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ByDesign [Online] 2020 - Dream Tech: Designing the Gateway to Infinity
Northwest Film Forum
Seattle, WA
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ByDesign [Online] 2020 - Dream Tech: Designing the Gateway to Infinity
Sat Mar 21: 4.30pm

Festival - ByDesign Festival 2020

** Please pay what you can, proceeds support our move to a virtual platform! **

Everybody dreams. Dream tech  devices and applications that directly interface with our dreams at night  is no longer the stuff of sci-fi stories like Inception and Black Mirror. Recent advancements in neurotechnology are making it possible not only to peer into the dreaming brain, but to influence it. As a new wave of entrepreneurs and technologists push past the boundary of consciousness, profound questions arise about what this all means for the future. Is the most mysterious human frontier now fair game for technological intervention?

This talk offers an overview and discussion of the nascent industry of dream tech and poses questions to the design community about the role of ethical design in an emerging tech space with universal resonance. A few examples of dream tech will be presented, such as wearable devices that attempt to induce lucid dreams  dreams in which you are aware of the fact that youre dreaming and may exert control over the dream narrative. Meanwhile, neuromarketers are waking up to the mouth-watering potential of a good nights sleep as eight hours of perfectly passive, untapped advertising real estate.

Western dream science is still in its infancy, but attempts to productize research findings are well underway. How can we take stock of the implications of this moment for dream tech design in the years ahead? And how can designers participate proactively in the development of dream tech for social good?

The program will begin with a presentation on dream tech and footage from a sci-fi documentary project by Courtney Sheehan, followed by discussion with Aleena Chia, an ethnographer of gaming cultures and author of Virtual Lucidity, an essay that uses media archaeology to examine the history of dream tech.

About Courtney:
About Courtney:
Courtney Sheehan is a dream tech researcher, business strategist, and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Previously, she was Executive and Artistic Director for Northwest Film Forum. Currently in development on a sci-fi docuseries about dream tech, Courtney is immersed in researching dream science and developing connections with the scientists, technologists, researchers and dream practitioners working in this emerging space. A version of this talk was previously presented at the Interaction Design Association 2020 conference in Milan.


Northwest Film Forum (View)
1515 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
United States



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