INSPIRED AT FORWARD FESTIVAL MUNICH
24
Jul
INSPIRED AT FORWARD FESTIVAL MUNICH
  July 24th 2017 by Bonnie Leung

INSPIRED AT FORWARD FESTIVAL MUNICH

For two warm summer days in June, Digital Strategists Victoria Coello and I mingled in Munich’s Old Congress Hall with designers, brand builders, street artists and illustrators, taking in all that our panelists have to offer.

TOPIA: Building a future we can't yet see
24
Jun
TOPIA: Building a future we can't yet see
  June 24th 2017 by Thomas Kurz

TOPIA: Building a future we can't yet see

For TOPIA we turned our office into a speculative design lab, opened our gates for top talents from the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences and reengineered the future.

Corporate Fitness: Solved Forever
10
Oct
Corporate Fitness: Solved Forever
  October 10th 2016 by Michael John

Corporate Fitness: Solved Forever

With our new myClubs #loopsweat corporate fitness program, our team gets free access to 25 different sports, fitness and yoga studios in Salzburg and over 400 studios across Austria, all on us.

Brand Filters on Snapchat
25
Apr
Brand Filters on Snapchat
  April 25th 2016 by Anna-Maria Cornely

Brand Filters on Snapchat

239.623 brand impressions in 8 hours for just $15,58? No one seems to understand the needs of brands and users better than Snapchat at this point.

Beacons on the test bench
30
Jan
Beacons on the test bench
  January 30th 2016 by Thomas Kurz

Beacons on the test bench

We've carried out extensive tests with beacon technology hardware that supportet both, the iBeacon™ protocol by Apple and Eddystone™ protocol by Google.

Behind the scenes of one tweet
15
Dec
Behind the scenes of one tweet
  December 15th 2015 by Catherine Shanley

Behind the scenes of one tweet

Our challenge in today's hyper-connected, fast, socially addicted world? Giving users real time content they can relate to in the moment when it matters most to them.

LOOPTOBERFEST 2015
21
Oct
LOOPTOBERFEST 2015
  October 21st 2015 by Roi Reis

LOOPTOBERFEST 2015

All I know about Oktoberfest is that there is a lot of beer involved. LOOPtoberfest was no different. Except we had giant inflatable sausages and pretzels.

New York Advertising Week 2015
13
Oct
New York Advertising Week 2015
  October 13th 2015 by Elizma Benade

New York Advertising Week 2015

From September 28 to October 1, 2015, we went to Times Square to hear how advertising as we know it is finally dead. And we couldn’t be happier.

So yeah, we finally tried Slack too.
16
Sep
So yeah, we finally tried Slack too.
  September 16th 2015 by Michael John

So yeah, we finally tried Slack too.

Within just 48 hours we changed the complete team communication of 85 people in 5 different locations across the globe to Slack – here’s why.

Awwwards Interview with LOOP
21
Jun
Awwwards Interview with LOOP
  June 21st 2014 by Michael John

Awwwards Interview with LOOP

The team from Awwwards held a series of behind-the-scenes interviews, to get an insider’s look at the inner workings and motivations of some of world’s top agencies, leading the future of web design. LOOP was also asked to share some insight.

LOOP at Apple's WWDC14
15
Jun
LOOP at Apple's WWDC14
  June 15th 2014 by Hannes Jung

LOOP at Apple's WWDC14

An exclusive sneak peek into our week in San Francisco and an insight into the super valuable knowledge that we gained from all of the sessions and labs at Apple's WWDC 14.

Into the Wild at RE:PUBLICA 14
19
May
Into the Wild at RE:PUBLICA 14
  May 19th 2014 by Roxy Zankel

Into the Wild at RE:PUBLICA 14

Our key findings of 3 days at Re:publica: Wearing a mask makes you famous for 15 minutes, have a profound social strategy when breaking up with your partner and not everything that‘s new will blow your mind.

