The Cité du Design in Saint Etienne (France) had an exhibit about cloud computing few months ago. It was part of an initiative by Orange, the French telco, that asked design students to speculate about “the personal digital space of tomorrow.” The question they addressed are the following:
“What new uses? How to organize this space for storing personal data? How to avoid being overwhelmed by all the content that we unwinttingly store in it on a daily basis? How to make the memories that we capture on video and in photos more accessible? How can we easily send all or part of this special prvate space to the people we love? Can we find a new material or emotional value for this data?“
Interestingly, the booklet – and the work shown in the exhibit – focus less on the infrastructural and hardware component than the service/interface layer. Given that it’s a project conducted by interaction designers, this does not sound absurd; but it may show the difficulty to address devices and infrastructures (even if they’re an important component at stake in the design of cloud computing services). It’s as if the “cloud” infra was a given and that it should not be reconsidered.