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Kim Vonder Haar
User Interface Designer (Nortel, Xandros) MSc Cognitive Science
Area of Expertise:
Getting, Sharing Information
The Orchestration Age Erupts
This era will usher in extraordinary demands for new means and methods of expression, interaction and communication. It will forge entirely new types of thinkers, whose kaleidoscopic manipulation of digital media will culminate in an explosive proliferation of innovative discoveries.
An article that I wrote in 1998 for ACM SIGCHI called "The Orchestration Age" describes my vision of what's coming. It's already happening.
From immersion in clouds of digital sorcery will rise entirely new types of users with hybrid styles of cognition. These new thinkers will not only orchestrate but lead and drive the developments of The Orchestration Age. New categories and labels will materialize to describe these emergent thinking styles. Generalized job titles such as IT Engineer or Interaction Designer will disappear and be replaced by more specific titles which reflect thinking styles and approaches toward information orchestration. Imagine the skill sets and tools necessary to support such job description titles as Inferential Data Specialist, Deductive Constraint Expert, Salient Prioritor, Macro Pattern Structure Analyst, Functional Mapmaker or General Associator.
Users in The Orchestration Age will embrace and evolve new cognitive styles to perceive and actively orchestrate information in completely unique ways. They will insist on having user interfaces and digital tools for manipulating diverse forms of media in ways never before seen and yet to be imagined.
The Orchestration Age will be a time when people are both cognitively and technologically equipped to draw on the vast reserves mined and stored during The Information Age. The communications infrastructure underlying the Internet has linked together and made accessible bridges across and gateways into deep reserves of specialized information in ways never before possible. Multimedia-literate users will retrieve, marry up and orchestrate these reserves in ways which will both drive demand for new forms of interaction and redefine current notions of creative expression. New thinking styles will simultaneously evolve, triggering innovative discoveries at a rate and on a scale which will eclipse the collective imagination of today's knowledge-workers. Anticipate a proliferation of orchestrated digital media, drawing on varied sources, comparing, contrasting and merging disciplines, elucidating patterns of commonalty and convergence, resulting in a barrage of new concepts which will transverse known categories and smelt radically new metaphors.