People vs machine POVs

Tap into the knowledge and ideas of the people

Bonjour Cannes! We could, quite literally, see man and machine in constant interaction while on our way to the Palais to attend the first of many sessions. As the Croisette’s beach cafés and walkways grow more congested with advertisers, vendors, and brands, Spotify, newly-coined OATH (formally AOL and Yahoo!? Yet to be determined), and others are busy setting up large brand activations on the beaches. Pulling out all the stops to build these experiences, they’re employing cranes, other machinery, and a full staff to produce the installations to accommodate all the Festival goers throughout the week.

Seeing brands utilize Cannes’ beautiful surroundings and its natural landscape to provide utility and entertainment for guests correlate to what renowned Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels, discussed in his session Creativity in the Autonomous Age. Ingels, focusing on his architectural bodies of work, weaved in many examples of how he works with technology to draft up blueprints to ultimately develop multi-functional designs that benefit communities and complement an area’s existing layout. Pushing what Ingels calls social infrastructure, he aims to reinvent landscapes to make something new, preserving and honoring culture without sacrificing the history of the space. In one commissioned Danish park, Ingels looked to honor the 60+ cultures in the city by requesting direct suggestions from community members on what physical, cultural manifestations they’d like to see represented onsite. He built an app to compile responses and “tap into the knowledge and ideas of the people to generate a design.” Using app technology was an easy way to collect feedback and develop the most relevant, valuable experience for any and all park visitors, irregardless of ethnicity or religion.

While an unconventional take on the concept of people vs. machines, the take away message for brands and advertisers is simple: adapt to surroundings by respecting and observing culture and build utility for your audience by listening to your audience. As Ingels declared, “don’t just repeat the same recipes of the past, but give form to the future you want to live in.” Now that’s a statement I think we can all rally behind!

Written by Amanda Hechinger