we knew what was going to happen all along, but really, that's not the way it came together. We probably didn't have that kind of thought in the beginning. And this sort of post rationalization that we do about, in this case, the domestication of animals and dogs is a form of storytelling.

Liz Danzico
Yeah.

Lee Moreau
Right. We tell a story that kind of puts all the pieces together, but we didn't know we were doing that from the outset. That's just what we put together at the end.

Liz Danzico
Yeah.

Lee Moreau
But first, we're going to try to understand a little bit more of what it means to become a pet and what that does to us as people.

Gail Melson
A pet is a a human category for a-a non-human animal who is treated as a— the synonym, often given is called companion animal.

Lee Moreau
Gail Melson, Ph.D., is professor emerita in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University. She's a noted authority on children's development and relationships and also a leader in the field of human animal interaction. Her research sort of began with this fundamental interest in studying the family pet.

Gail Melson
I became really interested in one aspect of the human condition, and that is the nurturing of others. And of course, we associate that with being a parent, a caregiver.

Lee Moreau
She wanted to understand what it was about pets that made us care about them. What kind of taught us the nurturing skills, so you were trying to give that treat to Harriet, but you know, you were the way you were talking to her, you were in a kind of conversation, right?

Liz Danzico
Yeah. And then oftentimes, if I'm the only one here, I will find that I've been talking to her, you know, all afternoon. And-but I feel, I feel like I've been, you know, we have been in conversation and she's very in tune with what I'm saying, so.

Lee Moreau
So in this case, you are definitely initiating the conversation. You know, we've all been cooped up a lot and, you know, managing our emotions without other people quite often to like, help us soothe, right? Has she ever kind of detected that you needed a dog version of a hug and unprompted—?

Liz Danzico
When people are upset, she will pick her head up, look at the people talking and run out of the room instead of coming over and trying to soothe someone she'll—.

Lee Moreau
Self-preservation,

Liz Danzico
Yeah, depart the situation. But if she's sort of like, you know, cornered or traped, then she will try to, she uses her paw to try to soothe the person kind of in trouble. But it's interesting she does go into self-preservation mode.

Lee Moreau
Going back to Professor Melson. And so Dr. Melson in her research, she identified two really important things and when she was kind of telling us about them. So one is this notion of neoteny, which is the kind of retention or emphasis of features that make us look younger. So different species have kind of optimized for some of these qualities and traits, whether it's the sort of like cute face thing, the kind of big eyes, the round head. So she talked about that as one way to kind of create and maybe facilitate or ease this kind of communication. And then she also talked about this other concept called contingent responsiveness.

Gail Melson
So what is contingent responsiveness is, again, other humans, other biological creatures respond to us. We do something. They respond back. We do something else. They respond again. We engage. More and more computer technology, artificial intelligence is embedding contingent responsiveness in all kinds of physical objects, and that allows us to begin to treat them as if they were kind of alive. Now we're not fooled. At least I hope most of us are not fooled. We know they're not really alive. We might even know the technology behind constructing a humanoid robot or a smartphone or a laptop or a Roomba. But we kind of often can suspend that.

Lee Moreau
This is interaction design. You know, this is experience design.

Liz Danzico
Yeah, this is-this is everything we-we think about in the interaction design program. It's the interaction among people, objects, technology. It's, you know, how to express interaction design and the experience of, you know, being alive. One more note you mentioned, we're speaking in mid-December, and I think it was just last week that Amazon's, AWS, which is their cloud computing service, went down and Roombas-Roombas across the country, the robot vacuum went down as well as a result of the outage. And there were a lot of funny mentions of what happened when people some people have kind of a pet like relationship with their Roomba. And you could no longer, you know, kind of interact with your Roomba in quite the same way.

Lee Moreau
And Roombas are part of a lot of people's menagerie. Like, if they have a dog or a cat, there's a relationship between that, you know, actual dog or actual cat and the Roomba and that kind of ecosystem that was totally upended or disrupted. Let's hear a little bit more from Gail again.

Gail Melson
We were aware of the development of robotic technology and particularly aware of a trend which we see, I think, growing and growing into the future called embodied objects. And the idea here is that computer technology and artificial intelligence is moving more and more from machine like objects, to objects which have, in a sense, bodies.

