As Co-Founder and Partner at Near Future Laboratory, I believe the best way to build a technology starts by anticipating how people might co-evolve with it. When conceptualizing a product based on data, our prototypes transform visions into a tangible form that anyone can feel and understand. Additionally, our design fictions scan the present and explore possible appropriations of a data product to anticipate future opportunities and challenges. Taken together, they present a tangible concept that uncover implications for the viability and desirability of the product. Some recent projects include:
Swiss born based in Barcelona.
Fabien Girardin (PhD) is a researcher, engineer and creator who co-founded the Near Future Laboratory, a micro-multinational Design Fiction agency based in Barcelona, Geneva, San Francisco and Venice Beach. At the Barcelona bureau, he creates data products, envisions their futures and helps large and small institutions do the same.
Throughout his career, Fabien has pioneered works at the intersection of user experience and data science. Most notably, he developed Digital Footprinting techniques that analyze network data to improve the observations of human mobility, urban attractiveness and hyper-congestion. Also he co-created Quadrigram, a visual programming environment that democratizes data manipulation and visualization as part of a practice he coined as Sketching with Data .
Fabien holds a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science and Digital Communications from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona, Spain. Along his academic journey, he was also affiliated with the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Prior to his graduate studies, he joined the Swiss Federal Institute of Technologies in Lausanne (EPFL) to manage and study the use of collaborative applications. Subsequently, Fabien co-founded Simpliquity, an EPFL spin-off that produced for the Boeing Company an air-travel detection system used in experience sampling surveys. Earlier in 1997, he developed a web directory popular in Switzerland that he later sold  to finance his studies at Biel School of Engineering and move to Silicon Valley.
In addition to occasionally lecture in universities, design and business schools, Fabien speaks in conferences such as O'Reilly Strata, TEDx, Picnic, Lift, IoT Shift, Barcelona Design Week, and Smart City World Congress.
Selected media coverage