How to run a successful app launch campaign
25
Apr
How to run a successful app launch campaign
  April 25th 2014 by Roxy Zankel

How to run a successful app launch campaign

In today’s bottomless pit of app innovations you can’t solely rely on the quality of your app to attract users. So how do you tell the world, that you have something to offer that might blow their minds?

Must Reads! Volume 5
20
Apr
Must Reads! Volume 5
  April 20th 2014 by Michael John

Must Reads! Volume 5

Why shipping constantly is important, thoughts on crashing apps and breaking Twitter, a recipe for high end disruption and the story about the first 10 Apple employees.

Must Reads! Volume 4
15
Nov
Must Reads! Volume 4
  November 15th 2013 by Michael John

Must Reads! Volume 4

The difference between complexity and complication, thoughts on designing user experience for touchscreens, basic strategy for digital innovation and why we should simplify the idea of big data.

Must Reads! Volume 3
15
Aug
Must Reads! Volume 3
  August 15th 2013 by Michael John

Must Reads! Volume 3

A great interview for the digitally inclined, why agencies should make things people actually want, the difference between beeing in motion vs. taking action and some horrifying facts about display advertising.

The idea behind LOOP’s Sunny Hours
03
Jul
The idea behind LOOP’s Sunny Hours
  July 3rd 2013 by Michael John

The idea behind LOOP’s Sunny Hours

At LOOP, everyone in the team gets half a day off every week during the summer season over a period of 10 weeks. As a result, our team gets to enjoy the sun, the lakes or few extra hours of sleep once a week!

Must Reads! Volume 2
01
Jul
Must Reads! Volume 2
  July 1st 2013 by Michael John

Must Reads! Volume 2

A wake-up call marking the end of advertising as we know it, good thoughts about the metrics of launching a product, a reminder that customers are actually human beings and a teenager that rickrolled Vine.

Technical aspects behind the PUMA Speed Trap
12
Jun
Technical aspects behind the PUMA Speed Trap
  June 12th 2013 by Hannes Jung

Technical aspects behind the PUMA Speed Trap

A look behind the scenes of the PUMA Speed Trap project, an interactive social connected experience for running enthusiasts we developed about one year ago.

Must Reads! Volume 1
10
Jun
Must Reads! Volume 1
  June 10th 2013 by Michael John

Must Reads! Volume 1

An imaginary astronaut spending $1.37 million on Instagram, the “Lean” meeting principles, the future of responsive digital layout by Adobe and Duane Bray on creating great digital experiences.

How much did LOOP's new website cost?
08
Jun
How much did LOOP's new website cost?
  June 8th 2013 by Michael John

How much did LOOP's new website cost?

Every now and then we get asked, "How much does a website cost?" and well, that's not easy to answer as every website entails a different scope of work. To get an idea about the efforts behind a web-project, we decided to reveal the hours spent on our all-new agency website.

Why we started LOOP.LABS
01
Jun
Why we started LOOP.LABS
  June 1st 2013 by Michael John

Why we started LOOP.LABS

We have been thinking about starting our own space for ideas and thoughts for a while now. The reasoning for this is simple. Our agency is staffed with brilliant minds and therefore, we want to have a space to share ideas, experiments and some behind the scenes insights.

go back to labs
  June 24th 2017 by Thomas Kurz

TOPIA: Building a future we can't yet see

Everyone is talking innovation, but what is necessary to create – to invent and not only to improve what is already there? With TOPIA, our speculative design lab, we investigated how we get rid of our current mindset and investigate future business opportunities.

In September 2016, we contacted the University of Applied Sciences and selected the top talent from Information Technology & System Management, Design & Product Management and Multimedia Arts and worked with them to develop speculative future scenarios and consequently prototype products or services for these speculative “TOPIAs”. All students volunteered to take part and meet every three to four weeks to explore TOPIA.

THE IDEA BEHIND TOPIA

We are shaped by our past. Our memories define our identity, our action and our way of thinking. Our picture of the future is shaped by what we have learned and experienced. What is wrong with generating innovation based on what we have learned? Nothing is wrong – but our experience is so dominant in our brains, we often find ourselves merely improving on ideas and concepts, and not actually innovating. TOPIA steps out of that thinking process and creates fictional scenarios that act as new reference points for innovation. TOPIA might even live outside of preferable future scenarios. After creating these speculative scenarios, we need to understand basic human needs and how they can be addressed by creating products and services for these speculative scenarios.