Lee Moreau
So these sort of robotic technologies, they're-they're mimicking, as she said, living things through their interactions and the kind of feedback that we can have with them, right? So they're-they're mimicking humans, they're mimicking animals because of that feedback, the kind of relationship that we start to have with them, they become part of our daily lives. You were, you know, like the way that your dog is part of your daily life and maybe she goes into self-preservation mode and runs upstairs. But, you know, maybe our robots will start to do that too. Like: Hey, I got to get out of here, right. So where-where's this starting to go?

Liz Danzico
I have to say, just like listening to that made me think about— there are so many dog related thesis projects I've seen over the years, but the most striking example I can think of is an experiment from 10 years ago with the Furby. And I wondered if you had heard about this experiment. It was-it was mentioned on another podcast called Radiolab, back, I think, a good 10 years ago now. It talked about this very thing where when children held the Furby versus something they know is not alive like a Barbie versus something they know is alive like a hamster. They did a test to sort of test the aliveness of each of those, and they gave these to three kids I believe under the age of seven or around seven years old, and the test was that they held each of them upside down, and they wanted the kids to held them-hold them upside down as long as they could, and asked them how they felt about holding them upside down. Like: How do you feel about holding Barbie upside down? Do you feel like she's uncomfortable? How do you feel about holding Furby upside down, you know, et cetera. And ultimately, the hamster and Furby got held upside down approximately the same amount of time because the designers of the Furby had done such a good job of designing sounds and the design of the objects so well that the kids felt that Furby was alive, right? Just as just as she's saying, you know, we do something, they respond, we do something, they respond — the kids very much, given that sort of like, you know, cybernetic loop, that kids very much felt that the Furby could feel. And when asked, you know, you know that Furby is not alive —Yeah. Can the Furby feel do the Furby feel pain when he was upside down? Not sure. So, you know, the the trick is when we're designing is to think about how to do it well and where the line is. You know, where's our ethical responsibility? Where is our emotional responsibility? Who is the audience that we're designing for? And I just think as I heard her talking, I was just thinking about this experiment with the Furby and that kind of, you know, sense of, are we fooling them or not? Do we intend to for them, or not?

Lee Moreau
Right, and do we want to like, is that an outcome that we want? Do we want the illusion that Furby is almost real? Or is that actually an unintended consequence of just great quote unquote great coding and great computing, but maybe not actually what we wanted.

Lee Moreau
The Futures Archive is brought to you by the design team at AutomaTtic, which is building a new web and a new workplace all around the world.

Jill Quek
I'm Jill Quek and I'm a product designer at Automattic, based in Singapore.

Lee Moreau
One thing Jill loves at Automattic is the collaboration.

Jill Quek
Communication is truly essential to good design. You need people who are willing to talk to each other and who are willing to listen. I think that a good designer has to have the willingness to listen and to be very open minded to how people are using your product, what the impact of your product is, as well as the potential of what you could design. I think that's why, the way that we communicate at Automattic, which is so word based and it's so, so much writing and so much of reading, even if it might take a little bit more time I think it ultimately ends up being a lot more equitable, a lot more open to anyone at any level, anywhere in the world to able to read the conversations between you and me.

Lee Moreau
Designing a better web. Join us at Automattic dot com slash design. That's auto-m-a-double t-i-c dot com slash design.

Lee Moreau
So I've been reading, you know, on this topic a little bit, Kate Darling's recent book— she's an M.I.T. researcher, really talks about the relationship between robots and the way that we start to imagine the way they fit into our lives. And if you think about a dog is just a really powerful network of sensors, right? Like what dogs are able to process.

Liz Danzico
Yeah.

Lee Moreau
I'm just trying to imagine a world where the way a dog would react to the tone and almost the vibrations in the air around a conversation you might be having with a co-worker. Those are things that we're going to be able to detect through computing that will be able to prompt different interactions and reactions. And so, you know, we might be shifting. We might have the environments might be shifting, the responsiveness of everything around us. Yeah, we're entering a new domain.

Liz Danzico
Indeed.

Lee Moreau
So this sort of next step in companionship where we're mimicking living things right, so our through technology, we're able to like have things that interact with and kind of copy us. We're definitely in this new territory. We talked to somebody, one of our experts here, who's really done a lot of work in the field of embodied objects. And I want to tell this story, which I think is close to the Furby story that you had, and maybe brings it to another emotional state.

Hannah Chung
There's just so much need to help children with type one diabetes, and we felt like there was room for more interactive education and something more fun that that kind of led to create a Jerry the Bear.

