Fabien Girardin

Biography References Writing

Pioneer in the development of theories, tools, techniques and methods at the intersection of design and data science.

Fabien Girardin (PhD) is a researcher, engineer, co-CEO at BBVA Data & Analytics a center of excellence in data science and advanced analytics. He is also the co-founder of Near Future Laboratory, a micro-multinational design and research agency based in California and Europe. With a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary skills, he guides teams in transforming algoritmic research and experiments into value propositions, services, products and experiences that are future forward[1].

Throughout his career, Fabien has pioneered works at the intersection of design 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[2], urban attractiveness[3] and hyper-congestion[4]. In parallel, he has been an active actor in the establishment of an approach to anticipate and speculate on near future worlds called Design Fiction. 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 [5].

Fabien holds a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science and Digital Communications[6] 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[7]. Earlier in 1997, he developed a web directory popular in Switzerland that he later sold [8] to finance his studies at the Biel School of Engineering and expand his horizons in 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.

Finally, his work was exhibited at CCCB, the National Football Museum in Manchester[9], the Design Museum of Barcelona, Laboral of Gijón.[10], DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague, Fundación Telefónica in Buenos Aires, Madrid, Mexico City, Santiago de Chile and Lima.


Selected Publications

Girardin, F., Fleurquin, P. (Upcoming). Designing for Trust with Machine Learing. AAAI 2018 Spring Symposia.

[1] Girardin, F., Lathia, N. (2017). When User Experience Designers Partner with Data Scientists. AAAI 2017 Spring Symposia.

[2] Girardin, F., Calabrese, F., Dal Fiore, F., Ratti, C., and Blat, J. (2008). Digital footprinting: Uncovering tourists with user-generated content. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 7(4):36-43.

[3] Girardin, F., Vaccari, A., Gerber, A., Biderman, A., and Ratti, C. (2009). Quantifying urban attractiveness from the distribution and density of digital footprints. International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructure Research, 4:175-200.

[4] Girardin, F. (2013). Insights from network data analysis that yield field observations. Ethnography matters.

[5] Girardin, F. (2015). Sketching with Data, in New Challenges for Data Design. p6 189-205 Bihanic, David (Ed.), Springer

[6] Girardin, F. (2009). Aspects of implicit and explicit human interactions with ubiquitous geographic information. PhD thesis, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

[7] Girardin, F., Nova, N., and Dillenbourg, P. (2009). Detecting air travel to survey passengers on a worldwide scale. Journal of Location-Based Services, 3(3):210-226.

Exhibited work

[9] Winning Formula at National Football Museum in Manchester, CCCB and Fundacion Telefonica Madrid, Santiago de Chile (2014)

[10] World's Eyes at Design Museum of Barcelona and LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial (2009)

Selected media coverage

Temps volé par nos applis: ce que proposent les frondeurs anti-GAFA, Socialter, December 14, 2017.

Qui sera responsable des maladies de la connexion?, Le Monde, February 25, 2016.

Muchos números para el fútbol, El Periodico, July 27, 2015.

Un catálogo de Ikea de ciencia ficción muestra el futuro de la tecnología, El Confidencial, July 2, 2015.

Interview with Fabien Girardin. Co-founder of Near Future Laboratory, Smart City Business Institute , December, 2014.

El 'efecto Mona Lisa' guia cada paso de los turistas en el Louvre, El Periodico, February 6, 2012.

La nouvelle science des données, InternetActu, July 12, 2010.

Flickr Photos Yield Tourist Trails, Technology Review, June 15, 2010.

Quelle ville voulons-nous offrir ? Quelle ville espérons-nous recevoir ?, Le Monde, March 6, 2009.

Internet revela los movimientos de los turistas en las ciudades, El Periodico, March 31, 2008.

[8] Avec Yoodle.ch, deux entrepreneurs rêvent d'un Yahoo à la sauce edelweiss, Le Temps, March 11, 2000.

Recent writing

I occasionaly write about my practice on Medium

After the Big Now, January 25, 2017

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

Fabien Girardin. 1995-2017 All Rights Reserved