REVERSE ENGINEERING THE FUTURE

How do you find your way without the existence of light, how do you compensate social interaction in a future where nobody can leave their flats or how does digital marketing work in a future without digital displays? Science fiction already proved to be a perfect playground for products that became normative paradigms of future realities, e.g. the communicator in Star Trek, that acted as a role model for the development of clamshell phones. Consequently, TOPIA is simply about reverse engineering fiction instead of improving the present.

TOPIA: Building a future we can't yet see

THE PROCESS IN A NUTSHELL

To give you a glimpse into our journey, we want to share some basic building blocks from our first year with TOPIA, on some exercises and how we travelled into the future and back. We met approximately once a month and every building block represents one three hour session of TOPIA.

  1. THINK THE FUTURE
    You are the last person who knows what a newspaper is and how it works. Write down headlines for a speculative newspaper, living 150 years from now.

  2. REACH OUT
    Develop a speculative future scenario and provide a graphical representation of the scenario. Envision society, environment, architecture, rules, food, myths language and social interaction.

  3. SHAPE THE FUTURE
    External guests challenge the scenarios and introduce interventions, i.e. disasters, mutations or superpowers.

  4. DRIVING FORCES
    Introduce anthropological constants, identify basic human needs and understand how they could be satisfied in your speculative future scenario.

  5. SKETCH ‘EM
    Prepare approaches, products and/or services to satisfy the previously defined needs.

  6. DESIGN REDUCTIONISM
    Learn about the creative power of Design Reductionism. Simplify your products and services to the edge of recognizably, pass it on to the next group and try to recreate.

  7. CREATE, RECREATE AND PROTOTYPE
    Create first prototypes for the speculative products and services. 3D prints, models, tangibles, mock-ups, videos – everything that shows how your approach will enhance your speculative future.

  8. EXHIBIT
    In July 2017, TOPIA EXHIBTS for the first time. A celebration of creation and innovation and a place to get inspired.
TOPIA: Building a future we can't yet see

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED SO FAR

Our first TOPIA lab provided us with three key takeaways that can be implemented in future TOPIA ideation labs:

  • We got confirmed that letting go of the past, the present and the future as we know it today is much harder than we thought. The first ideas were spinning around “Amazon doing …”, “Vienna philharmonics are testing …” or “Apple introduces …”. Nevertheless, it was exciting to see how the future scenarios became the new reference points for every discussion.
  • We had to learn that it takes even a bigger effort to leave your discipline behind. Especially the perception of time and expectation of results was significantly different. Every discipline was challenged in a specific time during the process.
  • What we have to improve the most was the availability of a continuous time frame to guarantee time and availability.  Synchronizing the schedules of four facilitators, four external speakers and 12 students was sometimes more than challenging. Consequently, we will try even harder to get these activities represented in the curriculum of participating Universities to provide the space that is necessary for true innovation.

WHAT COMES NEXT?

We will take all these learnings with us to our next round with TOPIA, starting in autumn 2017. In Summer 2017 we are facilitating the first three weeks intensive Innovation Lab based on the TOPIA concept. This time there will be a focus on an industry driven ideation process that focuses on the creation of ideas for one internationally operating organization. Motivated by a request of a private Austrian University to offer lectures, showing how ideation works with the TOPIA concept, we are even thinking of offering similar labs to other Universities as well.

If you are interested in learning more about TOPIA or just want to participate in the next lab – get in touch with us via topia@agentur-loop.com! We are happy to take more people on our journey to future and back.

Thomas Kurz

About Thomas Kurz

Technology and Innovation Consultant at LOOP. Working in several international R&D projects before joining LOOP, Thomas perfectly understands interdisciplinary creation and facilitates ideation processes with a strong sense for upcoming technologies.