Lee Moreau
Hannah Cheng is the co-founder of Sproutel, a Patient-Centered research and development studio in Providence, Rhode Island. She also teaches at RISD, and she helped create Jerry the Bear, which is a sort of plush toy— in my world, like we call them lovies— but this sort of companion for children with type one diabetes, where the kids learn how to manage their condition by basically taking care of the bear, who also has juvenile diabetes. And so that kind of transference of the condition to the bear, but also this nurturing that takes place is really important. And there is a really big moment in the development of Jerry the Bear, where they realized that the just the educational aspect of, you know, insulin and tracking carbs and things like that wasn't the whole thing that in order for Jerry the Bear to work effectively, there had to be something more.

Hannah Chung
People look for stories. You know, people-people live for stories. You know, people want to find stories. So I think in that aspect, you want to find meaning and you also want to find a connection that is very emotional. And through that, I think through that, you build a relationship with it.

Lee Moreau
And so this new level of understanding about what Jerry the Bear needed to do came from the design research, from talking to children. So Hannah and her team realized that they needed to be able to answer children's questions about Jerry the Bear's life. So like, who does Jerry the Bear hang out with? And, what does Jerry Bear care about? And, what's his personality? And how to go that level deeper.

Liz Danzico
Yeah. The power of observing people and storytelling— storytelling is very much what NPR is founded on. And just how many things we have learned by doing research. The way that people naturally took to the original, the Alexa device, and watching them for the first time when we simulated a new, I think we took a thermos and dressed it up to try to simulate a smart speaker for the first time, and watching people talk to it and asking it questions in their own natural language and taking notes as to the patterns of their speech and what they would ask and what they wouldn't ask. You know, what they would feel comfortable with. There are so many things that we've learned about storytelling, but the importance which I imagine is even more true when you're working with children and Jerry the Bear, this is doesn't feel like even a parallel experience, but the context of doing the research is so important. And so we thought very deeply about how to do the research, in addition to the insights drawn from the research itself. Whether we're going into someone's home and observing, you know, doing ethnographic research or just bringing people into the headquarters to do that work there.

Lee Moreau
But it's also a bigger design challenge, right? So like suddenly now you have all these different interfaces, channels, touchpoints, whatever you want to call them, through which your branded experience travels through to get to the listener, that's-that's getting more complicated.

Liz Danzico
Yeah, yeah. And it's-it's very much about not what is our design system visually, but it's like, what is our behavioral, kind of protocol. And what is, you know, we started talking, you know, some years ago now about, you know, we're creating like the Emily Post Book of Etiquette about behavior rather than, you know, the standards manual of what it looks like. Although my heart sort of lies with the standards manual because those are so beautiful to have and to to create. But it really is much more about if we invited NPR to dinner, how would NPR behave, what would NPR wear, what would it say in conversation and sort of in that same way, and then when NPR makes its own friends and goes to dinner at other, you know, their houses and people, we can't we wouldn't even imagine what what does it, what does it say and what does it wear? And it's sort of like imagining all those different combinations and designing a system for that which, you know, thankfully is what will keep designers in dire need and relevance for many, many generations to come because the possibilities are certainly endless. And it does take prototyping and deep user research to understand what-what those needs might be.

Lee Moreau
Well, I think designing for companionship or how our companions ought to behave when they're with us at dinner is a very it's a beautiful notion. Let's hear more from Hannah Chung and how this translated to Jerry the Bear.

Hannah Chung
Companionship is a very technical term of describing this product. When researching or engaging with people, I asked them for stories: Can you tell me a story of you playing with your stuffie or you playing with your pet, whatever that is. And what's really interesting is oftentimes people get really emotional, so they share things like even for Jerry the Bear, I had dinner with Jerry the Bear. I had dinner with Jerry. I went to bed with Jerry. So it's nothing about the technical aspect of playing with the product, it's more like how this product is really embedded in their daily lives.

Lee Moreau
And this is the heart of human centered design, right? Which is what this big conversation is about— finding stories that help us describe not just how something fits into our daily lives as we're making dinner or what have you, but also how it fits into the worldview that we have and what we really care deeply about. This is-this is what we do, and you just described a lot of that work that you're doing for NPR. But, you know, we're using a lot of that now to make things more related to us, more intimate in the way that we want to live. We're able to craft experiences that they're really kind of connect to us on an emotional level.

