Technology is not inherently good or bad. It just amplifies what humans feed it. I believe the best way to design a technology starts by anticipating how people might co-evolve with it. Therefore, I help teams innovate by focusing on outcomes rather than particular features of technologies. My practice applies a vision-driven approach that propels concepts into the near future to anticiapte their appropriations. I transform these explorations into visual and tangible forms to make sure any team member can agree on the what and the why of a project. These probes help find the useful fits of a technology within people's lives as well as uncover potential future challenges. As a result, teams can work their way backwards to bend visions of the desirable and to plan the efforts to get there.
I occasionaly write about my practice:
Experience Design in the Machine Learning Era, December 9, 2016
Documenting the State of Contemporary Technology, October 16, 2016
The Life and Death of Data Products, July 12, 2016
Social Media at Human Pace, January 11, 2016
The Global Village and its Discomfort, December 10, 2015
Our Approach of Design Fiction, October 15, 2015
Some of my recent public projects include:
Humans: an app that promotes social media hygiene
Memento: a platform that connects a traveler's present to another traveler's future
6andMe: a fictional diagonistic service of social media related pathologies
Quadrigram: a data visualization environment to sketch with data
Latrl: an app that recommends places based on analogies
Winning Formula: a fictional newspaper that puts in your hands a possible day in the future of football
Swiss born based in Spain.
Fabien Girardin (PhD) is a researcher, engineer and creator who co-founded the Near Future Laboratory, a micro-multinational design and research agency based in California and Europe. He also works at BBVA Data & Analytics, a center of excellence in financial data analysis, where he leverages his broad and comprehensive understanding of both computational constraints and human behaviors to transform machine learning algorithms into user experiences that are future forward.
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 traces of human activity picked up by digital devices to improve the observations of 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 investigate the use of collaborative applications. Subsequently, Fabien co-founded Simpliquity, an EPFL spin-off that produced an air-travel detection system used in experience sampling surveys for the Boeing Company. Earlier in 1997, he developed a web directory popular in Switzerland that he later sold  to finance his studies at the Biel School of Engineering and move to Silicon Valley.
In addition to occasionally lecture in universities, design and business schools, Fabien speaks in international conferences such as O'Reilly Strata, TEDx, Picnic, Lift, IoT Shift, Barcelona Design Week, and the Smart City World Congress.
Selected media coverage