Liz Danzico
Yeah. And I think that there's a few levels here that I think are important to tease out, depending on who you are listening to this. There is you, as a designer thought about broadly, you know, whatever sort of, you know, design, design thinker, architect, writer, person who thinks creatively at large — and how you could connect the work to lived experiences using human stories and being human centered at this moment in time. It's important, complex, sensitive, and takes a different kind of care, I think. And then there's the piece that we talked about already, which is using research to tease out how to get to those stories, you know, which is deeply interesting and fun and deeply important to kind of getting the product or service right. And then using potentially both of those to work with both sides to then think about how to tell that story to the audience who is going to eventually use that. That could be used for marketing, that could be used for storytelling, for pitching, for funding, you know, depending on, you know, who you are. But like all of those audiences are so important, but that that the heart of everything always feels like it is about storytelling, and it's so multi-dimensional, you know. It's so multi-dimensional and it's it changes every time you sort of look at it from a different, different angle. It is the heart of human centered design.

Lee Moreau
Here's Hannah one last time.

Hannah Chung
Adding that kind of person characteristics to a pet or a product is an easy way to think about a possible dialog between you and the product. I think we can build relationship with anything but you know what is a lasting relationship and what do you need? And I think that's that's a part where through our research, and human centered design is really interesting because I think the core of the research process and the design process is to find the meaning and the emotional drive to really make something that lasts for people.

Lee Moreau
And the thing that human centered design, design research does really well, just sort of echo what Hannah just said is like — design research does a really good job of helping you understand what you need when you yourself cannot even articulate what you need. And I was thinking of your dog like sensing a conversation or something that just might not be right in the room. And I think that's that's the power of what we can do in design research. And I think your dog, it would be a fine design researcher, by the way.

Liz Danzico
I love that. I think I think you're right. I have already started her thinking about graduate school.

Lee Moreau
Good.

Liz Danzico
Yeah. And I think you're right. I love what you said earlier about dogs being kind of like sensing machines and having all these sensors. And I do think that I have noticed that she's kind of an early indicator of a conversation that we maybe shouldn't be having or is getting, you know, too tense for the time of day, you know, and sort of good, good leading indicator of that.

Lee Moreau
So let's talk about where this goes from here. We have a, I think, a natural desire, which I think we can see from the the, you know, if you look at the evolution of, you know, wolves into dogs, like let's let's assume we had something to do with that. The science it would it appear that we, you know, there was it was a little bit of a shared process like the dogs wanted certain things. We wanted certain things, right. And we kind of came together — now we just have this incredible computing power that we can layer on to this. So, and which probably suggests that things can be faster or more accelerated, but also can be more ubiquitous and widespread. What do we do with this power? How do we use this? And as an educator, how do you talk to students about what they're going to be doing in their future lives professionally with the tools that you're giving them?

Liz Danzico
Yeah, I mean, I think what we can do is have people experience what we have access to firsthand, so that we can kind of experiment experiment experiments and hope that we can get ahead at least three to five years. And that's what we try to do. You know, we- so we don't know what we don't know. And so how do we put ourselves in a position of feeling what it's like to experience a different kind of companionship, a different kind of set of sensors? You know, this is the beauty of prototyping. And so that's what we try to do with students, which is just give them the tools and the access to datasets to audiences where we are sensitively able to do so, so that they can imagine that that future and prototype it for the rest of us so that we can sort of like, look at it and feel out the the boundaries and say: This is, you know, this is going to work, this isn't going to work— just like we have in the past. And that's all I think we can do. You know, half of it is duct tape and paper clips. Half of it is very sophisticated. But I think that the answer to the question of like, what does that mean, where does that mean we are going to be — is always we don't know, but that we can continue to model it. You know, and we can continue to kind of like be the people that we are, which is like, we are the builders and the makers and the and visionaries of the future. And it's our job to use the tools that we have to build the vision of the future. But at the moment, all we can do is give access, provide tools, and set up the pathways for the future to unfurl.

Lee Moreau
When we started working on this topic, I was-I had a sort of a dystopian vision of where this was going to go, which I have to say was sort of happily debunked by by Greger and the conversation we had with him. Because the way that he described the development of dogs into pets, which is that it was a shared process, that we were both participating in it— because my my natural instinct was sort of its maybe slightly cynical, which is like: Oh, we're just trying to like pet-ify everything. We're trying to turn everything into a pet. We're trying to bend the will of everything on the planet to our own, as humans. And what I got from from Greger is actually, no, it's more nuanced than that. And this is a give and take, and I'm hoping that we can have a give and take with some of these, you know, what I think are, you know, technological marvels that are starting to really impact us. What I'm hoping is that we're not going to be just putting things into place that we're not going to-we're not going to have control over. That there'll be some kind of relationship or collaboration that can take place in this process, but we don't know. We haven't done this work yet.

Liz Danzico
That's right. And that's like what makes it all worthwhile, right? I mean, that's the kind of why- why we do what we do. There would be no design research practice if that wasn't even the case. But absolutely, it's sort of every day, slightly terrifying and slightly hopeful at the same time. And both those things seem to be true. But I agree that the evolutionary history, so evolution itself sort of paints a hopeful picture once you start really understanding and looking at specific examples that a lot of times, taking the dog wolf example of the one we talked about today, is a hopeful story.

Lee Moreau
And so hopefully the end of the story is that dog is still our best friend and not our best object.

Liz Danzico
Yeah, exactly.

Lee Moreau
All right, as you know, every episode of The Futures Archive ends with a prompt, a sort of a design exercise for you, the listener, to keep working on the object and the ideas we've talked about on this week's show. You'll be able to share your ideas and see what other listeners are thinking about, too. And I'll tell you where to do that in just a second. We'll all make really great pets. We've heard that before, but now we're going to see what that looks like. What we'd like you to do is to imagine that something in your life has turned you into its pet, could be a houseplant, an appliance, a toy. While you still have some degree of control and agency, you are now framed by this other things worldview. What's going to happen? How does the world around you get reorganized? Please write a newspaper headline that would feature your new situation as a pet and illustrate, collage, perform or sketch a visualization that would accompany the article. Please post your scenarios on Instagram and make sure to tag us with the hashtag, The Futures Archive, that's all one word. You can read the full prompt on our Instagram at Design Observer.

Lee Moreau
The Futures Archive is a podcast from Design Observer. To keep up with the show go to TFA dot Design Observer dot com, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. And if you like what you heard on this week's show, please rate and reviews and share it with your friends. Liz, this was wonderful. Thank you so much. I loved having you in this conversation. If listeners want to find out more about you or what you do, where can they go?

Liz Danzico
Good question. First, thank you so much. This was truly wonderful. People can find me anywhere on the internet under bobulate, that's discombobulated without the prefix and suffix. And that's my personal website and anything social media related. And if anyone wants to find Harriet the dog on the internet, she has her own Instagram account. It is Miss Harriet Pearl separated by underscores— Miss Harriet Pearl on Instagram.

Lee Moreau
I'm going to go find her right now. Thank you. Please post your answers for this week's assignment on Instagram using the hashtag The Futures Archive, that's all one word. We're really excited to see what you come up with as crazy as it might be. And make sure you're following us, at Design Observer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The Futures Archive's education partner is Adobe. For each episode, you can find supporting materials, including further reading, lesson plans and all kinds of activities suitable for college level learners. For more about Adobe's educational initiatives, follow them at EDEX dot Adobe dot com. And The Futures Archive is brought to you by Automattic. Thanks again to Greger Larson, Gail Melson, and Hannah Chung for talking to The Futures Archive. You can find more about them, and my co-hosts Liz Danzico in our show notes at TFA dot Design Observer dot com, as well as a full transcription of the show. This was our final episode of season one of The Futures Archive, which has been twelve crazy episodes of amazing speakers, great conversation and a few crazy assignments along the way. I thank you all for listening. It's been lovely having you reach out to us and to follow along, and we hope you'll continue to do that when we're on hiatus. Go back and listen to one of the old episodes, or even try one of the assignments that you didn't dabble in earlier. We'll still be checking the hashtag The Futures Archive on Instagram, and we look forward to seeing what you come up with. Again, I want to thank everyone who's been listening, as well as everyone who both participated in the planning and also the production of this show. It's an incredible team here at Design Observer, and it's been really a pleasure to work with everyone and to produce this show for you. So with that, I look forward to seeing you again next year. Our associate producer is Adina Karp. Owen Agnew edits the show. Blake Eskin of Noun and Verb Rodeo help to develop the show. Thanks, as always to Design Observer founder Jessica Helfand and to Design Observer executive producer Betsy Vardell.


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